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MIT or bust
For most students, just being accepted into college is a big accomplishment.
But for Bremerton High School (BHS) student Erin O’Brien, it is even bigger — she has been accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
She was not only accepted, but able to obtain a scholarship that will pay for just about everything she needs for school.
“I’m probably going to go into chemistry,” she said. “But I am guessing that will probably change when I get there because it is pretty normal for people to change their major once they actually begin.”
O’Brien said she did not always believe she would go into a scientific field.
“For a while, I wanted to be a novelist,” she said. “But I decided that wasn’t for me. Maybe in my spare time, if I get any.”
O’Brien started her school career being home-schooled, but when she was in ninth grade, she and her family decided to enroll her in public school, which is where she found her love of chemistry.
“I got into Mr. Bill Green’s chemistry class,” she said. “I really liked that and I wanted to go on to the next level. It just kind of built from there.”
O’Brien applied to nine colleges, including MIT.
“It was a little crazy looking back on it,” she said. “Most people only apply to around three or four schools. Nine was a lot of work.”
The excitement of finding out whether or not she was accepted was almost too much for O’Brien to bear, she said, so dad had to help push her along.
“They did it all online,” she said. “My dad had to make me click the button. When I first applied there, I didn’t really expect to get in.”
After clicking the button, a surreal feeling swept over O’Brien when she learned she had been accepted.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” she said. “I just kept spinning around in my chair saying, ‘I got into MIT, I got into MIT!’”
O’Brien said her math SAT scores were not as high as she would have liked them to be, so she didn’t know exactly why she had been accepted.
“Having straight A’s probably helped,” she said. “But I think it might have been because I wrote a really good essay, since it was the first one I had done.”
In addition to excelling at her school work, O’Brien also has been in every school musical, runs cross country, competes in the Knowledge Bowl and was the secretary of the school’s Honor Society.
Good grades, a lot of extracurriculars and a love of science were not the only things she had going for her either.
“I am very grateful to (Mr. Green) for his letter of recommendation,” she added.