This is the short essay section of Stanford's Common App.
I am kind of more of an "angular student" rather than a "well-rounded" student. Under my extracurricular activities, music is basically my only activity. I am an internationally competing pianist, so it really does take up so much of my time. And so the inspiration behind most of my answers to these questions were related to piano. I am worried I don't seem well-rounded enough...
surprisingly fantastic roommate
Hi Future Roomie,
I've never lived with a roommate before, but I am absolutely ecstatic to meet you. At first, you'll probably think I'm quite ordinary, maybe a little on the shy side. I'm polite, but not that great with small talk. After you get to know me, though, you'll see that I can really be quite quirky and peculiar.
Ever since I was a little kid, I've had a tendency to generate crazy, spontaneous ideas out of the blue. I might even try to drag you along on a camping trip without any prior planning. On a more regular basis, though, I'd just like to share fun times together, maybe making a pizza or watching some Pingu episodes. One thing I'd definitely love to do is teach you piano. Or if you already play another instrument, please teach me! Even better, we could form an ensemble together!
Most of all, though, I am curious to learn about you. I'm a person who is genuinely interested in other people. I'm a caring, empathetic listener, but other times I talk a lot too. I've always been the loud, outgoing girl who laughs a lot and makes everyone else laugh. I have a lot of friends but what I value the most are deep friendships. I love having long, intellectual conversations that go late into the night. I think I learn something from every single person I meet, and I can't wait to find out: what will I learn from you?
music and its influenceWhat matters to you, and why? (100 to 250 words)
Four years ago, I would not have seen this question and immediately known how to answer. But now, I know for sure that what matters to me most is my music and the impact that it can make on other people.
Once when I was 13, I had a small recital in a local church. After the recital, an old lady in a wheelchair approached me. I assumed she was going to congratulate me on my performance, and I politely greeted her. However, her response was quite different from what I had expected. She grabbed my hands and suddenly began to cry. The younger lady with her then explained to me what the situation was. The older lady was her mother, and was going to be transferred to a hospice the following month. The old lady had been somehow touched by my performance, and wanted to ask if I had a recording, so she could play it during her days at the hospice.
This is perhaps the most moving experience I have had in all my seventeen years. The knowledge that another human being would want my music to be a part of their last days in this world was overwhelming to me. It brings me the greatest satisfaction to know that my years of hard work has allowed me to create such beautiful and influential music. I hope that for the rest of my life, I can continue to play for others and make their life a little better.
I am really worried that it seems like all I can do is play piano. This is only the Stanford one, but most of my applications are kind of like this, leaning heavily on my musical studies. Even my Common App essay is about music and how it impacted my life. Do you think I should try to write on other topics, even if I don't feel as genuine about them? Any help is much appreciated!!