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Posts by xamanda
Joined: Oct 29, 2012
Last Post: Dec 31, 2012
Threads: 8
Posts: 21  
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From: United States of America

Displayed posts: 29
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xamanda   
Dec 31, 2012
Undergraduate / Beautiful sounds of music; Common App - Extracurricular activity [7]

Your essay is very good, in my opinion. It shows your passion for music and how music has affected you as a person. My only criticism was that it could use more concrete details, which I just saw you added in the last comment. By mentioning your admiration of Steve Vai you make your essay more unique. Great job and good luck! :)
xamanda   
Dec 31, 2012
Undergraduate / Teen Court; Common App Extracurricular [13]

I think this essay is great! It shows a lot of admirable qualities of your personality, such as wanting to be involved and help others, while tying in some of your academic interests. I can see your enthusiasm about Teen Court, and the essay remains genuine and free of any "buzz words." I have no criticisms--and this is something I don't say lightly. Great job and good luck!
xamanda   
Dec 29, 2012
Undergraduate / Math/CS & Tumblr/ NYU supp - Why NYU? [4]

Thanks, I was worried talking about a social networking site mights seem a little shallow or clichĂŠ so you're putting my mind at ease. I appreciate the comment! :)
xamanda   
Dec 29, 2012
Undergraduate / I'm a dork! [Stanford roommate supplement] [7]

I was reading some other supplements and apparently it's become a "growing trend" for Stanford applicants to reveal their weirdest personality traits in this essay, so I'm a little concerned it's not as unique as I thought it would be. But, I'm glad you like my reference to the Stanford app itself, I was proud of myself for that one :) Thank you for taking the time to read this!
xamanda   
Dec 29, 2012
Undergraduate / Math/CS & Tumblr/ NYU supp - Why NYU? [4]

Any and all suggestions/criticisms/ideas are welcome and appreciated!! Thanks peeps! All are currently just barely under character limits.

Tell us why you have chosen the New York campus (using a maximum of 700 characters-spaces and punctuation included).
My suburban upbringing was never more obvious than during my visit to NYU, in the center of the liveliest city I've ever visited. I immediately gravitated towards the culture of New York City and of Greenwich Village, known for its reputation as an artists' haven. NYU's location promises the exposure to diversity that I never experienced in my small hometown. The grandeur of New York promises internship and research opportunities. Pursuing a career in computer science, it is important to me that I graduate as an employable candidate with plentiful experience. And, as I think about NYU's accessibility to many concert halls and museums, I know that NYU is a place where I would have fun, too.

NYU's global network provides students with hundreds of academic areas of interest for students to cultivate their intellectual curiosity and to help achieve their career goals. Whether you are entirely undecided about your academic plans or you have a definitive program of study in mind, what are your own academic interests? Feel free to share any thoughts on any particular programs or how you might explore those interests at NYU on any of our campuses. (1500 Characters)

At NYU, I would want to pursue my interests through a joint major in computer science and mathematics, offered at NYU's College of Arts and Sciences. Math has always been the academic subject I gravitated towards. Growing up, math class was always where I felt the most academically comfortable. I could always grasp the concept, whether I was learning decimals in third grade or trigonometric identities in eleventh grade. Currently in my beloved AP Calculus BC class, I can no longer say that math is always a piece of cake. But, though challenging, I find it manageable. Calculus BC is my favorite class because to me, it is intellectually stimulating. I've always had a tendency towards math, but through my calculus class I realize that I truly enjoy learning math and that I want to pursue it in higher education. And, as for computer science? My interest in coding began when I was nine years old, designing my Kacheek's webpage for my Neopets account, fascinated with how my turned into line breaks and how my <img src="image.jpg">'s turned into images. Years later, I was struck with this same feeling in my computer programming class, typing lines of code into my Java IDE and watching it generate a screen flashing, "Hello, world." Perhaps it was the simple realization that behind the websites and applications we use on a daily basis are programs ultimately made of letters and numbers. Computer science interests me because of the feeling of creating a program merely from text.

