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Something about me that will help my roommate know me better


freezard7734 17 / 209  
Aug 5, 2010   #1
Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. What would you want your future roommate to know about you? Tell us something about you that will help your roommate-and us-know you better.

I remember it dreadfully well; the calamity completely soiled my perceptions of humanity and maimed my personality. For years, my closest friends had sympathetically acknowledged my childhood illness that bleached portions of my skin and understood the origins of my broken English; however, they suddenly betrayed my trust for mere popularity and criticized my white spots and mocked my accents. Their perfidy cursed me with paranoia.

All my life, I had been instilled with the value of friendship and taught that, despite schisms and quarrels, true friends would unconditionally look after each other. However, after futile attempts to mediate their cruelty, I, shocked and helpless, resorted to seek teacher assistance. Even though my friends ceased their torment, they eventually deserted me. Soon I became afflicted with loneliness and, thereafter, found it difficult to trust others and make new, trustworthy friends.

Fortunately, an empathetic swim-mate helped me recover my trust in others. When I confided my woes in her, she taught me that true friends should reconcile after occasional quibbles and relieved me of aloofness. Through her counsel, I learned to forgive those friends and to develop new relationships. Although memories of the incident still cause me to behave gruffly occasionally, I am mostly sympathetic to others since I understand the abominable torture of betrayal and solitude.

Nevertheless, I still maintain that friendship is not a petty trinket to be traded for superficial approval. Friends should unconditionally support each other, and true friendship should last a lifetime. Within our dorm room, I hope to establish another lasting friendship.

jazlovesbowie 1 / 2  
Aug 6, 2010   #2
Wow. You are a really good writer, I don't see any grammatical errors to go after. You have a very good vocabulary. But, I must say that your essay sounds a bit harsh. It does sound like a horrible experience for you...

Soon I became afflicted by loneliness and developed disgust for humanity.

This is the sentence that really got me. The disgust for humanity part is really cold. Maybe you could omit it.
And maybe in your last paragraph you can talk about your hope to make new lasting friends around campus as well. Or something a bit more warm and welcoming.
ershad193 14 / 337 5  
Aug 6, 2010   #3
afflicted by loneliness -- I'm not sure about this, but I think it should be "with".

cursed me with paranoia -- this is a very strong word. Are you really implying this, or did you just choose it for the effect?

new trustworthy friends

"Trustworthy" seems redundant here. Friends are supposed to be trustworthy, otherwise they are not friends. I think I understand why you used it though. If you want to keep it, you may include the word in quotes, like this -- new "trustworthy" friends.

This is a good essay. You write well.

One more thing -- I have seen a lot of people who are not friends with their roommates. So what would you do if your roommate is an extreme introvert and doesn't like friends?

^^ This is not important. Just some additional food for thought.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Aug 6, 2010   #4
I remember it dreadfully well;

Excellent! This is a great way to say it...

...betrayed my trust for mere popularity and criticized my white spots and mocked my accents. (Right here, I think you should add a thesis sentence. Add a sentence to the end of this first paragraph so that reader can share in the insight that will be the focus of the essay. Write your most powerful sentence at the end of this first para. :-)

I don't think this works:
All my life, I had been ingrained with the...
I think you cannot be ingrained with something, but I might be wrong. I would do this:
All my life, I had my family worked to instill in me ...

This is pretty great!! You have some excellent sentences... such as... Despite that disillusioning experience, I still maintain that friendship is not a petty trinket to be traded for superficial qualities.
OP freezard7734 17 / 209  
Aug 6, 2010   #5
Everyone, thank you for your advice and comments! I really appreciate your help.

This is the sentence that really got me. The disgust for humanity part is really cold.

Although it is somewhat of an exaggeration, I added it for effect, to show how much it had shocked me. If it's too harsh, I can soften in a little... maybe: "Soon I became afflicted with loneliness and became distrustful of humanity." ... although I'm not sure how I can create the same effect. My idea was to start out a little extreme (as I was only a small kid then) and later show my progress and improvement.

And maybe in your last paragraph you can talk about your hope to make new lasting friends around campus as well. Or something a bit more warm and welcoming.

Well... I decided against that, because the main point of the essay was for the roommate to get to know me better. So I thought keeping it personal would be more effective. But thanks for the tip anyways :)

afflicted by loneliness -- I'm not sure about this, but I think it should be "with".

cursed me with paranoia -- this is a very strong word. Are you really implying this, or did you just choose it for the effect?

