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He also gained acceptance into Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago. The high-school senior had stellar standardized-test scores — a 35 on the ACT — and a demonstrated interest in the sciences, attending a selective program at MIT during the summer of his junior year. For his Common Application admissions essay, Altenburg, who also competes in cross country, track, and swimming, chose to write about the thoughts that race through his head on a distance run. He graciously shared his essay with Business Insider.
My favorite time to run is at night. This particular run in early August brought a break to the humid, muggy weather I left on the East Coast. I used my body as a human psychrometer, knowing that the cold feeling of evaporating sweat signaled much needed dry air. I cross over the bridge into Minnesota. Out of my three sports, cross country is definitely my worst — but I continue to be hooked on it.