how do i even blog
I have wanted to be an MIT Admissions blogger for a very long time. I’ve found records of me sending blogs to my high school friends spring of my junior year, and I remember thinking that the people there were the literal coolest. After the shock of getting in faded, I dove deep into the blogs to try and figure out if I’d like this place and very, very quickly falling in love with it all. My random bookmarks folder still has dozens of blogs from 2015–2017 that I haven’t touched in ages, ranging from “how to college” to life advice. And so I applied to be a blogger the summer before my freshman fall, only to be rejected. I applied again before my junior year, only to be rejected a second time. I honestly think these were pretty good rejections; reading those posts I don’t think the content of them is particularly compelling, unique, or distinct.
Now going into my senior year, I was going to apply yet again with a few of the blog posts that I’ve been making this summer, but life got very busy with my internship this summer and I never ended up writing enough blogs that I wanted to submit. So a few days after the deadline (and the extended deadline, oof) I sent off a link to my post about going through life to Petey, king of the internet, and head of blogger applications. I think I meant this mostly as a “here’s something that I wrote that you might be interested in from the things I’ve seen you write before”, but who knows exactly why I did it. I sent it off and got a quick “thanks paolo!” in return. And that was that.
And then a week later, on Tuesday, August 18, I woke up and received the most surprising email of my entire life.
I have now taken a few days to calm down and am still unbelievably excited that I am going to get to write on the blogs to an audience that is much larger than the <25 people who have stumbled on my website1. A few days of trying to calm down have also given me a few different worries about how I should even go about blogging. In no particular order:
- Will people find this website and this blog now? Honestly, yes — internet stalking these days is crazy.2 If I Google “Paolo MIT”, I find “Adajar” on the first page of results, and that’s before I’ve been introduced as a blogger. And this website is starting to show up on page 1 of Google when you search my full name. Well, it’s a good thing I don’t have anything on this site that I don’t want other people to see. Probably.
- Meeting my own standards. Part of the reason I sent the blog about choices and life to Petey was that I was really happy with how it turned out. I’m worried that there’s going to be some subconscious process where I’d like to be the same level of happy with my writing before I post anything because comparatively, it’ll suck; and if that happens, I’m scared that I just won’t end up posting at all. (I think this is only made worse by the idea that other people have told me they liked that post…)
- Writing regularly. A big problem with my 3 failed prior blogging attempts is that I’ve never been able to keep up with it. Will the idea that there exist people who are actually reading my content keep me writing? How will I find the time to produce quality words? And combining that with all of the words that I need to write for graduate program applications this fall, I’m honestly very scared that I’ll drop off of the face of the earth at some point.
- Forming thoughts. Many of my thoughts and ideas are only created as a result of me talking to people. I’m a person that figures out things externally, and my process of discovery and the creation of “original” thoughts most often happens when I am trying to answer people’s questions or respond to their previous statement. If my only way of thinking about content is just by typing them in this editor, I think my content will gradually decline in quality until I run out of my existing thoughts.
- Authenticity. I’m going to talk about this more in my first post on the blogs — will hyperlink it when it’s eventually out.
- On the flip side, not making every one of my blog posts super serious and deep. I don’t always need to share every detail about my life with everyone. Not every post needs to be exceedingly thoughtful about how to go through life and things like that. In essence, not every post needs to be like the one I set off to Petey, and I need to try and remember that.
- Topics. At this point, I’m a crusty old senior. I don’t have the “usual” things to talk about. Maybe there will be interesting things to talk about with regards to having a completely remote senior year and finding my way through this new MIT. Maybe it’s reminiscing about all of the good times that have happened before. Maybe it’s about leaving MIT and what lies beyond, or about the college application process and my feelings around all of that. I’ve now got a dozen draft ideas sitting in a folder on my computer3, and hopefully, they will slowly but surely turn into real posts that have substance.
There are many things that I am uncertain about, but c’est la vie, and we’ll see how it all goes. And so begins a new adventure of posting many of my thoughts to the outside world; just with a much bigger audience this time.
at the time of writing, google search console says that there have been 13 clicks on my website in the past 3 months. this is. not very many. ↩
if you found this post because of my admissions blogging and googling my name you are obligated to send me 1 (one) meme as penance ↩
this website is made on github which means that i’m syncing my draft posts online, too. so i guess if you want to see half-finished work and the process of developing you can ↩