# My friend and MIT

I have a friend who says he wants to become an engineer, and says the only way he will become a respected engineer is by going to MIT as an ungdergraduate. I told him he is f****ing ridiculous and shouldn't think like that.

Tell me what to tell him to change his mind.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
The only way you'll become a respected anything is to do well in your field.

wow what a distorted vision. Only by working hard can one become respected in any field. The list is innumerable of respected scientist that did NOT go to MIT. In addition not all who go to MIT do become respectable in their field.

thats EXACTLY what i said to him, he says i just dont strive as hard as he does. I want to be a scienctist, of course, but i dont think you have to go to MIT, or Caltech, or any really prestigious school to become respected.

how is he able to asses that you don't strive as hard as he does? I would'int even bother arguing with a close minded person.

Born2bwire
Gold Member
wow what a distorted vision. Only by working hard can one become respected in any field. The list is innumerable of respected scientist that did NOT go to MIT. In addition not all who go to MIT do become respectable in their field.

Heh, you should remind him that the people teaching at MIT are very rarely from MIT themselves. Most universities do not hire their own graduates (and some will not take their own undergraduates for graduate school) in an effort to provide greater academic diversity.

FredGarvin
A good friend of mine went to MIT. He's not an engineer any more.

Your friend obviously has no idea about statistics. Look at how many really cool things have been accomplished by engineers who haven't gone to MIT. I wonder how many MIT grads worked on the moon shots?

Plus, your friend is basically saying that only American engineers are respected.

I know non-Americans can go to to MIT, but the vast majority stay in their own countries.

Last edited:
In all likelihood, no matter if he goes to MIT, it will not miraculously change him into a good scientist.
His opinion proves him to be a poor scientist already !

I am assuming

1) He is in high school (edit: needs emphasis)
2) It is relatively hard to get into MIT so you need to do more work

If he wants to go to MIT, he would do hard work which is good. And, his opinions will be refined as time passes by. You don't need to go and change his opinions.

Last edited:
Getting into a school like MIT is 2/3 luck. You need a 4.0 GPA and a lot of interesting qualities, good essays and good recommendations just to be in the running...but there are so many bright people applying these days, that just being motivated and intelligent is not enough. You also need luck.

If your friend is so smart that he's already got published results in peer reviewed journals than maybe he doesn't need luck. But as long as he is just another ordinary student with good marks, good luck..

