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A Bold but Quick Move - Stanford Intellectual Vitality Supplement Essay

insanesoul81994 10 / 30  
Dec 30, 2011   #1
Could I get advice/suggestions on this essay? I'm about 480 characters above the limit, so I need to find something to cut. Thanks!
Prompt:Stanford students possess intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development.

"It's your turn."

My closest cousins had become my arch enemies in a world war being fought with tiny figurines of soldiers, horses, and cannons. We were playing the board game Risk. The object of the game was to conquer other territories with the armies given to us.

I wracked my brain trying to figure out where to move next. Winning battles required planning carefully and making quick but bold decisions. While growing up, this was a difficult concept for me to grasp. I never enjoyed taking risks because I was always afraid of the outcome. For many people, making decisions came naturally. Yet for me making a decision was never an easy thing for me to do. What if my friends think poorly about me? What if no one enjoys my act in the talent show? My fear was that if the decision went badly, then I would forever live with the consequences.

Then I thought about my parents and the decisions that they have made. When my father closed down his business, he chose to involve himself in real estate, a field that was dying. The decision he made was quick but bold. In the end, my father came out of real estate having almost putting our family into bankruptcy. Yet he kept both feet on the ground and continued making his decisions boldly. He eventually became a manager in another business, and our family prospered financially. Despite the fact that things did not turn out the way my father had hoped, he knew that that one decision was not the end of it all. In the same way, I realized that I did not have to put so much emphasis upon my decisions. Life was not determined by the outcome of a single decision, but rather what I chose to make out of the results.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that in Risk, there is never one perfect move. Victory is only achieved through the cumulative outcome of every decision made in the game. Sometimes making decisions for me may feel like challenging a territory containing a larger army than mine. It feels like life is hinged upon that decision and the consequences that follow. But instead of attempting to create the perfect outcome from a single decision, I should focus on making my decisions boldly knowing that regardless of the outcome, a single decision alone cannot determine who I am. Even when the odds are against me, it is up to me to take the risks necessary to achieve my goal.

My cousins were staring at me, and I realized they were waiting for me to finish. With a new-found confidence, I made my move.
deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 30, 2011   #2
The prompt is to talk about one experience or idea.
It is not visible in your essay whether you talk about an experience which has been important to you.
So if the thing you would like to talk about is your father's decision making, you should place it more prominently and
describe it more vividly, so that it really becomes an experience.
Is your experience playing Risk with your cousins?
Or is the idea that has influenced your intellectual development that decisions are not everything?
However, the last thing: I really do not know if decisions are not important is the kind of intellectual development Stanford wants to have.
1. They want leaders.
2. It at times seems to be about personal development rather than intellectual.

Hope this could help.

By the way, would you like to check out my essay?

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