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Stanford Roommate Essay (I'll bring pictures and many priceless memories)


shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 19, 2009   #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 future roommate -- and us -- know you better."

Dear Roomie,
I am ecstatic at the prospect of delving into a college life, although there are a few things I'll really miss. For one, my adorable Olde English bulldogs whom are incessantly begging and insisting that they are lap dogs. Yet, while I know I can't bring along my dogs that doesn't mean I'm coming without an animal. I'm bringing along Raja, my Steiff tiger that I've slept with since I was three, his fur matted to the point that you may not believe me that it is a tiger. I'll also miss my lovely Parisian room that I am constantly perfecting. I'll miss the array of antiques I've collected over the years, from the glass perfume bottles, mirrors, paintings, and possibly even the piles of clothes my messy sister has draped over everything. I'll bring along a couple things to remind me of my room and maybe you'll be able to help me out with the mess I'm used to from my sister- but it's okay if you're tidy like me too. I'll also miss crowding in my bed with my friends on rainy days around my laptop, watching classics or comedies and downing warm cups of Earl Grey tea with honey, but I'll bring my movies and tea and we can see if we can find some time amongst the hours devoted to studying to bond over a good movie or TV series like The Office. I'll miss watching the baseball games at my school and going out to get frozen yogurt with mochi and raspberries after, but I can't wait to be an avid benchwarmer at all the Stanford football games and I hope my roommate is as spirited as I am. I'll miss living in a cute, hundred year old bungalow with a loud Irish family and bad acoustics, my own contribution to the noise from sitting at the piano and getting wrapped up in deeply dramatic music from the Phantom of the Opera or by blasting "Defying Gravity" and teaching my brother how to Irish Step Dance. I'll always miss some things from my past, but I'm exuberant to think that with new memories comes future nostalgia. I'll miss my room, my house, my boyfriend, friends, and family, but I'll bring pictures and many priceless memories so we can share our stories and help each other embrace an entirely new community together.

So... I know it needs a lot of work right now. Do you think the style I've written it in doesn't really answer the prompt? I'm not really sure if i need to write more about my personality or what not
Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Dec 19, 2009   #2
Ill just comment on your approach. I personally think it is the incorrect way to approach this essay prompt through your current format, of writing a letter.

You are not writing a letter. You are not asked to. (If you feel that this is however, is your unique way of answering the prompt, then that is fine because that is in accordance with your beliefs)

"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 future roommate -- and us -- know you better.

^The essay prompt is not only addressed to your room mate. It is to be addressed to Stanford's Admissions office. This asks what would you like your room mate to know about you, bearing in mind that Stanford will be reading it. Also, just remember, that your potential room mate will never actually be given this essay answer.

I think the most important part of this essay prompt is 'Tell us something about you'.
Us refers to Stanford's Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Good luck
yankeebud95 2 / 5  
Dec 19, 2009   #3
I actually like the direction you have taken. Hundreds of students are going to write the classic boring way. By writing a letter, you separate yourself from the masses. its unique and may boost your chances. Stick with this format in my opinion and continue to refine the essay
Ivy_Equestrian 13 / 55  
Dec 19, 2009   #4
I second the choice of format - liking it, that is. It definitely gives a lot of insight into who you are.
That said, I think we're the same person! Parisian decor + Earl Grey + Defying Gravity (Idina Menzel is a goddess!!!) = LOVE.
OP shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 19, 2009   #5
Haha yeah she is a goddess... and I think I'm changing the format a little bit because it doesnt answer the prompt as it is, but im keeping a lot of that kind of stuff. thanks :)
Vulpix - / 71  
Dec 19, 2009   #6
"I actually like the direction you have taken. Hundreds of students are going to write the classic boring way. By writing a letter, you separate yourself from the masses. its unique and may boost your chances. Stick with this format in my opinion and continue to refine the essay"

I would just like to point out that having read at least 20 essays on this prompt, and having written my own response to this prompt earlier this year, a large fraction (about half) of Stanford applicants interpret this as "write a letter to your roommate." I am personally not a fan of the letter format, but it's extremely common- so, if you're trying to be "creative" in your response, just be aware that you are not the first person to write a letter, nor will you be the last.
OP shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 20, 2009   #7
Rebecca- yeah I agree it isn't the most original thing. So, I started a new one. Do you think this is a better start?