What intrigues you? Tell us about one work of art, scientific achievement, piece of literature, method of communication, or place in the world (a film, book, performance, website, event, location, etc.), and explain its significance to you. (1500 Characters)

"Every person you meet, every single one, is looking for their story. There are no exceptions. You become a part of it by how you treat them." Posted a few hours ago, this quote is the first post I see on a blog I have just stumbled upon in hopes of finding a new URL. It is incredibly difficult to find a decent URL for your Tumblr.com blog. In many ways, this is characteristic of virtually all social networking sites. However, I notice that Tumblr is different because all of the taken URLs belong to blogs that are still active. On sites such as Twitter or Gmail, many accounts have been inactive for years. However, during my long sessions of "URL hunting," what never fails to impress me is the care and dedication that goes into nearly every single Tumblr blog I visit. There is a very strong culture in the Tumblr community centering around self-expression and individualism. These bloggers often use pleasant HTML designs, write "About Me" pages, show pictures from their lives, and write about feelings they want to express. They also sometimes post their art, including drawings, prose, or poetry. Through this site I have become more aware that every person has a set of likes and dislikes, positive and negative emotions, and unique experiences and philosophies. Tumblr intrigues and impresses me because it fosters a community so involved in self-expression. Because of this site, I aim to be more compassionate and sympathetic in my daily relationships.
xamanda   
Dec 29, 2012
Undergraduate / Drawing & Painting/ MIT - Pleasure [4]

I think the best part of your essay is that it shows your passion for art! One change I'd suggest, however, is to remove the reference to God. (Completely my opinion, I have no idea what admissions thinks about stuff like this and I would remove it just to be safe but entirely your choice.)

Also, a suggestion I'd make would be talking about art you've done. What are some of your favorite drawings and paintings that you've done? If you need to cut something out, I'd suggest some of the middle sentences. You open the essay with strong imagery and effective language. You've already shown you're a good writer, and now you can add more content.
xamanda   
Dec 27, 2012
Undergraduate / It wasn't until I read "Wicked" ; Columbia/ "meaningful" supplement [5]

Very rough draft--I think I don't really like where it is right now. Had a good amount of that terrible writer's block while writing this and it's oh-so clichĂŠ and oddly structured. I feel like it just doesn't stand together as one solid essay. Any suggestions/criticisms/ideas would be very greatly appreciated! Thanks! :) (1464/1500 characters)

Please tell us what you found meaningful about one of the above mentioned books, publications or cultural events. (1500 Characters)

It wasn't until I read "Wicked" that I thought back to L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and asked myself, "Why do we truly hate the Wicked Witch of the West?" In Gregory Maguire's "Wicked," a novel paralleling Baum's original tale of Oz, Elphaba, later known as the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, is an Animal rights activist (Animals with a capital "A," referring to self-aware animals that talk and act like human beings) fighting against the Wizard's tyrannical rule while avoiding the Gale Force, the Wizard's secret police force that persecutes any political adversaries. "Wicked," though in a fairytale setting, is the most meaningful political novel I've read because it illustrated to me the dangers of ignorance. When watching the classic "The Wizard of Oz" film, do we hate the Wicked Witch because she is truly evil, or because we are told she is evil by Oz's obedient citizens? Do we support the Wizard because he is truly a wonderful leader, or because we hear propagandizing songs praising his supposed greatness? "Wicked" is truly thought-provoking and taught me the importance of educating myself on both sides of an issue. It taught me to question what others tell me in order to form my own opinions. Most importantly, "Wicked" taught me that the general consensus may not always be correct. To me, "Wicked" is an incredibly meaningful political allegory. Through Elphaba's story I learned to stand up for what I believe is right.
xamanda   
Dec 27, 2012
Undergraduate / Love-Hate Relationship while playing piano; Common App/ Extracurricular [5]

I think this is a great essay, the only thing I'd say is that it might be a little too extreme when you talk about how you despise the hard work. I know this is a main point in your essay, but try to have a greater focus on how, despite the grueling work, it's still worth it to play the instrument you love. Also, if length becomes an issue, I'd suggest cutting out the sentence about the participation certificates--Or at least phrasing it a little differently. (I'm sure you're being humble and that you are much more talented than this sentence says you are! :D)

Overall, I love the concept. It shows you are willing to make sacrifices for something you are passionate about. Good luck! :)
xamanda   
Dec 27, 2012
Undergraduate / MIT EECS provides tools and resources; MIT admission short essay/ Department [6]

One change I'd make is "a country that is a victim of war."

