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Stanford Supplement - Newfound Love of Running

Tainted_Metal 1 / -  
Jan 1, 2012   #1
Hey guys, I know this is last minute, but I would like to get some critique on my short essay for the "What matters to you, and why?" supplement from Stanford.

In early June, I decided to begin running. Being a skinny guy, I have never had the desire to lift weights, but I realized that I needed to have some sort of physical activity. I realize that although I am skinny now, if I continue simply working on my computer, playing games, eating whatever I like, I will not be skinny 20 years from now. I decided that running was worth a shot because it did not have high impact that was bad for my joints like weight lifting.

At first, I hated it due to the pain it created in my chest, but I continued doing it for a purely physical reason. As I became more and more in-shape, I began to not feel the pain from my heavy breathing. It gave me time to just think when I ran alone. Being that I like to plan a lot of things out, this is the perfect time to do just that. A lot of people who run casually listen to music when they run, and others who run simply to get better carry a watch, run on a track, or measure their speed. I rarely do any of those things because they cause me to have to focus on that instead of my thoughts. I find that when I am running, I can brainstorm, take notes in my head, and get healthy all at the same time. Generally, I run after school on the way home. It is perfect for when I have an essay that I need to work on. No one is there to message me on Facebook; there are no videos to watch on Youtube, and because I leave my phone in my car, there are no text messages to distract my thoughts. I am able to plan out what I want to say in my papers and how I want to say it with no distractions.

Now that I am in-shape, I am able to run with next to no pain because I have learned to ignore that pain and to enjoy my time spent running. It was one of my best choices because it allows me to release stress now as well as help me in the future by creating a much healthier and much more presentable me. Although I have not been running for a long time, I have realized that it really matters to me.

Thank you for the last minute advice!

AbsoluteBliss 5 / 13  
Jan 1, 2012   #2
Just a personal preference, but I think the opening would benefit from changing "but I realized that I needed to have some sort of physical activity" to "but I realized that I needed to partake in some sort of physical activity."

And I recommend changing "At first, I hated it due to the pain it created in my chest." A school like Stanford will be impressed by clear and concise prose - I suggest looking it over and cutting out bits of flowery writing. Best of luck!
jadore_lamode68 6 / 37  
Jan 1, 2012   #3
I love that you've showed what running has done for you!
Running is my New Years Resolution.

But... I think that the only think that needs improving in this essay is the word choice and vocabulary. While your story is interesting, the way you word it is not...Try using a thesaurus to convey stronger feeling.

Overall great job!

All the best luck, hope this helps...
Please look at mine!
runner57 3 / 9  
Jan 1, 2012   #4
I would cut to the chase at the beginning. you don't need to talk about how why you started running so much, talk about why it matters to you. the middle/end parts were good though!

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