I'm in the midst of applying to graduate school. I have been writing essays about why I want to go to grad school. Basically, I want to make a difference in the world, and I think grad school is the place to do it.

Why is grad school the place to make a difference? What are the other options? Going to work for some corporation? I doubt that's an effective way of helping the world, although it could certainly help the company. I prefer to help the world without helping a greedy entity, though. So instead I want to do research. Research is implicitly contributed to the greater good and seems more effective for the effort than working for a corporation.

Help me decide: I've applied to MIT Media Lab as well as several places for CS (MIT, Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard). If I get into the Media Lab, do I want it? I think I do, because of the helping the world thing. I think the Media Lab is the best place to help the world.