Also, can you elaborate on engineering as a source of joy? I know you mean it's fun, but it's worded a little oddly. I know this might be difficult because of the word length, but I'd think about changing that phrasing.

Overall, great job! It's very insightful and profound. Good luck! :)
xamanda   
Dec 27, 2012
Undergraduate / I'm a dork! [Stanford roommate supplement] [7]

Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate - and us - know you better. (2000 Characters)

Hello, future roommate!

It's the big question on everyone's mind. "Will my roommate be weird?" And, well, it depends on your definition of "weird." I'm a dork, and I really, really hope that won't bother you. I love cheesy and terrible jokes. (What did the buffalo say to his kid before school? Bison!) Sometimes I'll try to make my own joke. I apologize in advance. If I'm alone, I will sing. This could be while I'm in a dorm or this could be while I'm in an empty aisle at the supermarket-I'll start belting oldies love ballads. I collect coffee mugs. I won't bring my whole collection to Stanford, but I will bring my frowny face mug because it has a nose that sticks out. I have an otter calendar, and at some point I'll probably show you one of my favorite websites, DailyOtter.org. (I purposely excluded this from my list of websites for the Stanford supplement.) I'll bother you until you share with me what kind of music and television shows you enjoy and then I'll introduce you to what I like as well. I'll point out goofs in movies or television. (My pet peeve is when a character is seen eating something he or she is supposedly allergic to.) Perhaps once every other month I'll find a YouTube video of an animal doing something amusing and I'll show it to everyone on our floor. I'll get excited over finding a really old nickel or hearing a science joke. I'll start questioning the meaning of life at around 3 AM. And, out of curiosity I'll probably ask you what you wrote for that roommate question on the Stanford supplement.

I'm a proud dork. I'm cheerful, enthusiastic, and exact opposite of "passive." I think we all have our little quirks, and I hope our dorm is a place where we can both be ourselves (and dance embarrassingly to mainstream pop music). So, when we meet for the first time and that question, "Is my roommate weird?" enters our heads, hopefully we'll both happily realize that the answer is "Yes."

Oh, one more thing! Congrats on your Stanford acceptance!
Amanda Chow

(2000/2000 characters)

Is my letter too informal or doesn't show anything worth knowing about me? I figured the point of this prompt was to show a more informal personality side but I don't know if I took that a little too far. Also, is it too clichĂŠ or cheesy? I tried to write it as I truly would in the situation of writing a letter to a roommate. (So because of this I act like I've already been accepted to Stanford--This doesn't come off as too overconfident, does it?)

Any suggestions/edits/ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a ton and good luck to everyone on their Jan. 1 deadlines! :)

xamanda   
Dec 27, 2012
Undergraduate / Living 11 years as a competitive swimmer; Common app/ Extracurricular [3]

If your dad means listing ALL the extracurriculars you do, I disagree. Generally, people just focus in on one (like what you're doing here.)

I think your essay shows your seriousness and dedication to swimming, but in my opinion it focuses too much on hardships. Yes, competitive swimming is obviously stressful, but what motivates you to keep doing it? Why do you like it?

The hardest thing about the extracurriculars short answer is that it has to be extremely brief. Once you've shown that competitive swimming is stressful, move on. That way you can cover a lot more in a short 1000 character essay.

