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stanford supplement: what makes stanford a good fit for you?


anhammond 3 / 28  
Dec 21, 2009   #1
i like my essay a lot but its too long for the 1800 character word limit. help!

I jumped and grabbed the monkey bars while my friends stared up at my dangling, four-year old legs. I wrapped my legs around a neighboring bar and hoisted my body through the gap. After wrestling with my arms for the perfect position, I sat up victoriously on the top of the bars. For the rest of the day, I couldn't wipe that smile of satisfaction off my face. Looking back, I can remember those days of elementary school when I was the fearless kid, the first to do everything. Not much has changed for me since then.

When I first started to narrow down my list of colleges, the traits on the list were strong engineering programs (in a university), strong learning environment, great athletic facilities, and near/in a city. However, so many schools fit into these categories that I had trouble narrowing down my prospects. These traits are all good in a college but I was missing the point. What do I want to gain out of my college experience? I want to feel the same way I felt that day on the monkey bars: curious and eager to explore. Stanford is the only college that shares those feelings with me.

Stanford is a research university. More than any other school on my college list, Stanford wants to explore, not only teach. The amazing feeling I felt when I discovered something new on those monkey bars is one I never want to let go of. We might experiment differently from each other but Stanford and I are still both curious. I can see myself several months from now reading in the Meyer Library, searching the stacks with the same curiosity as a jungle gym. Wandering the gorgeous Mediterranean architecture, I will find my new hang out spot for the next four years.

Stanford has thousands of unique qualities, all of which I pondered while choosing it as my first choice, but at the end of the day all that matters is how I feel about that college. I love the way Stanford makes me feel because of its commitment to curiosity.
meisj0n 8 / 272 2  
Dec 22, 2009   #2
Fourteen years later, the once queen of the monkey bars is now going to set out for the next biggest obstacle: college.

interesting third person sentence

Not much has changed for me since then.

Transition is a bit weak here. maybe try to fit it better with the previous one. Phrase it better?

Its scary that

It is* <try not to use contractions>

the future of the rest of my life

wordy, cut down some.

When I first started to narrow down my list of colleges the obvious traits on the list were strong engineering programs (in a university), strong learning environment, large campus/ number of students, great athletic facilities, near/in a city, and near water.

sounds like you made Stanford a choice out of the many. you can make that a good thing or a bad thing. depends how you build upon this.

I want to feel the same way I felt that day on the monkey bars: independent and fearless; eager to explore. Stanford is that for me.

Questioning yourself in your essay is okay...I guess. but maybe just make this point? And rephrase the adjectives, I don't think the ; fits there. And what do you mean stanford is THAT for me? what is THAT? explain more about THAT and less questioning? will cut some words down.

The exciting part about college is the fact that I will be an independent adult.

scary yet exciting..how...exciting.

Free to make my own decisions.

independence means

Free to make my own decisions.

...so you can take this out too. this and the next sentence are phrases , not sentences.

This is why I am so thrilled to apply to Stanford. Stanford, California is 2,869 miles from home. A four days car ride and a six hour plane ride, I would be almost completely isolated from my family and friends here in Annapolis. By being so far away, I have to be independent. Instead of showing it by my talent on the monkey bars, I am showing it through my willingness to go outside of my comfort zone.

do you have to mention this so show that you will HAVE TO BE independent? And what of the monkey bar theme here? I don't see how, other than an unstated hint that monkey bars were not a comfort zone, this shows you will have to be independent. What did you mean by showing it? showing your independence on those bars? Maybe clarify this allusion.

Stanford is a research university. More than any other school on my college list, Stanford wants to explore, not only teach.

great idea. yet not so great. you mention, that you HAVE many other colleges on your list...and you're not saying exclusively that Stanford is at the top. you just say that it is the more exploring university...whatever that means. say what you meant. please.

new tricks that I could pull off.

creative, but college isn't about tricks. use another word maybe.

I may not have pulled off experiments with the sophistication of an academic institute but the drive for curiosity was just the same.