In 2007, MIT spent $598.3 million for on-campus research.[136][155] The federal government was the largest source of sponsored research, with the Department of Health and Human Services granting$201.6 million, Department of Defense $90.6 million, Department of Energy$64.9 million, National Science Foundation $65.1 million, and NASA$27.9 million.[155] MIT employs approximately 3,500 researchers in addition to faculty. In the 2006 academic year, MIT faculty and researchers disclosed 487 inventions, filed 314 patent applications, received 149 patents, and earned $129.2 million in royalties and other income. If you throw this money on a regular state univ, then I suspect we would see same results. People are pretty much homogeneous in intelligence. There are of course small fringes of super geniuses, but it cannot account for thousands of students going to MIT every year. LowlyPion Homework Helper I have a friend who says he wants to become an engineer, and says the only way he will become a respected engineer is by going to MIT as an ungdergraduate. I told him he is f****ing ridiculous and shouldn't think like that. Tell me what to tell him to change his mind. Tell him not to despair if he doesn't get in. There's always Caltech. Getting into a school like MIT is 2/3 luck. You need a 4.0 GPA and a lot of interesting qualities, good essays and good recommendations just to be in the running...but there are so many bright people applying these days, that just being motivated and intelligent is not enough. You also need luck. If your friend is so smart that he's already got published results in peer reviewed journals than maybe he doesn't need luck. But as long as he is just another ordinary student with good marks, good luck.. As for his friend works hard enough to earn (not necessarily achieves) "4.0 GPA and a lot of interesting qualities, good essays and good recommendations" rather than doing drugs-day dreaming, I guess he should be proud of his friend. cristo Staff Emeritus Science Advisor 1) He is in high school Sorry, what did you say? I couldn't quite hear you! Well yes I do agree with the responses so far, you do need to work hard. However, there is some truth to what he is saying so far as employability goes: In the UK, just by studying in certain places gives you better chances than others. A place like Oxford University gives an almost 100% employability rate. I am assuming 1) He is in high school (edit: needs emphasis) You are correct, sir! In all likelihood, no matter if he goes to MIT, it will not miraculously change him into a good scientist. His opinion proves him to be a poor scientist already ! I told him that, he said being in MIT gives him a better advantage over every other engineer that challenges him. Worst of all is his excuses for doing questionable things He appealed to get into honors chem after not passing the entrance and said if he didnt get into honors chem it would "make him not able to pass the chem portion of the SAT." Does such a thing exist? im sure it does, but how can not getting into honors chem make him unable to pass? Furthermore i already took normal chem and another good friend of mine took honors, when comparing the work we did, it was essentially the same stuff. He has a ridiculous mentality. He even said he is going to write a book to help him get in to MIT. I really want to punch him in th e face and say "MIT ISNT EVERYTHING." He is a really cool person, with a lot of cool ideas, but this obsession with MIT is getting out of hand. "He even said he is going to write a book to help him get in to MIT." Wow,actually this is a sad part of our educational system, people take courses, do activities only to impress universities. I would be curious to see if he gave up on life if he didint get into MIT, beacuse realsticly it is very difficult to get into even if your at the top. This sums it up perfectly "His opinion proves him to be a poor scientist already !" This sums it up perfectly "His opinion proves him to be a poor scientist already !" I thought he wanted to be an engineer? Sorry, just had to mention it, but scientists and engineers are different. Regardless, statement stands. ...He appealed to get into honors chem after not passing the entrance and said if he didnt get into honors chem it would "make him not able to pass the chem portion of the SAT." Does such a thing exist? It doesn't. (see http://www.collegeboard.com/testing/"... they make these tests). The general SAT test used by college admissions tests "tests students' knowledge of subjects that are necessary for college success: reading, writing, and mathematics. The SAT assesses the critical thinking skills students need for academic success in college...". There are SAT subject tests (and there's one for chemistry), but I've never known anyone to have taken any of these... the AP tests (also produced by CollegeBoard) are what's commonly used for subject placement and as additional boosters in admissions. Sounds like he's a bit anal retentive though. In that case he'll probably make a good engineer... especially if he's planning on EE. (I think I'm able to say that because I have a good amount of EE in my background.) Last edited by a moderator: Just don't say anything to him. Maybe tell him that he's going to regret trying that hard to get into MIT and hopefully it'll get to his head. Otherwise, just keep telling him he's an idiot everytime he talks. It works for me. Sorry, what did you say? I couldn't quite hear you! But people still aren't understanding that the person they are talking about is a high school student. What can you expect from a high school student? I didn't have many realistic opinions that time (I wasn't into MIT or something like that though). At least this person thinks of something better than 1) http://www.fmylife.com/ 2) girls 3) drugs Sounds like he's a bit anal retentive though. In that case he'll probably make a good engineer... especially if he's planning on EE. (I think I'm able to say that because I have a good amount of EE in my background.) Why? :( (I am in EE, I only know about 3 people who have really good ideas/potential but are bit like the person in OP. They are doing really good in getting good internships.) Pengwuino Gold Member Just don't say anything to him. Maybe tell him that he's going to regret trying that hard to get into MIT and hopefully it'll get to his head. Otherwise, just keep telling him he's an idiot everytime he talks. It works for me. What? How childish. He'd only regret it if he put his entire self-esteem into whether or not he got into MIT. There are people who apply to 1 top name school and if they don't get in, they don't even attend college, that's the worst case scenario. waht said: If you throw this money on a regular state univ, then I suspect we would see same results. People are pretty much homogeneous in intelligence. There are of course small fringes of super geniuses, but it cannot account for thousands of students going to MIT every year. What? Since when? So are you contending that major corporations and grant-giving institutions just throw their money at whoever newsweek names a top university or something of the sort? Regardless of who the person receiving the money is? Makes me wonder how a prof in my small department at my rather unimpressive university got a$500,000 grant from the NSF this year...