But I definitely don't think you should completely start over, this is a great essay to build off of. Good luck! :)
xamanda   
Dec 27, 2012
Undergraduate / "Birthday"/ Joy it brought to my childhood; What is your favorite word and why? [5]

The thing is...what does this show of my character?
Not sure if this is what you're going for, but what I picked up on was that you like something constant amongst all the change. You're open to change, but it's nice to have familiarity. Also, you seem like a cheerful and festive person. Again, not sure if this is what you're going for, but this is what I think about you after reading your idea!

How would I even start this?
Personally, I think an anecdote would make a good hook for this essay. Maybe something with hearing "Happy Birthday"?

I think this is a great idea. Good luck! :)
xamanda   
Nov 28, 2012
Undergraduate / USC Viterbi supplement- Geek or nerd? I became an airplane geek [2]

I'm scared it rambles too much or the tone is too joke-y?

Some people categorize engineers as geeks or nerds. Are you a geek, nerd, or neither? Why?

Apple Products and Airplanes Geek



There is no doubt in my mind that I am more geek than nerd. The term, "nerds" refers to your academic enthusiasts-intellectuals who channel all their energy into receiving that "A+" and can churn out calculus equations or World War II battle strategies in the blink of an eye. But, even though I do enjoy the occasional chemistry pun (What do you call a tooth in a glass of water? One molar solution!) and I do have many nerdy characteristics, the reason I am more of a geek is simple: Nerds are often quiet. I, however, am not. The way I see it, while nerds are academic enthusiasts, geeks are just enthusiasts in general-people who become a little obsessed with what they find interesting. They fully believe that the things they "geek" over are the most interesting on the planet, and they often try to share this with the people around them-regardless of whether or not they want to hear it. This could range from forcing your favorite books on all your friends to teaching Java to Grandma. For me, I've geeked over Apple products, video and audio production, television shows, and HTML coding, to name a few. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, geeks often do not know everything about the things they geek over.

For example, I became an airplane geek after reading the Boeing-747 information sheets in the seatback pocket during a seventeen-hour flight. For the next week all I talked about was the fact that the plane had a second floor, and I spent much of my time researching largest commercial airliners. (The Airbus 380 has a duty free shop!) Nerds are often content with keeping their nerdy tendencies to themselves, but geeks share their interests so that other people can experience the same delight. Even if geeks are often misguided in believing that their interests and enjoyments are more universal than they truly are, I am proud to be a geek because geeks share what they think could make other people happy.
xamanda   
Nov 28, 2012
Scholarship / Short essay asking why i deserve this essay and how will i make an impact [6]

Coming from a lower class family was rough. My parents never attended college or even finished high school, so the only jobs they qualified for were entry-level jobs. My parents barely had enough money to feed us, so lunch and dinner were always the same. Whether it was coming back from the park or coming home from school I always came home to the same aroma of tortillas and beans. My siblings and I grew tired of the familiar scents. I tried to help around and raise money to afford diverse foods by walking the neighbors' golden retriever, and with thatthe money made I tried my first cheeseburger. Since that day my curiosity for food has grown as well as my goal of becoming a chef. With this scholarship I will help pay for culinary school and fulfill my dream of becoming a chef and so someday I can serve someone their first cheeseburger.

I love the concept of your essay, it's so sweet! It's concise and to the point. Many edits I made were more stylistic than mechanical. Just touch up the grammar and structure and I think you'd be good to go!
xamanda   
Nov 28, 2012
Undergraduate / UC Prompt 1 How Cross Country Changed My Life - becoming team captain [4]

I think you could improve your introduction and create a stronger hook for the reader. Also, overall I think there may be too strong an emphasis on your teammates rather than the actual sport of cross country. You structure the essay so that the focus of the essay is on the sport, but you mainly talked about how you were influenced by your teammates. I think you could either change your essay so it discusses how those new friends changed your life, or you could add more details about why you like the actual sport--And include the benefit of having nice teammates as one of your details. By this I mean, why do you like running? You say you excelled at it, but why do you like it? Is it the adrenaline rush? Did it make you feel healthy? Did it give you a sense of accomplishment?

Also, I didn't understand why you didn't connect to your previous teammates because you attended a small private school. I'd recommend elaborating on that a little more.

