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Stanford Short Answer #2- Things my Roommate needs to know

Alex728 2 / 5  
Dec 14, 2009   #1
2. Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. What would you want your freshman year roommate to know about you? Tell us something about you that will help your roommate-and us-know you better.

The first thing I'd like my future roommate to know is that I have a deep love for music in general. I have been a musician since I was young, and I have come to believe that music is the rawest expression of emotion possible. Listening to music is very cathartic for me, since it can calm me down after a stressful day, or give me the energy to complete a difficult task. I generally prefer Indie rock, but I can listen to anything, from Hip Hop to Dvorak's New World Symphony, and still enjoy it. I love singing along with my favorite Death Cab for Cutie songs, but I apologize in advance, for singing is not my strong suit.

I have a very introverted personality. It takes me a while to get used to a person, and be able to open up to them. I know that things will be awkward initially, but I will open up eventually, and I'll show that I am actually quite an engaging person. I can actually be quite loud and energetic when I'm with friends, and I can hold a conversation, but spending time alone with my thoughts comes more naturally for me. This makes me a good listener, and it also means that our conversations will be far more meaningful, if less frequent, because they will not be filled with idle talk.

I also love talking about politics, which I find fascinating. I always jump at a chance to discuss the issues facing America, and I especially love finding people whose views differ from mine, since this almost always leads to a lively political debate. I love being able to gain insight into the thought behind opinions that differ from my own, since it allows me to become more accepting of the point of view of the opposing side. I am open to all types of people, and I am sure that my future roommate and I will become friends, or at least learn to live with each other peacefully.

I also completed the other two prompts, and if any of you wouldnt mind reading and commenting on them as well, it is greatly appreciated. I wasn't sure if I should post them here, or create an entirely different thread for them, so I just decided to post them here, and I'll move them to another thread if I have to.

Anyways, here they are:

1. Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.

For this topic, I chose to write about my fascination with the English language. I set out to write about it, and I was nearly halfway done...

...And then I changed my mind; now I was going to write about the controversy over abortion rights, and how debating over it with a friend.

...or perhaps it should be about the health care debate, or a scene from Benjamin Button that allowed me to see how connected everybody and everything really is.

The more I attempted to write about just one topic, the more my mind would be pulled away by ideas for another topic, so I would start another essay. And then, three hours later, I left with a multitude of half finished essays, but none of them seemed right. They all felt incomplete, because to simply focus on one thing that has sparked my mind would be to ignore all the other brilliant ideas that have fascinated as well.

And that's when I realized what I should write about: the essay topic itself. By attempting to answer this prompt, my brain has been engaged in so many unrelated ways, and I have made so many connections on my own, that it is far more intellectually engaging than any one topic could be. In the span of almost four hours, I have gone from debating within myself whether or not an unborn fetus is considered a life, to trying to imagine the unseen repercussions something as simple as a falling leaf can have on the world. I have put myself in a conservative's shoes, so that I can fully understand the health care debate, and I have tried to compress the emotional high felt after my last marching band show into the constricting walls of words and sentences, and I have found myself unable to do so. Because of this essay topic, I have been forced to take my beliefs and experiences, and lay them bare for everyone to see. And, above all else, it has sparked my mind, and led it on a journey of thought and discovery, like few other essay topics have.

Now, if I could only hurry up and write the damned thing...

3. Tell us what makes Stanford a good place for you

Stanford, out of all the schools I have applied to, is the only school where my ambitions in life can be fully met, and where I will be pushed to the limits of abilities.

Stanford emphasizes individuality and innovation, and because of this, it has a history of taking young, promising students, and shaping them into upstanding leaders of society. At Stanford, I will be able to develop and advance from who I am now, into someone who is fully equipped to serve society to his fullest. It is a place where I will be pushed to not merely learn, but to excel, and it will prepare me for the real world more than any other university can. At Stanford, I will no longer be just another member in the faceless mass of society, but I will become a distinguished individual, who will serve society to the best of his abilities.

I also love how much smaller and more personal Stanford classes are compared to most public universities. I learn better when I have personal feedback from the teacher, and I believe that a larger, more impersonal classroom would be a bit stifling for me.

I have heard that the students attending Stanford are generally the happiest in the country. From what I have been told, the community at Stanford is very welcoming and close knit. I would rather go to a school that is fun and encouraging than to a school where everyone is competitive to the point of unhappiness, and everyone views each other as a threat. I think its great that everyone at Stanford is so warm and caring, because school is stressful enough, without having to deal with overblown egos and cut-throat competitiveness. I have wanted to attend Stanford since I was young, and I can already tell that it will be like a second home to me, as it is a place where I will be encouraged to be individual, and where I can shape myself into somebody who truly benefits society.

