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'My Battle with Reality (lol)' - Stanford Supplemental Essay - Intellectual Vitality

nthnschgr 1 / 9  
Jan 1, 2012   #1
Prompt: Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. elaborate on an experience or idea important to your intellectual development.

What is reality? I'll be the first to admit that I don't have a clue.

There were times when I'd muse over that question in the shower until a long time after my fingers pruned and gallons of water were unintentionally wasted. I'd ponder while staring into a fire until my eyes would sting from the ash and the logs were reduced to embers. Maybe life is an illusion, I would think. Or perhaps we are puppets. Did I have free will at all? Or were my actions instead pre-defined? Does matter make up our minds, or do our minds make up matter? And on and on my thoughts would go. Instead of answers I would get more questions, and if brains could feel then mine would've probably been in severe pain. My mom would tell me to stop thinking so much, but I couldn't. I had to delve further. I read about different religions and philosophies to find my answer, from Christianity to Buddhism to Absurdism. I even tried meditation, although at the time I was probably too restless to make it work. When I took physics my junior year, I thought science would finally give me the answer I sought, but instead it further perplexed my world-view. I was shocked to discover that electrons alter their behavior by simply being observed, and that two particles can resonate in sync over infinite distances. The world's rules were even less solid than I thought. After school, I would go investigate physics further on Youtube. I would find amazing demonstrations of ferrofluid structures, alien-like non-Newtonian substances dancing on sub-woofers, and sand particles forming turtle shell-like geometric patterns when exposed to high frequencies. I was enchanted; I even tried playing my saxophone to some sand on a plate in a desperate effort to charm the particles into performing the last phenomena for myself. It didn't work like I'd hoped.

Will I ever find my answer? Maybe not, but I'll keep looking. In hindsight my search gave me tremendous respect for nature and life, and what's more important than that?

I feel like the ending needs work. Thoughts? will return favor
deremifri 9 / 137  
Jan 1, 2012   #2
The thing is that your essay most of the time a negative tone, you did not know what
reality is, you were shocked, and so on.
It would be no problem if this was what you were shooting for,
however since you mention being enchanted, i feel like you were shooting for something postive.
Also you mention respect for nature, which is a very interesting theme,
however you should introduce this earlier.

Hope this helps
OP nthnschgr 1 / 9  
Jan 1, 2012   #3
I'll keep that in mind. Do you have any comments about the ending? I ran out of characters, so I ended it abruptly.
22kcox 5 / 22  
Jan 1, 2012   #4
I would just suggest you want to sell yourself to the university not just pile questions on top of them, how has this idea contributed to your aspirations? How does this idea make you different then every other applicant. Also try and use all your characters. My philosophy is say as much as you can with what you got
m7md 4 / 16  
Jan 1, 2012   #5
i really like it! left me thinking about my life lol. keep it up and good luck:)
kryskripp 3 / 4  
Jan 1, 2012   #6
i thought this was really well worded! maybe in the end talk about what finding reality means to you or perhaps elaborate on how you gained respect for nature and life

if you have time, please comment on mine!

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