Thanks to all
Vulpix - / 71  
Dec 20, 2009   #8
Yes, I think your new approach is better, but I still don't get a strong sense of who you are. I mean, I learn a little about your house and your family and your interests, but what about your personality? All I have are inferences: you're Irish, you like Broadway musicals, you're "light and cheery" and possibly a fracophile, just like your room. It feels a little like putting a 1000-piece puzzle together without the edge pieces. It would be better if you could focus more specifically on just one of your quirks and how that makes you a unique and special person.

Also, I would advise you to change your first sentence:
"If I were to describe myself to you in the briefest way possible, I would tell you this: I'm a Taurus."
That sentence is unnecessarily verbose, which wouldn't be awful except you say that you're trying to be brief. Irony is seldom a good thing unless it's intentional.
OP shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 20, 2009   #9
Ha youre incredibly right about the first sentence- It is kinda funny though now that I see that. Do you think it would be too trite if I just started off with "I'm a Taurus." ? And also, do you think it would work if I digressed more into my personality in the middle or would it not work/I should just try again haha. I just need a solid structure to work with that will help me convey as much about me as possible while not being boring.

Thanks for all your help :)
OP shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 20, 2009   #10
I'm really stuck right now- what do you learn about me from this essay/ what is superfluous? also, what can i add? thanks
sbrooks10 2 / 18  
Dec 20, 2009   #11
I'm not certain this is exactly what college admission officers want to hear. It totally makes me want to me roommates with you (I'm applying to Stanford too :D) and it certainly makes you seem like a pleasant person but when I was trying to decide between the bingley essay (which I think you actually commented on) and an array of random facts about myself, sort of similar to your own, my teacher advised me to stick to one topic because it said more about me. But I think you tie the essay together well with how you keep the focus on your house, what happens inside of it, what it looks like, how you participate in your family dynamic, etc. It certainly says a lot about your likes and dislikes and I certainly feel like I know you better, but I'm worried your sentiments make more sense to me/ have more impact on me because I am a peer and have a number of very similar likes and dislikes. Maybe you could talk about more specific dreams? That's one more definite critique I have: make the dreams/ beauty part more specific. Conclusions are the hardest part, I know! You have to sort of make sense of what you've just written.

At this point, it's really hard to know what the admissions team wants. I know they say they have not particular criteria, but there are obviously things that turn them off or that they like. I think it would be fine if you sent this in as is, save for the change of the sentence about "inspires the most beautiful of my dreams" because it's a bit awkward.

I hope this helps! Best of luck!
OP shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 20, 2009   #12
thanks :) i actually changed that sentence right after i posted it so now instead it says... "My room is not perfect: I will never give up my old, matted tiger I've slept with since I was three nor the many other quirky things in my room, because while I'll always aspire for perfection, my room is not perfect and neither am I." hahah i know its cheesy also, i need to rework a lot of this essay though. yeah im trying to think of one specific thing that i can use and craft a nice essay out of instead of a more jumbled one, but idk i think i might be able to make this one work if i unify the ideas more and take out some of whats cluttering it. thanks for the advice.. (and btw i liked the fish essay :)
sbrooks10 2 / 18  
Dec 20, 2009   #13
Like I said, I think it's unified in that it's all about things in your house/ your room so don't stress too much about the unification thing. I mean, it's supposed to say something about you and you are a dynamic, multifaceted person so it makes sense that you would have many different things to say about yourself. I really like it and I like the sentence you added too, about you not being perfect/ the things in your room representing that, but I do agree that it might need to be cleaned up a bit to flow with the style/ cadence of your essay. But anyways, the main thing is that I don't actually think you need to worry about finding one thing, going against what I said in my other comment. This could totally work. It's honest and gives a real view into you which is what they want, so I've heard. :)
OP shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 20, 2009   #14
thanks for the encouragement ill keep working on it
PineappleCrush 5 / 7  
Dec 24, 2009   #15
First of all, I enjoyed reading your essay and totally would be roommates with you (working on my Stanford Supplement right now!).
What I like is that the essay brings about different sides of you, from your love of music and musicals to your great taste in TV shows.

Anyway, I just want to say that your essay is well written. Best of luck to you!
whitepolarbear 7 / 31  
Dec 24, 2009   #16
My room is only completely

I think this should be "my room is only complete"
Other than that, the essay was pretty nice. Makes you seem an interesting person, with lots of stories to tell. I would have to say that the descriptions of your room and how you love to be in it kiinnnddd of makes you seem like a hermit, but if you don't want to change it, you don't have to.

Good luck!