I'm applying to the UCs too! Deadline's approaching fast--Good luck! :)
xamanda   
Nov 28, 2012
Book Reports / (people transformed through relationships) A Thousand Splendid Suns Suggestions [5]

Your second and third reasons are similar, in my opinion. I like the second one more, and you can incorporate the third one into it.

Perhaps another example could be that you learn through the experiences of others--For example, if you lived in a small town your whole life and you met someone from, say, India, you'd learn a lot about other cultures. Or, if you had a friend with a disability, you'd learn about how he/she goes about life a little differently.

Or, another example could be that you learn about human nature, starting with simple things like how people who say they're fine might be actually upset. It's a skill you only develop if you're more social. Having human relationships shows you that there are some inherent patterns that make you understand everyone better. For example, adults are better at telling if someone is lying than a child, because adults have more experience in human relationships.

I'm not sure I understand your first one. Do you mean how drug abuse is more prominent in children who come from homes with a history in drug abuse? (I'm not sure if that's what you're trying to say.) If that's what you mean, it also, in my opinion, falls under influences. You could incorporate it into your influence paragraph.

Good luck on your paper!
xamanda   
Nov 28, 2012
Writing Feedback / Past Paragaph - "sell-as-much-as-we-can" method [5]

From the old days of marketing (before the 1950s)I'd say "Before the 1950s," because as you're talking about marketing scholars it's implied that you're talking about marketing when marketing scholars were very unconcerned about the customers' point of view to. A fter 1950, there was a big difference in the marketing procedures. Before the 1950s, marketing often meant finding strategies and tactics to selling more products and services without even thinking about what customers themselves wanted.

Back then, companies used a "sell-as-much-as-we-can" method without a concern about building relationships for the long term. In my opinion, this is not a nice or the proper way to think about the customers with . But after the 1950 there was a drastic change in the way the marketing scholars looked at the consumers. After the 1950s, companies started looking at the point of view of the consumer they started to believe that they should think about building a better relationship and behavior between sellers and buyers and only after that should they do the process of marketing products and services.(this sentence is unclear) This would then benefit a company and therefore could therefore increase their sales. This is the drastic change of the main Marketing Strategy that marketing scholars used from before the 1950s and after the 1950s.
xamanda   
Nov 26, 2012
Undergraduate / 'The stereotypical American suburb' - Where I come from [3]

Just gonna add my other essay too, if people would be so kind to look it over! :)

Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

I come from the stereotypical American suburb. We are the Sunday morning joggers, the minivans and golden retrievers, the neighbors who welcome you to the street with a fruit basket, and the tipped flowerpots in the police blotter. Our lives are marked with routine and familiarity, our houses perfectly described by the lyrics of Malvina Reynold's "Little Boxes:" "And they're all made out of ticky-tacky, and they all look just the same."

According to Wikipedia, 97.5% of North Reading's population is White. But, I don't need census data to know that the town where I have spent my entire life is not one where diversity blooms. My mom still retells an anecdote from my early childhood where, upon my return to North Reading following my first trip to Taiwan, I looked up at her with wide, three-year-old eyes and asked, "Mom, do we live in the wrong place?"

Growing up, I had always felt that race and culture slightly isolated me from my peers in North Reading. During snack time, I'd get strange looks when I discreetly opened a bag of shrimp crackers instead of the customary peanut butter cookies. On Chinese New Year, I'd sit in my seat, quietly buzzing with excitement about a holiday that only I celebrated. I grew up in an environment where being different was often something I tried to hide.

Today, I am proud of my Asian heritage. After frequent trips to Hong Kong and Taiwan, after many afternoons spent learning the ribbon or fan dance, and after multiple summers volunteering at Asian academic enrichment programs, I came to realize that being of a different heritage was, put simply, kind of awesome. Once I left my North Reading bubble, it became clear that diversity was something to embrace.

