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Stanford essays - What matters to you (service), Letter (list), Experience (enzymes)

amajor12 1 / 3  
Oct 22, 2011   #1
Ok, so these are my essays for the Stanford Supplement. I just wrote them, so they're really rough, but if you could please proofread them for aything and everything - style, content, spelling, grammar, etc. Thank you ahead of time for your comments and corrections(:

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

"You want to live forever? There's an enzyme for that."
Mr. Carlton's sarcastic still rings in my ear to this day. I knew that he was kidding, and that as of yet, there is still nothing that can make a person live forever. But, for some reason, it was something that struck me in such a way that I won't soon forget it. We had been studying microbiology for several weeks now, and although the rest of the topics were still interesting, I had instantly become obsessed with enzymes. The fact that these infinitesimal structures had the power to do and cause so much rocked me to my core.

Enzymes were the catalyst (excuse the pun) in the newfound journey into the exploration of biology. Every new fact I learned about them and biology put the world in a whole new perspective, as I begin to see things as a working whole, an infinitely complex system, all sparked by these structures smaller than even cells.

As I proceeded through the will, my pesky habit of delving into minute details got the best of me. Although these enzymes were only a small topic in our biology class, they became the major topic for me. I ended up writing my term paper on them to an outstanding reception by my teacher. Although some of nature's smallest structures, enzymes sparked my love and interest for biology which I plan to pursue the rest of my life.

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 Roommate,
WE GOT INTO STANFORD! Whew, now that that's out of the way, I guess I'll introduce myself. My name's Austin and I'm from Delaware. If you don't know where that is (and most people don't) it's a small State on the East Coast where virtually everyone knows each other and everything about them. Instead of writing you a formal letter about the many quirks of my personality, I have decided to do what I do best in stressful situations, and make a list. This is my personal list, and I hope it will help you to get a better picture of who I am.

List to Myself on Surviving College Dorm Life
1) Always meet new people graciously and kindly, you never know who your future best friend or employer could be
2) Never forget your copy of Harry Potter at home. It's great to go to new places, but it's never good to forget where you've come from and the lessons you've learned (plus it's a great read!)

3) Remember to bring an alarm clock for those early morning workouts. That freshman fifteen won't work itself off!
4) Buy comfy sheets. That bed will be your best friend after the long days and late-night study sessions.
5) Bring your chargers! You'll be lost if you're not connected to the rest of your friends, and I guess you'll need to write some papers too.

6) Don't forget the Oreos!
7) Tweet! Twitter will save you from your boredom when you've got nothing else to do.
8) And most of all, don't forget to smile, laugh and have fun - you only have one college experience!

I hope my list has helped you find out a little more about who you're rooming with. I'm looking forward to our freshman year of college. I'll bring the Oreos.

What matters to you, and why?

Water is life. It quenches thirst, washes away impurities, and provides energy. But the people of Kenya don't all know the many properties of water. All they saw when they thought of water was the long rigorous journey they had to make each day to find water to survive. These people wouldn't be the same after if I had anything to say about it.

I was starting my Junior year in high school, elated from having just been elected the new acting President of the Saint Mark's Key Club. But celebration time was over, there was already work to be done and plans to be made regarding our largest event of the year, The Variety Show. Every year, our club put on a talent show to raise money for a cause of our choosing. As I began researching worthy causes to donate our money to, I found many and varied, each with good reasons as to why we should donate to them. But little did I know, I would find a cause that I would change my fundamental views and inspire me like never before.

Water is Life Kenya is an organization founded by an alumnus from my high school. Their goal is to provide communities in Kenya with wells to help the village grow and provide them with clean water. The more I learned, the more interested and devoted I became. I became loyal to my newfound cause and devoted all my energies into putting together the best show our school had seen in order to provide this organization with the help they needed.

The night of the show, I was pleased to see the most people that had ever come to the Variety Show. A full theater, and thousands of dollars later, I was proud to present them with a huge check to benefit their cause. A few months later, I was pleased to learn that our money had went directly towards the construction of a new well for a village in Kenya.

This experience changed my view on the world. It showed me just how much help some people still need. Before undertaking this challenge, community service was just something good to do to help your community. But community service is much more than that now. It is now one of the things I am most passionate about and always make time to do. I know wherever life take me, community service will be the one thing that brings me happiness and comfort.
essaygirl1 1 / 2  
Oct 22, 2011   #2
Here are some suggestions for revision mostly for conciseness

Mr. Carlton's sarcasm still rings in my ears.
As of now, nothing can produce eternal life.
But this struck me in a memorable way.
Although my class had be studying many interesting topics within Microbology, I found enzymes most intriguing.
I developed an instant fixation for enzymes.

I appreciate your topic of choice for the first supplemental essay; I love biology as well, my first of many drafts for my essay was an analogy to globular proteins. You could most improve is brevity, which will come with revision. Remember, structure determines function, haha!

For your second essay I feel you use most of the limited space with unneccessary filler info like: Instead of writing you a formal letter about the many quirks of my personality, I have decided to do what I do best in stressful situations, and make a list. This is my personal list, and I hope it will help you to get a better picture of who I am. and now that that's out of the way.

If you discuss more about yourself leading up to the list, or add more depth to the list and reveal more of your personality the essay would be more effective. Show rather than tell. Also, I feel the essay could be more formal. The essay is unique in its medium, (a list), but needs improvement in its approach.

I just glanced at the third essay, but it looks pretty good as far as content is concerned.

You have great ideas, good luck with Stanford!
etron 5 / 17  
Oct 25, 2011   #3
Yes! These essays show exactly who you are--your personality shines through them. The tone is very personable and is a breath of fresh air compared to the "i want to change the world, i'm fantastic, here's my resume" stuff i've seen lately... you have a good sense of humor, know your bio (i love the pun), and have something that matters to you that seems to come straight from your heart. I'll admit, i'm envious: my essays are still struggling along and my deadline is FAST approaching.

My only thought would be on the intro to your what matters essay..takes too long to get started.

Anyway, good luck and you really seem like you deserve to be at Stanford. Hope to see you there!!
OP amajor12 1 / 3  
Oct 25, 2011   #4
Thanks for your comments you guys, they're much appreciated and definitely helped me with my essays! and i'm glad you were able to get back so fast, seeing as i'm applying early action and they're due on Tuesday (that came so fast, where did the time go??)

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