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'first impressions are everything' - Boston University Review


Davemedsci 5 / 25  
Dec 31, 2011   #1
It is three weeks before the start of your freshman year at BU, and you are talking to your new roommate for the first time. Since you are trying to get to know each other, what are a few things you would want to share about who you are?

If there was one thing I learned throughout my life as a student is first impressions are everything. It would probably be a disaster if I got off on the wrong foot with my roommate for my first year of college, a step most vital in developing a sense of comfort at Boston University. There is definitely a hint of anxiety when preparing to meet a person who you will be spending a year or more living with, although I could probably track down his Facebook and learn his whole life before I meet him. Social networks are handy tools now days.

If it was three weeks before the start of my freshman year at BU I know everything would be more then chaotic. People are moving in, out, and all around and parents are trying to settle their precious children into a home for their next four or more years. If it was time for me to introduce myself to my roommate I would definitely relate to him the hectic process of moving into college and offer him any help if he needed. I always feel establishing myself as a helpful person. Once the probable anxiety between my roommate and I has vanished, I would definitely try to express my interests and find out common interests. I would let him know that my hobbies vary from recreational paintball to building computers and even to watching movies to days end. With such a wide range of hobbies, I keep an open mind to any new ideas or activities that my roommate would want to introduce to me. He would have to understand although to me school comes first I also like to explore the unique area that is Boston. I am as unique as they come, although there is one aspect of me that I would most likely note to my roommate.

To me probably my most unique aspect would be my obsession with decision theory and its appliance to everyday things. It is a very dense concept to comprehend and I would be amused if my roommate was familiar with the concept but I would overall want to establish that this theory effects how I think about the world and its surroundings. In a short synopsis I would probably explain that decision theory is the study of how each person's descions are determined through rationality and the effects of other people's descions against the original subject. I feel that this is an important concept to explain to my roommate because it is of vital importance to me and if he can understand how I think and analyze things, he can better understand who I am.

- working on conclusion
Notoman 20 / 419  
Dec 31, 2011   #2
Using active verbs instead of passive verbs would make a world of difference here. Look at the verbs: there was, learned, is, are, would, be, got, there is, could, are ...

There are a few grammatical errors (then when you need than, verb agreement, and missing commas).

Keep in mind the purpose of the essay. BU may be asking you what you would want to share with a roommate, but the essay should really be about what you want to share with BU. What qualities do you possess that would make you a good fit at BU? The small talk is just filler and detracts from the real message.
carochoi 3 / 22  
Dec 31, 2011   #3
This was an interesting essay because you took a different approach the roommate essay compared to most people. However, there is nothing that really makes this stand out. From an AO's point of view, this doesn't show your personality as much as they would like, because it focuses a lot about your first encounters with people. My recommendation is for you to be more specific about your traits and try to do something that will engage readers. Other than that, everything is fine.

If you have time, I would love for you to look at my Common App essay as well. Thanks!
altang1 3 / 10  
Dec 31, 2011   #4
Essay starts off very nice, but wording is kind of strange. Later you talk too much about unnecessary things. I'd say keep the first two sentences, but after that, go right into explaining who you are. You don't need the "Facebooking", "parents being nervous" and "helping him move in" parts. It's good that you start talking about your hobbies, but 1. wording/grammar is confusing 2. try to maybe elaborate as to show more of who you are through those activities. The last paragraph definitely shows more of who you are, but I had to read it a couple times to understand. I think I had a hard time understanding because the wording was a bit strange.

My revised version of last para: (but it might not sound like your "voice")
One thing that is unique to me is my strong interest in the decision theory. This is a study of how each person's descions are determined through rationality and the effects of other people's descions against the original subject (I don't know what the decision theory is and I still don't really understand from you short explanation). This overall concept affects how I look at the world and at its surroundings. (From here, I would elaborate more about how this theory affects your perspectives.)

Hope I wasn't too confusing! Good luck :)

and it'd be awesome if you could take a look at my essay!
OP Davemedsci 5 / 25  
Dec 31, 2011   #5
Thanks for the responses guys. This is my first draft so there will definitely be edited versions . I do understand what you are saying and i will cut out some of the small talk and fix all he grammatical errors and past tense and such. I really just wanted to do something different than most people did for the response of taking a third person view instead of first person because i feel it is outplayed. Il definitely be replacing many things , and im sorry but decision theory is very hard to explain and i have to work on a more simple explanation for the reader. Thanks guys and il be posting a revised version soon. If i have a chance i will help with your essays also.
OP Davemedsci 5 / 25  
Dec 31, 2011   #6
I edited the main idea of the second paragraph but i still feel im portraying a first time meeting over what i would like him to know . Any ideas on what to replace , remove edit ? I know the grammer isnt correct but bear with me please

