Yeah it happened. After several posts, what most would regard as a statistical inevitability happened, on the 14th of March 2024 @ 10:28PM (GMT).

The main reason I haven’t posted all that much since that rejection is because of the rejection. You may have noticed that this blog started pretty much right after my interview, and at that time I held some dream that if I got into MIT, I could use this in my blogger application to try and have a better chance at getting in. Then, after that it became more and more fun but because it was so very linked to my MIT application, I found it hard to write during the stress of the application coming up and after the rejection I couldn’t write.

Now, a month and a half later I’m better and I have a plan 😎.

Pre-Pre Decision

I had a tab pinned on my phone with the time left until the decision released. Please dear god don’t do this. It was a horrific idea. I could not bring myself away from it. That having been said, if you’re the kind of person to have a tab pinned with the time left, you aren’t going to be dissuaded by this, but at least consider yourself warned.


Frankly, I’m not all that much a fan of the bloggers’ advice on receiving decisions and I would thoroughly recommend doing what I did. But then obviously, I would because I’m me. iirc most of them just watched TV, which seems confusing to me? I get that US unis seem to be far less stressful coming to the end of Senior Year/Grade 12/Year 13/Upper Sixth1, but surely you can’t just take a day off because of admissions stress?

Nearer the end of the year, my school hosts a fair few formal dinners for various reasons and one of the ones they threw this year was for the senior prefects (Kingsley 💜 forever). The tradition post-dinner is usually for all of the student participants to go to someone’s house for an afterparty so I volunteered to host.

If I hadn’t done that, I probably would’ve gotten home at 4:45, and then spent the best part of the next 6 hours stressing over decisions. Instead, I spent that time having a pretty nice dinner and then stressing over hosting a party2. I got so engrossed in the party that I realised that I forgot about the decisions almost entirely until 10:26, at which time I sprinted away, felt my heart rush and then received the news of my failure3.

The other advantage of hosting a party was that I couldn’t just go & cry - I had to at least try to host for another hour and a half before I could reasonably kick everyone out on the premise of needing sleep for Friday4.

Pros: I just had to keep on going so I’ve just about managed.

Cons: I still haven’t fully processed this decision, and as you’ll see, am about to take a less than perfect approach to what to do next. I’m also vulnerable to this to a degree I haven’t been vulnerable in the same way before because I haven’t had the chance to properly process this because I haven’t had time where I haven’t been supposed to be doing something else5.


Luckily, I also applied to the UK and have an achievable offer for St Andrews (AAA to read Computer Science) and an insurance in Exeter6. Even more luckily, I applied for a gap year position in a Bangkok international school for next year and they’ve accepted me7. As far as I can tell, you’re eligible for the first year application for MIT if you haven’t matriculated to another institution, so my plan is to re-apply and hope something changes.

I can tell you for certain that I’ve changed over this year and process and I have a plan, for which if I fail any stage I’ll just go to SA8:

  • Ace my A-Levels - I’m defining this as 4 A*s, which means that I’ll be able to apply to MIT with 5 A*s which should hopefully be a distinguishing factor even if they aren’t as bothered about country-specific exams.
  • Ace an ACT - I think this is the main place I messed up on my last application - whilst I super-scored a 33, that did include a 28 in English, which realistically isn’t good enough for them. Here, I’m defining that as all 35s and above - this is pretty damn high, but it needs to be9.
  • Work on my portfolio over the summer - this is another area I messed up. I showed some stuff in my interview, but that wasn’t sufficient and I need to show how talented I (think I) am.

At that point, I’ll write some more essays, do an interview and have everything wrapped up by November. That way, I shouldn’t be ruining my time in Bangkok for the whole time and I’ll have plenty of time for fun. Trust me - I’m very much looking to my first Christmas in years without any exams related stress.

  1. Great to see I’m not in the only country with multiple systems for telling people what school year you’re in. ↩︎

  2. imho a far more productive and fun kind of stress - decisions stress just forces you to be still as your heart rate goes up and up, hosting stress (at least for me) involves trying to make sure everyone’s enjoying a party. ↩︎

  3. Stu, I get that I shouldn’t take the decisions personally, and that the numbers (especially for international students) are incredible, but it’s pretty hard not to :( ↩︎

  4. I also volunteered to take photos which I wanted to get edited ASAP, so I had to edit them before going to sleep. ↩︎

  5. Context to US readers (if you exist?): we have all of our offers by may, but if you’re in your final year, they’re all conditional on us getting certain grades in end-of-year public exams. Unlike SATs & ACTs, if you don’t make your offer, there isn’t really any recourse beyond re-taking & re-applying. Some universities won’t even wait for if you need re-marks, because their term would have already started. Technically, you can beg your university or go through clearing, but none of the top universities are anywhere close to accessible via clearing. ↩︎

  6. But realistically, if I don’t make SA then I’ll be re-taking. ↩︎

  7. Exeter have allowed me to come for 2025 instead of 2024, and I’m currently waiting on SA. ↩︎

  8. Which for the record is still an incredible university. The problem with MIT is that it just makes everywhere else look like they’re not even trying (which I get is partially for budgetary reasons - £9250/year can’t pay for the same facilities that american tuition fees can). ↩︎

  9. Admissions are evaluated in context, and since I’m fortunate enough to come from a good context, I need to score well. ↩︎