What do you mean here? clarify? your drive for curiosity? that still puzzles me. drive for curiosity. maybe you meant something like drive of* curiosity? I don't know...

day all that matters in my college experience is how I feel and what aspects of my life I want to continue and develop further.

sounds like it's ALL you. that all that matters is YOURSELF..not the college or university..a bit arrogant sounding

I want to continue to feel as if I am back at the jungle gym, swinging around the monkey bars like the independent, curious, fearless adult that I am. Stanford is the best college to showcase those qualities.

maybe rephrase? I'm not sure Stanford is exactly a jungle gym..looks more like a place for studying and learning and researching and creating. maybe in the conclusion, reflect again on you making those new "tricks"

Good luck with the edits >_>
OP anhammond 3 / 28  
Dec 23, 2009   #3
does it really make me sound arrogant?

i wanted to make it more about my college process and what i want in a college, not just a glamorized brochure of Stanford.
i am going to have to live there for four years so I should like how i feel when im there not just the pretty architecture and famous professors

i guess i could be more specific in the qualities i like but i feel pretty confident in my approach to this essay.

it does need some work though and i thank you for the edits you gave me. i needed a fresh pair of eyes on it...even if they disagree with me
meisj0n 8 / 272 2  
Dec 23, 2009   #4
what I meant by the arrogance thing was that you don't really show that you want to be part of the community there, that you don't show you will give back, etc. I didnt mean it in a bad way~
OP anhammond 3 / 28  
Dec 23, 2009   #5
true. thats a good idea. i'll try to incorporate that somewhere in the essay. not sure as to where though
Tictac8 4 / 18  
Dec 23, 2009   #6
There is a lot of fluff in this essay. You are limited to 1800 characters and I feel that this essay, that is almost twice the length, only tells me one thing: you like a university that is an explorer like you.

For these short essays there is no need for the anecdotes, save that for the common essay. Cut to the chase and be concise and tell what makes Stanford unique. You say Stanford is an explorer, how so?

You are a really good writer and I think you can really make this a fantastic essay without all the fluff.
Vulpix - / 71  
Dec 23, 2009   #7
"Not much has changed for me since then."
You want to watch out for that sentence. The way it's phrased definitely comes off as a little boastful, even if that wasn't your intention.

Try restating it: "Not much has changed since then." "I haven't changed much since then." "In a lot of ways, the same has held true ever since."

Keep on rewording it and see what you're happy with. Read it to someone else, too, just to see if they see the same things that you do.

"I can see myself several months from now reading in the Meyer Library, searching the stacks with the same curiosity as a jungle gym."

Careful- you just compared your curiosity to a jungle gym! I think you meant to say "searching the stacks with the same curiosity I once felt on the jungle gym", or something like that.

"Wandering the gorgeous Mediterranean architecture, I will find my new hang out spot for the next four years."
To be totally accurate, Stanford's architecture would be better described as "Spanish colonial", since it was inspired by the missionary-style architecture prevalent in California at the time. It's not quite "Mediterranean", although I know what you're trying to say...

Also, I would be a little hesitant about committing to the main point you're trying to make- that you like Stanford primarily because it's "a research university." That is one of many great qualities about Stanford, but there are also a lot of other research universities out there! What about Berkeley? What about Harvard, or Yale, or Columbia? Those are all renowned "research universities"... so why did you choose Stanford, instead of one of those schools?

I hope that helps- good work, and good luck on your application!
tchonis05 4 / 8  
Dec 23, 2009   #8
I think you should explain more on how Stanford is different than any other university. You said how Stanford not only wants to teach but explore. Maybe indicate there how Stanford's "exploring" can help you individually. Talk about your major and how Stanford will uniquely help you achieve your goals.
OP anhammond 3 / 28  
Dec 23, 2009   #9
how about saying something like this:
"Stanford is a research university. There are schools similar such as Yale, Harvard, and Columbia, but only Stanford explorers things like the GPS: an invention that did not come out of a need, but a desire to learn.:


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