Ironically, perhaps it is because conformity was so heavily emphasized in my earlier years, but one of my largest aspirations today is to expose myself to diversity. I find other cultures interesting, and I want to be in an environment that encourages uniqueness. The minivans and flowerpots of North Reading fostered in me a want to travel to new places and see new things. And lastly, the fact that I previously wanted to blend in makes me want to stand out today. I aim to be creative and inventive, and contribute to the community something that's a little different.

(Total word count of both essays combined: 1000 words)
xamanda   
Nov 25, 2012
Undergraduate / 'Learning to accept the facts' - UC #2 - Stuttering [3]

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

//This is my common app essay, I got pretty good feedback from both my AP English Language and my AP English Lit teachers so I wanted to use it. I changed it a little to fit the prompt more, but I'm scared it still doesn't answer the question. I'm going off the "experience" part of the prompt, but I'm worried it doesn't show enough about me ("how does it relate to the person you are?").

I think my stuttering began when Felicia yelled at me for knocking down her Lego tower. The favorite of all the teachers, Felicia ruled the Over the Rainbow daycare center with her countless Barbie dolls and her too-cool-for-nap-time attitude. So, when it was my word against her very convincing, "She did it on purpose!" I panicked. Spluttering out a few incoherent syllables, I clenched my Beanie Baby and began to cry.

And so began my speech impediment and the package that came with it-listening to insensitive, yet spot-on imitations from classmates, facing questions of "Why do you t-t-talk like th-th-this," being denied a speaking role in our third grade production of Share Bears, and even being assigned an English as a Second Language specialist after my second grade teacher mistook my stutter as a lack of fluency in English (after a couple sessions of reciting, "One house. Two houses. One mouse. Two mice," followed by copious, overenthusiastic praise, it was determined I had no problem understanding English and I was left to read Charlotte's Web in peace).

However, most of the burden was emotional. A flurry of questions constantly occupied my head: Am I going to stutter? What if I stutter? Will this person be angry? Will this person laugh? Many people, people who actually spoke every syllable the correct number of times, frequently offered suggestions that all boiled down to one phrase: self-confidence. It surrounded me like an overplayed infomercial: Have more self-confidence and all your problems will be over! Basically, I was told to tell myself this problem doesn't exist, and I'd always roll my eyes at this unrealistically oversimplified solution. As a realist, I knew there was no magical cure-I was a stutterer.

And so, I began learning to accept the facts. I stopped feeling panicked when I began stuttering. I stopped wrinkling my face in disgust whenever I watched a video of myself talking. I started feeling more comfortable raising my hand in class, ordering food, or talking on the phone. What used to be a fear of stuttering was, over time, reduced to an annoyance that I was tired of putting up with. With a so-be-it attitude, I learned to feel comfortable about my speech. But ironically enough, this, in itself, is self-confidence. Self-confidence is not necessarily thinking everything is perfect; it's making the best of playing the cards you were dealt. I overcame the worst of my stutter by accepting the fact that I have a stutter.

I had the unfortunate experience of growing up with a speech impediment, and as a child it often made me feel insecure and frustrated. However, it ultimately taught me how to simultaneously accept and overcome my hardships. It taught me that not all imperfections are worth losing sleep over. It taught me that even problems that seem like they will always haunt me don't have to last forever. And strangely enough, it didn't strike me until recently that in general I could speak fine. One incident I particularly remember occurred about two years ago. Tensions were high as I flipped through the menu, seeing our waiter approach. He pulled out a notebook, and all eyes turned on me. I rapidly rehearsed in my head and hoped for the best. With darting eyes and a quickened pulse, I pointed to the middle of the page and addressed him in a clear voice.

"Can I have the fettuccine Alfredo with a side salad?"
And though I knocked down a glass of fruit punch while handing him the menu, in that moment I knew that my speech impediment would no longer be my greatest burden.

