Campus Life



This is part of a series of MIT application essays submitted by students who were later admitted to the Institute. The following prompts are from the 2014-15 and 2013-14 admissions seasons. Note that word counts aren’t strictly enforced!


What attribute of your personality are you most proud of, and how has it impacted your life so far? This could be your creativity, effective leadership, sense of humor, integrity, or anything else you’d like to tell us about. (200–250 words)


I am shameless. I’ve worn shark costumes on camera, pretended to be a rooster for a Spanish presentation, walked around with a poster that said ‘BET YOU CAN’T HIT ME WITH A QUARTER’ for a band fundraiser, worn a batman costume for my biology lab, and I’ve taken pies to the face in front of my whole school on multiple occasions. People know me as the girl dressed as (insert ridiculous costume) or who got hit with (insert crazy non-lethal object) in a video, club meeting, class project or assembly.

I have performed one-woman skits in front of Unitown camps about proper community shower etiquette. I have been laughed at by a Rubix cubing team after singing to (and getting rejected by) my (almost) date for my junior prom.

If I was Jehovah’s Witness half the country would convert and the other half would file restraining orders against me.

My willingness to go out of the box and approach strangers has helped me rally support for projects I’m passionate about. Most people like to stay in their little bubbles and not get involved. But if you can get their attention, you have a 30 second opportunity to sell yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish. And that’s all I need. Whether it’s landing a website job, a demonstration on microagressions, or club recruiting, I always go the extra mile to hook someone in. And more often than not they end up not hating me and become another team member in the project I like to call my life.

—Nina Lutz ’19


We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do simply for the pleasure of it. (100 words)


I am a skier. For days before winter storms, I am filled with nervous anticipation, distracted daydreaming, obsessive checking of weather reports. The morning of a powder day is a frantic rush to score fresh tracks and the euphoria they bring. Some call skiing my addiction, and I am often inclined to agree. It’s a drug whose high is as much spiritual as physical. It facilitates a connection to that primal urge to let go, to dream and dance a half-remembered waltz of soul and snow, letting gravity lead across a mountain ballroom.

—William Popov ’18