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"dance my worries away" - stanford supplement: letter to roommate


anhammond 3 / 28  
Dec 21, 2009   #1
i've read this essay over a thousand times and i could use some fresh eyes on my topic, tone, and message i want to send in this essay

Tell us something about you that will help your future roommate -- and us -- know you better.

Dear Roomie,
My hair is tousled and messy as it flies around my head, only loosely attached. My face is glistening with sweat but a giant smile still spreads between my ears. I could be preparing for a hot date, my next class, or even a lunch with a friend. But don't worry, I'll try to not be in your way.

Dancing is a routine activity. My audience is usually just me and my mirror image but since we will be living together, you are welcome to watch (and join in!).

Personal dance parties are most common when I am stressed. At the end of my junior year I took a total of 5 high stakes tests including the SAT's, two AP tests, and my first IB exam. Every morning before a new test, I woke up, got ready for school and then plugged in my iPod and danced in front of my mirror to my favorite jams. The exercise gave me energy, the tunes gave me something to think about, and when I showed up to the exam room, I was jitter-free and ready to go.

Dancing is also worked into almost every action of mine throughout the day. Walking always includes an extra swing of the hips. If I am in a less crowded area fist pumps and shoulder shrugs are sometimes added, but once I get into a rhythm the risk of looking crazy to passersby dramatically decreases. Showering is the perfect release for my energy. I am totally alone and the walls have great acoustics for singing. Sometimes I run up stairs and brush my teeth to the beat or work in a few head bobs during a work out. Usually I dance in front of the microwave while I wait for my morning egg to finish cooking.

I cannot wait to have a roommate to share my energy with so I made a list of all our dorm room essentials for our endless dance parties. The most important would have to be speakers. They can't be so loud that they annoy our neighbors but so quiet that we can barely hear the music over our own voices. Second are objects that can double as microphones. Hairbrushes, shampoo bottles, pens, pencils, remotes, and flat irons are perfect. I have resorted to using my fist in the past but having a real microphone makes the experience much better. Make sure that breakables are out of sight while we are dancing. I am known for my clumsiness. We also must have a mini fridge. Dancing is exercise so sustenance and hydration will be needed to keep us from getting tired.

Don't ever feel nervous or insecure around me when I am dancing. The fact that I am dancing most likely means that I am nervous too. It is daunting to know that six months from now I will be on my own. My parents won't be there to make me soup when I am sick, comfort me when I am stressed, and protect me from the predators that are the real world. But that just gives me all the more reason to get my groove on. I'll just tune in, rock out, and dance my worries away.
citadel01 2 / 5  
Dec 22, 2009   #2
I believe that this prompt isn't supposed to be answered in a letter format, since the prompt says that it's supposed to let the roommate and the admission officers know you better.

With that said, you did very well having your thesis pervade throughout the entire essay.

We also must have a mini fridge. Dancing is exercise so sustenance and hydration will be needed to keep us from getting tired.

I'm not entirely sure this fits with the essay, since while they do fit the topic of that paragraph, they don't really help answer the prompt. However, that's just my own opinion.
Wanderer_x 5 / 88  
Dec 22, 2009   #3
A really interesting piece!!!

Few suggestions: "Make sure that breakables are out of sight while we are dancing"...make sure sounds like an order...Make it "We ought to make sure...or We should make sure..."

"and protect me from the predators that are the real world"...does not sound right. maybe "predators out there in the real world" would sound better.

Ending sounds a bit abrupt. What you can still add at last: "Dont worry if you hate dancing. I will make you fall in love with it!" Or "Dont worry if you hate dancing. I will dance all along without ever troubling you. Both way, we will surely have some fun together." ...

That was just my opinion.
Cheers!!

If you'd like to help me with mine:
OP anhammond 3 / 28  
Dec 23, 2009   #4
i see what your saying about the roommate and admission officer thing, but i like the letter format because it makes the essay a little more creative. the other two prompts for the supplement aren't as lenient so i thought i'd get it out here.

but i did like your other suggestion, ive been having trouble cutting the wordyness of the essay out too and i noticed that some of the stuff i wrote, like the fridge thing, could just be cut out entirely.

thank you for the comments. i really appreciate the fresh perspective. i have other essays for this supplement if you guys wouldn't mind checking them out.

thank you!
dizzydaydreams 5 / 26  
Dec 23, 2009   #5
i relly like your creativity and I'm sure the admissions office will appreciate it also...i like your idea of showing your personality through dancing and your own quirks...however you might want to illustrate what these quirks will bring/contribute? just an idea...right now it just sounds like you dance to free your energy and to let go of your nerves...you sound inviting and outgoing...i agree that the mini fridge is totally unneeded. out of nowehre you bring in the dancing is exercise and it doesnt help the flow of the essay.

JOB WELL DONE!
GOOD LUCK!!
cattiesim - / 3  
Dec 23, 2009   #6
I've been having trouble myself with this question - great response!

I like your essay quite a lot, though I would change/nix the sentence "protect me from the predators that are the real world" because it sounds a bit dramatic, or like you're one of those people afraid to leave the house because the world is too scary, etc. At least taking out the word "predators" would make it better. That's the only part that bothered me when I read your essay.

Besides that, I think this essay is a great response to this question!
Katsch 4 / 63  
Dec 23, 2009   #7
Actually, I'm pretty sure a lot of people write this prompt as a letter. So it's not a completely original idea, but it won't hurt you.

as it flies around my head, only loosely attached.

Loosely tied? Loosely attached makes it sound like your hair will start falling out any second.

Dancing is also worked into almost every action of mine throughout the day

If I am in a less crowded area fist pumps and shoulder shrugs are sometimes added

I also work dancing into almost every action I do throughout the day. Try to avoid passive tense.

And I agree about the part about predators, sounds a little creepy/dramatic.

Otherwise, your voice definitely shows through, this is a very honest piece of writing. Good work!
OP anhammond 3 / 28  
Dec 23, 2009   #8
thank you for catching the passive voice stuff. i had trouble editing that out in another essay of mine. i also go rid of the predator phrase and just ended the sentence after stressed.

im really glad that you guys thought that the essay showed how outgoing and quirky i am. i really wanted to show the admissions officers with this essay how i respond to meeting new people (my roommate) and stress (i dance).


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