WORD COUNT: 607
xamanda   
Nov 25, 2012
Undergraduate / 'Donna Noble, Doctor Who' - Common App: a character in fiction that influences you. [8]

I'm also a Doctor Who fan and you have a great concept for the essay! If anything, I'd emphasize how Donna feels too average, because that's a huge point about her and non-Doctor Who fans might not understand the extent of her averageness. Also, one thing I noticed is that you seem to add details from your life as an afterthought, like in the end when you start talking about volunteering or your work with the school's news program. In my opinion this should be the bulk of the essay. Use Donna as a hook and an overall theme for the essay, but it might be a good idea to shift the focus of the essay more to you.

Overall, great job! Donna is the perfect example for what you're trying to say.
xamanda   
Oct 31, 2012
Undergraduate / MIT: Favorite personality trait? (Sense of humor.. Hopefully with a twist) [3]

What attribute of your personality are you most proud of, and how has it impacted your life so far? This could be your creativity, effective leadership, sense of humor, integrity, or anything else you'd like to tell us about. (*) (200-250 words)

I don't want to choose the clichĂŠ "sense of humor" as my favorite personality trait. Instead, I will refer to this characteristic as my ability to laugh at the world and at my life. Almost like how we guffawed when Lucy and Ethel desperately stuffed chocolate into their clothes and mouths at the factory in "I Love Lucy", I see my life as something with a laugh track. It's how I interpreted, for example, that winter when the our one snowstorm fell on the day of my driver's license road test, or that time a delay caused me to miss my connecting flight, even after sprinting through John F. Kennedy Airport and watching the gates close right in front of me. For these things that I know I have little control over, I've taught myself not to take them too seriously. By being able to joke about my shortcomings, such as height (I am of small stature-This should make the pun more apparent), I show myself that I am comfortable with who I am. By always having a clever line in my head and expecting that life isn't perfect, I can handle the stress and inconveniences of daily life in a positive way.

I like how I see the world because my inner monologue is often an entertaining place to be. In my opinion, my ability to laugh at the world is more than just a sense of humor. It is a sense of humility, wit, self-deprecation, and confidence.

//250 words
I'm nervous that it isn't concrete enough and that it doesn't show good examples of how it impacted my life, and that overall this essay just doesn't pack a punch, if that makes sense. The beginning sounds awkward because before I had for a second sentence, "Anyone reading would think, "Wow, I see this person took the time to read the prompt."" My first sentence is supposed to be referring to the fact that "sense of humor" is in the prompt itself (and is a clichĂŠ "favorite trait" in general) and because of length requirements I don't think it expresses that as well as I want it to.

Any and all feedback would be appreciated. Thanks! :)
xamanda   
Oct 31, 2012
Undergraduate / Stanford Supplement; "Write a note to your future roommate"; four facts about me [8]

I really like the tone you have, it's direct and friendly and doesn't sound like it's trying too hard. But, I do think your introduction can be shortened or cut--Many essays are going to start this way, the whole "But how can I describe myself in such a short letter?" might not be the most original way to go about it. Actually, I think it might be nice if you just started with a simple greeting and something like "Here are four things about me" or something. That way, you focus more on your list as the main bulk of the letter, not just the middle portion.

Overall, great job! You come across as a friendly and welcoming person, something that is very important in this specific prompt.
xamanda   
Oct 31, 2012
Undergraduate / The game of GOLF; MIT/ Significant challenge you've faced [4]

I think you can be a little looser with your introduction--Your second paragraph masters tone and language very well, but in the first paragraph it seems a little more rigid and not as unique. You want the first paragraph to hook the reader, even if it's only a 250-word answer.

I think your ending is fine as it is, but if you wanted to expand you could list more concrete examples of how you've pursued your interest in golf, like maybe entering a tournament or joining a club or playing with your friends everyday or something.

Overall, great job!
xamanda   
Oct 30, 2012
Undergraduate / MIT short answers; I'm Asian/ my interest in coding/ my mentality [14]

Thanks to all you awesome people for your imput--I was kinda nervous as my first time posting on these forum things haha. And I get what everyone means about expanding my quote idea, but it was really hard to cram into 100 words and I don't think I could add something without sacrificing even more, that's why I'm nervous about it.
xamanda   
Oct 30, 2012
Undergraduate / MIT short answers; I'm Asian/ my interest in coding/ my mentality [14]

Okay I just finished my other one: (I'm new to this site and I don't know if it's weird to attach more essays or something so bear with me)

We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it. (100 words or fewer)

"They will see us waving from such great heights."

