I have 2 draft ideas. I struggled and struggled, and I can't seem to decide which one addresses the prompt better. Please help me decide. And any comments on either of them are deeply appreciated.
Prompt: Tell us what makes Stanford a good place for you. (250 words or less)
----------- Idea 1 -------------
I often use Wikipedia as a resource or supplement to my schoolwork. I always enjoy reading deeper into the subject at hand, and browsing other related articles. And this chain-reading can be endless, which is a sign of knowledge "big bang."
I am interested in many subjects. However, my pace of developing any specific interests can't seem ever to match the speed of ever-expanding universe of knowledge. I feel I have been pulled into so many different directions. If I am forced to declare my interest, I would say I am mostly interested in biology, psychology and possibly music technology.
Coming to my aid is a college guide book, Choosing the Right College
. Two review comments on Stanford, one positive and one negative, convinced me that Stanford is an ideal university for me.
The first comment appraises the world-renowned programs in all four disciplinary areas-humanities, social science, engineering and natural sciences. Although I lean more in the direction of natural science, I know I would enjoy exploring other subject areas, and look for opportunities to make a connection between the seemingly different subjects.
The second comment critiques Stanford's gradual shift towards high-tech, specializing in solving the question of "how" to achieve a goal and possibly forgetting the fine art of asking "why." However, I think this goal-driven approach to higher education is useful in our time for dealing with the explosion of knowledge and developing a person's interests effectively and quickly. I definitely would like to develop my interest before I need to decide on my major in college.
------------- 2nd idea --------------
I'm sitting in a park right now as I'm writing this. It's a cool afternoon, and the park is completely silent. The quietness of the park, combined with the size gives my mind space to roam. One of the best things that I like about working in an environment such as this is that not only does it help efficiency, but it contributes to the quality of work as well.
I've written many different drafts for this prompt now, but I've discarded all of them because there's always the nagging feeling that the essays just don't do justice. This topic has frustrated me the most, because I just didn't know what write about. I've written a lot about Stanford's academics, but I felt that I was only covering the obvious, since Stanford is so renowned.
But being in the park has helped me realize what I appreciate about Stanford. Stanford has the largest contiguous campus in the US, and not to mention one of quietest and most aesthetic as well. It sits in a suburban setting, and is far away from the noisy city (walking distance, anyways). I've always believed that the environment one studies in is an important factor, because it helps determine what you get out of it. When I visited Stanford, I experienced the same feelings that I do now, as I sit in this little park: a sense of calming and liberation, and peace that is without distractions and allow me think openly. And I think that it is the combination of this environment as well as Stanford's academic vigor that will help me get the best out of college.