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'Your interests / Individuality' - Stanford - Roommate letter & What Matters

Birdiee 6 / 35 1  
Sep 25, 2012   #1
Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate - and us - know you better

Dear Roommate,
Well, I've never had a roommate before, but I'm really excited to meet you! Actually, the closest roommate experience I've ever had was as a sophomore when us 'bandos' and 'orchadorks' took our biennial trip; that trip was to Atlanta, Georgia. I roomed with two seniors and a close friend, also a sophomore; all of us were proud string players. I play the violin, but my main instrument is the piano. My exposure to these classical instruments began during my childhood; my parents always played classical music on the car radio, but I hated it. I never really had an appreciation for classical music until my seventh year of piano lessons, which was also freshman year of high school.

Not only was my piano repertoire becoming more challenging (I had switched to a new teacher), the high school orchestra performed pieces listed as 'Class A', the highest level music that high school orchestras performed at the State Orchestra Contest. At first I was nervous for both of these experiences, but a few months into the year I willingly accepted the challenge because I had a fantastic opportunity of becoming a great musician.

Within the past few years, classical music became a significant part of my life. If you decide to ask to look at my Zune (yes, Zune. I don't do iPod.), I'll gladly hand it over, but be warned as 70% of my music is classical and includes piano concertos/solos (my favorite is Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor) along with a huge collection of instrumental movie soundtracks (the best those composed by Hans Zimmer). I even have an album of music recorded by our own orchestra! The other 30% is a mixture of alternative rock, indie, and popular.

Feel free to listen to any of them! I always enjoy listening to some tracks from the Batman soundtracks while doing my Physics homework because it makes me feel epic as I solve rope tension problems (maybe that's why Batman could never climb out of that pit).

I hope you've learned a bit about me through this letter. Again, I'm very excited to learn about you and your interests whether it be in sports, music, and/or academics.

Your Roommate,
Peg R

What matters to you, and why?
When I first moved to CITY, I was extremely excited to start second grade and make new friends. Within a few weeks, I had befriended three people and was still eager to form new friendships. The year had ended with me a friend to everyone. But that changed part way through fourth grade when I was made fun of behind my back for what I looked like and also because I had just discovered my fascination with birds. As fifth grade began so did the cliques, and they only got worse by the following year. I still had my close group of friends, but I was bothered when I heard stories of others judging me.

In middle school, I decided to try to change my look in order to fit in with the other girls. That meant wearing tight pants, flat-footed shoes, and extremely tight shirts that required several layers. It also meant caking my face in make-up, but I could not stand the stuff, so I didn't even consider that. I felt stressed and became extremely self-conscious while wearing the style. So, after a week, I reverted back to my old tomboy style of jeans, socks, tennis shoes, a normal T-shirt, and the best part: a fluffy hoodie. This was the look I felt confident in; this look defined me.

My peers heavily judged me based on my physical appearance and my interests without actually taking the time to have a legitimate conversation with me. I didn't want to be like them; I was striving to become my own person. I was happy that I had a group of friends where we all respected and accepted each other. I enjoyed solving the Rubik's Cube, playing ping pong, or playing a good game of chess. Yes, these are extremely nerdy things, but these things are what make me happy and define me as an individual.

Individuality is something I could only accomplish by doing things only I accepted. There was no point in changing my interests to fit what others 'approved of'. It just wasn't worth it. I'm extremely happy with my look and I could never change to a new look that I didn't show 'me'.
OP Birdiee 6 / 35 1  
Oct 6, 2012   #2
I will gladly help you with your essays!!! :D :D desperate right now!
Heina 5 / 14 4  
Oct 7, 2012   #3
You should not use the contraction of words
OP Birdiee 6 / 35 1  
Oct 7, 2012   #4
ok thanks!!
LillyCullenT 2 / 16  
Oct 7, 2012   #5
Honestly, I love your answers. Especially the first one. But, I sense that you are using a very mundane style of writing. Try to innovate! THIS IS Stanford!

But OVERALL, you've done a great job!

Keep up the good work
OP Birdiee 6 / 35 1  
Oct 7, 2012   #6
wow, thanks! Do you happen to have any tips on how to improve?
OP Birdiee 6 / 35 1  
Oct 10, 2012   #7
please I'm desperate!! :D :D ANY and ALL help is appreciated!
LillyCullenT 2 / 16  
Oct 13, 2012   #8
Birdie, let me tell you something. Consider it an advice or a tip.

Write with your heart!!! DON'T you ever write what you think the Admission's comittee would love to see or read! Don't think about them, just focus on yourself, on that heart of yours, listen to its beats and write. I promise you it will lead you to the perfect words, eventually.

I hope I helped in any way!
BEST of luck,
voteforandy1 5 / 15 1  
Oct 14, 2012   #9
I think it might be considered cliche. Everyone goes through a time in their life like this where they are judged and they realize that others' judgement is meaningless because he or she is unique and blah blah blah. The college essay (correct me if I'm wrong), is more about how you think than who you are. Try writing a piece on watching clouds, or something super boring. It's character building. I wrote an essay like this about my experience joining football because of peer pressure. I felt that my story was unique, but it didn't matter because the theme of maturation and growing up was cliche and overused.
OP Birdiee 6 / 35 1  
Oct 14, 2012   #10
Walking towards my locker, I passed a group of whispering girls. They stared at me as I grabbed my sweatshirt from the hook and proceeded to pull it over my head. A disturbing feeling fell over me as I headed back to class, dreading the moment I would have to pass the girls.

"What in the world is she wearing?" I looked down at my sweater. Nothing was wrong.
"She's just like all the other nerds." I rushed back to class. What had I ever done to them? Fellow freshmen were picking on me for no reason, and I wanted it to stop.

I decided to change my appearance to skinny jeans, flat-footed shoes, and choking shirts. However, while I sported the uncomfortable style, I felt stressed and extremely self-conscious, so I reverted back to my old 'jeans and a T-shirt'. I felt hopeless, those girls were right. I wasn't different from anyone.

So I chose to use my similarities to outline my differences. I spent time talking to my peers and listening to what they had to say. I tried to put myself in their shoes and look through their eyes in order to understand them. It was only appropriate for me to accept my peers for their backgrounds and experiences, not by a superficial glance. I may be stereotyped with 'nerds,' but I am not an exact replica of a nerd. I am a human who tries to empathize with others.

Empathy matters to me because it allows me to become an individual. Being similar has helped make me a totally different person with different views. I will admit that I sometimes tend to judge people, but I stop and ask myself if I actually know the person at all before I make a decision about him/her. By being empathetic, I have grown to respect people and society.

I'm getting stuck and would appreciate help!
kathytheson 5 / 12  
Oct 14, 2012   #11
It's a decent essay but I would try and hook the reader more because this is Stanford and they have high standards on how you get them hooked into your story
OP Birdiee 6 / 35 1  
Oct 14, 2012   #12
how about the rest of it

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