Thanks for the tips. About, paranoia - I chose not only for the effect, but also because I do mean it. I actually left out some details because it would take to much room, but if you care, what actually happened is that the teacher encouraged me to fight back, which was appalling to me. After that, until around 9-10th grade, I became introverted and very independent to the point that some of the teachers found it unnerving... -.-

But again, thanks for the comments!

One more thing -- I have seen a lot of people who are not friends with their roommates. So what would you do if your roommate is an extreme introvert and doesn't like friends?

Ummm... well, this essay is intended for the roommate to know me better, so it's more of a heads-up to my roommate of what kind of person I am. :] But it is an interesting thought...

...betrayed my trust for mere popularity and criticized my white spots and mocked my accents. (Right here, I think you should add a thesis sentence. Add a sentence to the end of this first paragraph so that reader can share in the insight that will be the focus of the essay. Write your most powerful sentence at the end of this first para. :-)

Hmmm... do you think it would be better if I moved the sentence:
"The calamity destroyed my trust and cursed me with paranoia."
to the end of the first paragraph and change it to:
"Their perfidy destroyed my trust and cursed me with paranoia."

All my life, I had been ingrained with the...
I think you cannot be ingrained with something, but I might be wrong. I would do this:
All my life, I had my family worked to instill in me ...

I think it can work... but I'll change it to be safe :). Thanks for the help!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Aug 8, 2010   #6
Let me see... I am reading the new draft...

Take the s off the end of accents. It is just singular: accent

I don't know what perfidy means!! ha ha...

I think this is more powerful:
"Their perfidy cursed me with paranoia."---- I may be wrong, but I think it is redundant to say destroyed my trust AND cursed me with paranoia.

I like the way you did this.
Here is one more idea:
...is not a petty trinket to be traded for superficial qualities (replace this with something else... trading friendship for 'qualities' does not make sense.

Friends should unconditionally support each other, and true friendship should last a lifetime. --- sometimes this is not true... friendship can be fleeting even when true, and sometimes it requires that support be withdrawn as a way of expressing disapproval. I think this sentence might be a weak one. It is a little bit cliche, and sort of untrue.

Within my our dorm room, I hope to establish another lasting friendship.
OP freezard7734 17 / 209  
Aug 8, 2010   #7
"Their perfidy cursed me with paranoia."---- I may be wrong, but I think it is redundant to say destroyed my trust AND cursed me with paranoia.

I agree... I was a little unsatisfied with that statement. Thanks for clearing that up!

Here is one more idea:
...is not a petty trinket to be traded for superficial qualities (replace this with something else... trading friendship for 'qualities' does not make sense.

Oh yeah... I had trouble thinking up a different word than qualities... would simply "superficiality" work? or how about "superficial approval" ? I actually think this would make more sense.

Friends should unconditionally support each other, and true friendship should last a lifetime. --- sometimes this is not true... friendship can be fleeting even when true, and sometimes it requires that support be withdrawn as a way of expressing disapproval. I think this sentence might be a weak one. It is a little bit cliche, and sort of untrue.

Well... this is only an opinion. I mean, if a friend is trying to take over the world, of course you can't help him do that. By support, I meant to lead a friend the "right" way. So you would support him by not helping him do evil things... do you know what I mean? I think I'll have to find a better word then... For now, until I can figure out how to change it, I think I'll leave it as it is :/
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Aug 9, 2010   #8
...is not a petty trinket to be traded for convenience or superficial desires.

So you would support him by not helping him do evil things... do you know what I mean? ---- yep, I see! You can support a friend sometimes by withdrawing support.

I like the way it looks now! Don't mess too much with a good thing unless you get some more inspiration.
OP freezard7734 17 / 209  
Aug 9, 2010   #9
So you would support him by not helping him do evil things... do you know what I mean? ---- yep, I see! You can support a friend sometimes by withdrawing support.

Yep. Don't you love the paradoxes of life? XD

Don't mess too much with a good thing unless you get some more inspiration.

Right. :) Thanks a lot for your help!
OP freezard7734 17 / 209  
Oct 7, 2010   #10
I tried to improve this essay by adding how I recuperated from the experience. Does this make the essay stronger?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Oct 10, 2010   #11
Yes, I think it adds some depth, but now I notice something that can be improved:
All my life, I had been instilled with awareness of friendship's value and taught that, despite schisms and quarrels, true friends would unconditionally look after each other.

Don't say invaluableness... bad word!


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