If there was one thing I learned throughout my life as a student is first impressions are everything. It would probably be a disaster if I got off on the wrong foot with my roommate for my first year of college, a step most vital in developing a sense of comfort at Boston University. If it was time for me to introduce myself to my roommate I would definitely relate to him the hectic process of moving into college and offer him any help if he needed. I always feel establishing myself as a helpful person and lending a hand can go a long way. I am sure both of us felt at least a bit of anxiety before meeting so I would absolutely try to clear the air by expressing my interests and finding what we have in common. I would let him know that my hobbies vary from recreational paintball to building computers and even to watching movies to days end. With such a wide range of hobbies, I try to keep an open mind to any new ideas or activities that my roommate would want to introduce to me. He would have to understand although to me school comes first I also like to explore the unique area that is Boston and would be glad to see the sights with company. I am as unique as they come, although there is more than one aspect of me that I would most likely note to my roommate.
edwkoc 4 / 12  
Dec 31, 2011   #7
I think something that will help you is the fact that you take too much time introducing what you are about to say. We already know the prompt so because this is a limited essay you should get straight to just talking about what you would say. Even though you have great facts and many facts about yourself, I think to make this stand out you should elaborate on one or two of them. College look for personal stories that you can high light your qualities with. They don't want you to just list your qualities. So I think this is good, but the people above me are right. You can definitely make it stand out more like what exactly is the decision theory. You kind of just skimmed over that? You can use that to make an interesting concept. You can say that your knowledge of the decision theory will effect how you remember your first encounter with your roommate...or something like that. But that is definitely something that few applicants can bring up in their essay so use it to your advantage! :)

Good luck!
OP Davemedsci 5 / 25  
Dec 31, 2011   #8
Very good advice , thank you so much :)
Notoman 20 / 419  
Dec 31, 2011   #9
Here's a thought for an introduction:

As I meet my roommate for the first time, my mind runs through various scenarios and assigns numerical probabilities. Each thing he says, each action and perceived emotion changes the data entering my brain, and I struggle to keep up. I want to make a good first impression, to maximize the likelihood of a positive outcome, but my obsession with decision theory probably should wait until we are a little more settled. The concept is too difficult to explain while we heft boxes up flights of stairs.
OP Davemedsci 5 / 25  
Dec 31, 2011   #10
As I meet my roommate for the first time, my mind runs through various scenarios and assigns probabilities. Each thing he says, each action and perceived emotion changes the data entering my brain, and I struggle to keep up. I want to make a good first impression, to maximize the likelihood of a positive outcome, but my obsession with decision theory probably should wait until we are a little more settled. The concept is too difficult to explain while we heft boxes up flights of stairs.

To me probably my most unique aspect would be my obsession with decision theory, and game theory and its appliance to everyday things. It is a very dense concept to comprehend and I would be amused if my roommate was familiar with the concept but I would overall want to establish that these two theories' effects how I think about the world and its surroundings. I'd explain that decision theory combined with game theory presents a concept called competing decision makers. These descions take into account the other possibilities of different individuals to respond and to what rational or benefit. A classic example is a possible flu pandemic. If a person believes there will be an outbreak of flu virus tomorrow, he has two choices, get the flu shot or not to get it. Most likely the idea of a flu pandemic will cause his to receive the flu shot. Now what if every person is also competing to receive a flu shot and there are non-left. This person is now in a dilemma which was created from his rational to receive a flu shot. Overall you can predict almost every possible rational judgment and person will make and where this decision will place them. I feel that this is an important concept to explain to my roommate because it is of vital importance to me and if he can understand how I think and analyze things, he can better understand who I am. It would probably be a memorable occasion, as I will remember my first encounter with my roommate was to try to explain a concept that takes years to comprehend.

How about this?
its_spacely - / 13  
Jan 1, 2012   #11
My revision suggestions:

To me, the most unique thing about myself would probably be my fixation with decision theory and game theory, and the appliance of both to everyday life (not sure if life would work here, so you might want to try words like matters or occurrences - a thesaurus will help you). Each are very dense concepts to comprehend - and I would be amused if my roommate was familiar with either - but overall, I would be keen to establish that the effects of these two theories on how I think about the world and its surroundings. I'd explain that decision theory, combined with game theory, presents a concept called 'competing decision-makers'. These decisions take into account the other possibilities of different individuals to respond and to what rational or benefit (I don't really understand this sentence so if you could explain what you mean or reword it I'll be able to help). A classic example is a possible flu pandemic; if a person believes there will be an outbreak of flu virus tomorrow, he has two choices: he could have the flu vaccination, or not. Most likely, the idea of a flu pandemic will cause him to take the vaccination. Now, take the possibility that every person is also competing for one, and there are none left. The original person is now in a dilemma, born from his rational (is rational a noun when talking in this context? I'm not as familiar with these concepts as you are but you might need to say "rational decision" or "rational choice") to receive the flu shot. Overall, you can predict almost every possible rational judgment a person will make, and where this decision will place them. I believe this is an crucial concept to explain to my roommate because its vital importance to me, and if he can understand how I think and analyze matters, he can better understand who I am. It would be a memorable occasion, as I would always recall that my first encounter with my roommate involved my trying to explain a concept that, for most, takes years to comprehend.


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