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'smiling at strangers' - stanford essay - what matters to you and why?


runner57 3 / 9  
Dec 28, 2011   #1
Hi! I just whipped this essay up, and any advice would be greatly appreciated! I didn't really know what direction to take with it and I'm afraid it's incredibly cheesy, so don't be afraid to be harsh.

I don't know if you do this, but in my family, once a year, my mom makes us gather up all our belongings and throw out everything we don't need. As a packrat, I dread that time of year more than anything. Throw out my recorder I learned to play in third grade? Never. I have an incredibly hard time throwing things out, and maybe that's due to my outlook on life. Everything matters to me. My family, my friends, and my teammates, of course. Clearly my education and my freedom matter to me. Like everyone, these things keep me going when I think I can't go any further. But my life is impacted by so much more than these things. I find hope in smiling at strangers and watching couples walk by holding hands. I live in a world where everything is inspiring: National Geographic documentaries, finishing an unbelievable workout, watching planes take off. I live my life by cheesy quotes and I like making up adventures in my mind. I live to go on runs where my only care in the world is the fresh air around me. Things that many people take for granted are the things that get me going ï laughing with old friends, belting out a song in the car, waking up early just to watch the sun paint the sky a perfect combination of orange and pink. Albert Einstein said, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." All these little miracles matter to me. Life matters to me.

zkachmer 5 / 11  
Dec 28, 2011   #2
I like this response. The introduction with the story with your mom gives you a good way of saying that everything matters to you, then going into detail. You give good personal specifics too with the Nat Geo and interest in quotes. Overall, really good.
ZhoeK 5 / 173  
Dec 28, 2011   #3
I loved your essay! Its so sincere and yet inspiring really.
But the starting could use more pizzazz and I think "All these little miracles matter to me" would make a better ending.

Suggestion: Every year my family gathers all our belongings and throw away items we do not need. As a packrat, I dread this time of year more than anything. "Throw away my recorder that I learned to play in the third grade?" Never.

Hope this helps! If you don't mind could you take a look at my revised common app. essay. Thanks!
angaduday 4 / 4  
Dec 28, 2011   #4
I really like the authenticity of this. Few suggestions...
(1st Para)As a family tradition, my mom....
OP runner57 3 / 9  
Dec 28, 2011   #5
Thanks so much everyone!


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