If you have time, please take a look at my essays too!
OP shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 25, 2009   #17
I rewrote the second paragraph: do you like it better?
thanks

While I have a distinct role within my family's bungalow, my room is more reflective of myself. I have a lovely seaside Parisian room, comprised of an array of antiques I've collected over the years. I'm a bit of a Francophile and have an immense appreciation for art; I'm always searching for new pieces. My room may be very busy with my things, but it is meticulously organized just like myself to keep myself feeling in control. On a rainy day, my room becomes a haven for watching episodes of The Office and sipping warm cups of Earl Grey tea with honey. Yet, as the seasons change, it remains a secret recluse, adorned with flowers and often streaming with music by Coldplay. Although not pretty, the finishing touch is definitely my old, matted tiger I've slept with since I was three. It will be a struggle to move from the place that is so much of who I am, but I am excited at the thought of acclimating myself to a new castle, even if it may be just a dorm room.
pmurray62 8 / 26  
Dec 25, 2009   #18
I really enjoyed your essay! It was brought a refreshing sense of the "real" to a website filled with a lot of the stretched and contrived. One of the reasons I think I liked your earlier version of the essay is that it felt as if, were I to respond with a letter back to you, you'd be able to actually communicate with me. Do you kind of understand what I'm getting at? I think your focus should be on just preserving your voice. Don't let the people on this forum bring you down by saying you don't fit the typical Stanford supplementary essay mold. You don't. That's why you're going to have a good shot at getting in.

I'd say that one improvement I'd make, just knowing how competitive Stanford is and that kind of thing...maybe incorporate one more element that would "show off" your intellectual interests. Maybe say something like "My inner nerd..." Just a thought. Otherwise, nice job. I wish you luck and have a merry Christmas!

By the way, could some of you guys take a look at my essay--Common App Personal Essay (The Sorrows of Young Werther)--I'd really like some help!
OP shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 30, 2009   #19
FAMILY/HOUSE STANFORD HELP PLEASE!!

I'm a Taurus. Determined, loyal, and stubborn. Yet, while these things are central to my personality, what is most revealing to who I am is my surroundings, as I live by the mantra that my home is my castle. For me, my house provides me with comfort, inspiration, and from my family, a substantial feeling of security and warmth. Everything about my home is quite eccentric; I live in a cute, hundred year old bungalow with a loud Irish family and bad acoustics. I have grown up with an immense amount of freedom and encouragement to express myself. On an average school night, I'll often find myself in a dramatic engagement at the piano wrapped up in music from the Phantom of the Opera or singing "Defying Gravity" at the top of my lungs while teaching my brother the art of Irish Step Dancing.

While I have a distinct role within my family's bungalow, my room is more reflective of myself. I have a lovely seaside Parisian room, comprised of an array of antiques and art I've collected over the years. My room may be very busy, but it is meticulously organized just like myself so I maintain a sense of control. On a rainy day, my room becomes a haven for watching episodes of The Office and sipping warm cups of Earl Grey tea with honey. Yet, as the seasons change, it remains a secret recluse, adorned with flowers and often streaming with music by Coldplay. Whether I'm reading, painting or relaxing I find that I'm always at peace in my room. It will be a struggle to move from the place that is so much of who I am, but I am excited at the thought of acclimating myself to a new castle, even if it may be just a dorm room.
OP shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 30, 2009   #20
do you think this is good enough to submit? please help
damo 9 / 36  
Dec 30, 2009   #21
overall very good, shows a lot about you

id put commas around this because it interrupts the sentence
My room may be very busy, but it is meticulously organized, just like myself , so I maintain a sense of control.

compound sentence needs a comma
The Office, and sipping

Yet, as the seasons change, my haven remains a secret recluse, adorned with flowers and often streaming with music by Coldplay.

Whether I'm reading, painting, or relaxing; I find that I'm always at peace in my room

It will be a struggle to move from the place that issuch a large part of me and my life , but...

i like the ending, good luck and thanks for commenting on mine. i have a few others that need attending to if you have the time :]
nikhurs 4 / 17  
Dec 31, 2009   #22
This is pretty good. Scrapping the letter idea is a much better approach... quite frankly this is a more creative way of answering the prompt (everyone else I've seen has done the letter style).

Few suggestions:

While I have a distinct role within my family's bungalow <-- I wasn't exactly sure what your role is. I assumed, however, that it has to do with music. However, it doesn't really have to be part of the sentence (you decide).

Also, don't use contractions... especially the first word of the essay.
OP shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 31, 2009   #23
Okay thanks- wait what contradictions though? The first word is I...
OP shannon92 15 / 74  
Dec 31, 2009   #24
how do i change that sentence then ? thanks


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