Personally, I think that my essay for the third prompt is by far the weakest, cause it feels a bit empty to me, but I'm lost at any ways to improve it. Thanks in advance (:
papamao 1 / 1  
Dec 14, 2009   #2
I am accepting of (this sounds awkward) all types of people, and I hope that my future roommate and I will become friends, or at least learn to live with each other (this sounds negative) .

I think it's good in the sense that you showed who you are, but the last paragraph is a LITTLE bit too negative. You said that you can have a conversation if you HAVE to, which sounds like it's a pain for you to talk. I like the approach to this issue by saying "It takes me a while to get used to a person, and be able to open up to them".

Overall I think it's good. :)
Rowa 5 / 15  
Dec 14, 2009   #3
finding people who doesn't

I think it's people who don't

I really like your response!! you remind me of a friend at school.

I don't think you should change anything, but you could add stuff like study habbits or anything that makes you special!!

I really like your concluding sentence, it made me laugh:D

I'm applying to Stanford too, and I had trouble answering this question..You inspired me!! :)

I really hope that you can edit my essays!! :)

anhammond 3 / 28  
Dec 21, 2009   #4
these are great qualities to talk about because they show that your not a perfect person (which is a good thing)
it might be a bit to negative and dreary though.
try talking about how these qualities are all benefits, not drawbacks
ie. I love singing along with my favorite Death Cab for Cutie songs, but I apologize in advance, [for its not one of my better talents]

overall just little changes to your word choice will dramatically enhance your tone
this is an amazing start though! im applying to stanford too and this essay is by far the most fun. play around with your tone because it is to a future roommate, not a teacher. its okay if your tone is naturally more formal but don't be afraid to dumb down your word choice a bit

hope that helped! and good luck getting in
Josephine0411 5 / 15  
Dec 22, 2009   #5
Hello~Nice to meet you~
I applied to the REA of Stanford.
Though I was rejected, I did admit that I learned a lot from the whole process.
And of course, I also wrote this essay for roommate and made numerous edits.
I want to share with you some of my ideas and thoughts.
I think this essay should show a real you, a you that can only find by your roommate.
If you're in the boarding school and have a roommate, I suggest that you give the finished essay to your current roommate and let him/her to conceive that whether it is depicting a real you.

If the answer is yes, this is a real essay for this topic, at least in my opinion.
Remember, this is not the perfect you, intelligent you or versatile you, it's the real you.
Hope these words can help you in some way.^^
Good luck~
OP Alex728 2 / 5  
Dec 22, 2009   #6
Thank you for all the feedback! I switched the order of the second and third paragraphs, since I feel that the concluding sentence fits better with the politics paragraph, and I have made various changes to it.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 25, 2009   #7
I love singing along with my favorite Death Cab for Cutie songs

Ever play that song called "I will follow you into the dark" on the guitar? It is one of the most awesome songs to play on the guitar...

Okay, the first essay has very eloquent writing, but you did not structure it like an essay. If you were just talking to someone, it would be okay to simply discuss one subject after another like this, but in an essay you should give an intro paragraph about the theme for the whole essay. That means you have to consider all these qualities together and see what they represent collectively. Whatever it is, mention it both at the beginning and at the end. That way, the 3 qualities (expounded in the body paragraphs) will all serve to support the thesis statement.

For the second essay, your idea is clever, but it has ben done lots of times! Even in this forum I have seen this strategy used. The problem is that you are sort of refusing to do what they asked you to do! The reader might be okay with that, or she might not be. I think you probably find lots of subjects to be intellectually engaging... how about music theory?

is the only school where my ambitions in life can be fully met

But you did not name a single aspiration! I think this prompt calls on you to tell a little about your plan for the future, and tell why Stanford is the place you choose. What professors, programs, or resources make Stanford better for you than other places? I think talking about the small class size is not so strong; talk in terms of your clear plan and your interests. Why is Stanford part of your plan? Show that you have a plan.

Sorry to challenge you to change so much!! :-) enjoy it.
OP Alex728 2 / 5  
Dec 26, 2009   #8
Yes, this was quite challenging, but I feel that the essays are better now.
Ok, I've made revisions to the roommate essay and the 'why Stanford' essay. I'm still not done with the intellectual essay, but I think I'm going to use your music theory idea.

To anyone who wants to help me edit these:Please post feedback quickly! I have to go out of the country on the 27th, so I need all my essays to be done by then.

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