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'multiple times' + 'raised in Jamaica' + 'strenuous exercise' Stanford Supplements

RGarvey 2 / 8  
Dec 21, 2011   #1
I need help with all three of these essays please! I want to hear all opinions, harsh comments, etc.
It would be much appreciated!

Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development.

I was warned not once nor twice, but multiple times. I thought I understood my body, but clearly I didn't. Now, my shoulders pain and I can barely lift my arms or even move them. It was my first time registering for a gym and I felt elated when I first set foot inside; ready to embark on a muscle building journey. I spoke to the instructor after warming up and he told me to complete 100 pushups. He said it as if it was a small number, but I wasn't shocked because I didn't think it was much either. I comfortably and quickly did 20, thinking I was well on my way. Before I did any more he instructed me to do them slower. I thought that it couldn't be much harder and continued. To my surprise, I was struggling before even reaching the half way mark. It was when I reached 60 that I couldn't do more than one at a time; and when I reached 68 that I couldn't do anymore. However, this wasn't near what my mind was saying but was exactly what my body was screaming. I was convinced that I could complete the total 100 pushups and so I tried for another 20 minutes in which I couldn't even complete another one. I felt compelled to stop there and move on. I left the gym with my arms like noodles; not even the slightest amount of strength in them. It was the morning after that the gruesome pain presented itself. Growing through primary and high school we were taught that 'What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve'. Up until this week I had never analyzed this statement, I understood it as simply as it appeared. I didn't realize that even though you can accomplish something if you believe you can, it takes work. You can't reach to the top of a ladder without climbing its steps, and this is a life lesson I can boast that I learned from experience. It's only a pity that I've yet to set foot in the gym a second time. I should be there next week though, with a better mind set of course.

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 Future Roommate,

It's nice that I get to write to you before we meet. I am Richard Garvey and was born and raised in Jamaica. I expect that you'll be from another country so it might be a bit difficult for you to understand my accent. You'll get used to it though. I am really looking forward to living with someone my age and am almost certain we're going to get along. I'm a soccer fanatic and so most times you see me I'll be with or around a soccer ball. I also have a passion for sports in general and am a very competitive person. I don't compete for bragging rights though, just for the fun of it. Therefore you should expect that I'm not a sore winner but can sometimes be a sore loser, but I'm sure you'll warm up to me. I am also a very opinionated person so I'm sure we'll enjoy some heated debates. I am open to knowledge, so I'm sure I'll be able to learn from you and hopefully share in your interests too. When you see me, there is a very high chance that there will be a smile on my face because I smile a lot. Others try to convince me that I'm an attention seeking person, but I disagree. I just like to make everyone and anyone around me smile. Everything, of course, won't be so peachy because we are humans and we will have differences. However, we should be able to learn to resolve our conflicts and live together comfortably. One thing that is notable about me is that I like to take charge and be in control. If you're submissive then we shouldn't have any problems, but if we have similar personalities, we'll have to find some mutual ground. One thing that isn't debatable however is that the room has to always be neat and clean. I predict that this will be a wonderful and educational experience. I hope you are equally enthusiastic about having a roommate. I am looking forward to our laughs and struggles; our ups and downs; our time together.

Yours truly,
Richard Garvey.

What matters to you, and why?

Learning to walk as a baby had to be a strenuous exercise. Every time you fell you'd have to get up and try again. Being only a baby, would that be possible without the help of someone else? My family has always been there for me and although sometimes I think I don't need them anymore, I know that they are still helping me up when I'm down. As I grow older, I'm sure it gets more difficult, but I now have friends to help provide assistance. I love and appreciate everyone around me and wouldn't want them to be any different.

Almost all my life I've been playing soccer. It has grown to be a part of me and has reserved a spot in my heart. It has always been such a significant part of my life and I don't know what life would be like without it. Furthermore, I have managed to maintain a high standard academically through hard work and still perform at a high level in soccer. It is one of my admirable qualities and has inspired others. My future is also very important to me and helps to motivate me to work hard everyday. All these things and many others are a big part of my life.

I always imagine what it would be like if I lived in a big house, with my parents driving top-class cars; a life where we only dined on the finest of foods with the latest technological equipment available instantaneously. This life may seem like the dream life, but I would never trade my life for a life like this; simply because I am happy. I wouldn't want my life to be any different. All these things matter to me and are important in my life for the sole broad reason that they make me happy. Happiness is what makes me want to wake up every morning and drives me to most of my achievements. Smiles, laughter and happiness in general are believed to be contagious; and so it is nice that I am able to give back by instilling happiness into all persons that surround me.

Thank you!
WelcomeCollege 3 / 10  
Dec 21, 2011   #2
Great Essays!
Some Corrections:
First Essay:
1. My shoulders pain--My shoudlers were painful
2. I can barely lift my arm--I could barely lift my arm (past tense)
Make sure to proofread! I understand you are from Jamaica, but English grammar is crucial in college admission
Too much narrative and no description tied to Stanford or how this experience affected you
Somewhat colloquial
However the topic is fascinating, just expand it--like how this taught you persistence, etc
Second Essay--Roomate
This essay is light-hearted and simple. It is very appropriate for this topic.
Good Luck on your Stanford journey and please edit my thread "Havard Essay HELP NEEDED"
tcohen 1 / 24  
Dec 21, 2011   #3
I know that they still help me up when I'm down.

-- made a few changes to this sentence

i think your last essay highlights a lot that is important to you, which is great! However, I think that it is a little jumpy and you should work on some transitions.

I love your future roommate piece! It's fun and not too serious, which I think the admissions people will appreciate.

Good luck with everything !
DesiGirl 9 / 52  
Dec 21, 2011   #4
I like your roommate essay. I think you need to improve the flow of the 3rd one just a bit and fix the grammar; but otherwise, great job!!! Could you look at my Stanford essay?
ItsokaytoGaga 15 / 96  
Dec 21, 2011   #5
Hey Richard!

Okay here goes -

Essay 1:
Your essay started at a seemingly trivial experience, but by the end of the essay it shows that it had a much more impact on you. Great job! It was really amusing in bits. However, I am still not completely convinced if this shows your growth as an intellectual to its full capacity. May be I am wrong, but it's well written nevertheless! :) :)

Essay 2:
This one is really amusing. :) I like it! I suggest you get rid of "Hello Future Roommate" cause I have seen it in almost every Stanford essay! :o Start with something really off the regular. It would definitely elevate your essay more!


Therefore you should expect that I'm not a sore winner but can sometimes be a sore loser, but I'm sure you'll warm up to me. I am also a very opinionated person so I'm sure we'll enjoy some heated debates. I am open to knowledge, so I'm sure I'll be able to learn from you and hopefully share in your interests too.

there's nothing wrong with this, but I you've used "I'm sure" three times in three consecutive sentences. It kind of puts your writing down and makes it sound less cohesive.

If you could rephrase these sentences, it would help! :)

Essay 3:
This essay is fine, but somewhere I feel it's not on par with your other two essays. For you - it's family, friends, love, soccer and most importantly happiness that matters most right? These are really great things to write about. If you could work at this essay more I think you would be great! :)

I hope I could help you enough!

PLEASE read the edited response to my commonapp essay and critique it if you could. I would really appreciate your help! Thanks!
OP RGarvey 2 / 8  
Dec 21, 2011   #6
Thanks all for your comments and advice!

I will definitely make the adjustments.
I was not sure about the flow of the third essay and I appreciate the confirmation. I will put a little more time and work in it and post the revised essay soon enough.

Thanks again! :)

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