It might sound a little boring that my "activity of choice" is collecting quotes. This quote, for example, I stumbled across online while I was having a quiet night at home. For a second I could imagine myself leaving my small town for a big city or winning an award and waving to people back home-all the emotions that came with this quote. As an artistic person, I appreciate eloquence in words. I absorb the emotions, experience, and stories I find in nine-word quotes. And that's pretty exciting to me.

// I'm scared this one is really... just.. bad... I mean I feel like it either works or it doesn't, if you get what I mean. Do you think it works? If not, these were my other ideas to write about:

- Painting birdhouses (It would be kinda joke-y but I don't think I can expand much about it)
- Working out (Obviously as a stress/health thing and not an image thing--Kinda boring IMO)
- Tennis (I feel like the sport thing is overused..?)
- Dance (Same thing, overused IMO)
- Walking around Boston and going to this reflecting pool I sit at to think about stuff (This one would be mad cheesy/clichĂŠ--Probably even more so than my current one)

- Helping kids in math (I sound like a brown-noser)
- Listening to music/finding music (ClichĂŠ and I'd expand pretty much the same way I did with my current one--I chose my current one because I thought it was a more unique way of expressing this one)
xamanda   
Oct 29, 2012
Undergraduate / MIT short answers; I'm Asian/ my interest in coding/ my mentality [14]

Please tell us more about your cultural background and identity in the space below (100 word limit).
I'm Asian. More specifically, my mom is from Hong Kong and my dad is from Taiwan. Both their families come from Mainland China. However, I instead consider myself as part of a small, yet growing cultural group known as American-born Chinese. ABCs, as we frequently call ourselves, are generally young, second-generation Chinese with strong grasps on both American and Chinese culture. We stock our cabinets with both Chef Boyardee and shrimp crackers and we are fluent in "Chinglish." I've grown up equally amidst both cultures and both have played an equally important role in my life. (96 words)

Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? (100 words or fewer)

My interest in coding began when I was nine years old, designing my Kacheek's webpage for my Neopets account, fascinated with how my <br's turned into line breaks and how my image.jpg's turned into images. Years later, I was struck with this same feeling while sitting in Computer Programming class, typing lines of seemingly meaningless text into my Java IDE and watching it exactly generate my intended output and display a screen flashing, "Hello, world." MIT's Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department appeals to me because of my interest in computer science, something I hope to pursue in college. (100 words)

Tell us about the most significant challenge you've faced or something important that didn't go according to plan. How did you manage the situation? (200-250 words)

When you grow up with a speech impediment, in addition to the constant questions of, "Why do you t-t-talk like th-th-this?", you often find yourself surrounded by the phrase, "self-confidence." Well-meaning people, people who actually speak every syllable the correct number of times, suggest you tell yourself this problem doesn't exist. It was something I'd always roll my eyes at, this unrealistically oversimplified solution. As a realist, I knew there was no magical cure-I was a stutterer. And so, faced with no other option, by the time I started high school I began forcing myself to accept the facts. I stopped feeling panicked whenever I stuttered. This fear of stuttering was, over time, reduced to an annoyance I was tired of putting up with. With a so-be-it attitude, I learned to feel comfortable about my speech. But ironically enough, this, in itself, is self-confidence. I overcame the worst of my speech impediment by accepting the fact that I have a speech impediment.

Sometimes I'll still stammer a little if I'm nervous. It's made me realize that stuttering was not my greatest challenge-It was the emotional burden that came with it. I'm still working on fully ridding myself of my stutter, but I'm no longer ashamed of how I talk. I no longer cringe whenever I watched a video of myself talking. I no longer feel this anxiety weighing over me. I get my message across, stuttering or not stuttering. For me, this mentality is my greatest accomplishment. (249 words)
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