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"I'm normal in some ways" - Stanford supplement: letter to roommate


answers: 7
Hi! This is my first thread, but be as critical as you can; I give you permission to be brutal with your feedback. Here's the prompt:

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. (250 words minimum)

And here's my essay:

Dear Future Roommate,

It's common knowledge that every dorm room contains a normal roommate and a weird roommate, and if you don't have a weird roommate, then you are the weird roommate. However, you'll have nothing to worry about, because I will probably be the weird roommate.

I'll seem perfectly normal at first; I'll be shy, friendly, and I'll smile a lot. Don't worry; the shyness will disappear shortly after we meet. When this happens, I'll still be friendly and smile a lot, but please don't be alarmed when I pull out a ukulele and start to sing, "All the world seems in tune on a spring afternoon as we're poisoning pigeons in the park." I don't really want to murder innocent pigeons, and I do sing normal songs, too (although most of them tend to be just as quirky as Tom Lehrer's "Pigeons In The Park"). And don't be alarmed when I start to come up with terrible puns about 185 random objects walking into bars. Some of my jokes aren't so terrible, and thinking of jokes is thoroughly entertaining. My closet is in rainbow order, I like to point out Mini Coopers when I see them, and I love to crunch numbers in a world where math is the runt of the academic subject litter.

I like to think I'm normal in some ways, though. While the ukulele and jokes are important, my family and friends transcend everything else in my life. When I can, I like to snowboard and play soccer. I thoroughly enjoy art and music, as well as the occasional rock concert. I think that's enough for us to become good friends, Future Roommate.

Hope to see you soon!

Best wishes,
Rachel

Your essay is definitely cute and interesting :), but I have a small warning. Lots of stanford essays have been written in the "letter" format, and for some reason, lots of people mention the exact same things you do - the "shyness at first" then out pops a wacky personality. You don't need to start over, but I do think that in order to make the essay stronger, you need add a focus on one specific thing, perhaps one anecdote or story.
Just my two cents, some people may disagree. I wish you best of luck!
Dec 29, 2009, 05:46am   #
I like your essay... perhaps add more quirky details; intersperse them throughout your essay using specific references. Perhaps you might also want to make the first part more short and concise: btw, VARY YOUR WORD CHOICE. Although it's a letter to your roommate, I still feel as if you should use some carefully chosen vocabulary... thesaurus.com

Every dorm room contains a normal roommate and a weird roommate. If you don't have a strange companion, then you are "the weird one". However dearest roommate, don't worry--because I will probably be the weird roommate.

At first, I'll seem perfectly normal at first. I'll be a little shy, friendly, and I'll smile a lot. But the shyness will disappear shortly after we meet. When this happens, I'll still be friendly and smile a lot, but please don't be alarmed when I pull out a ukulele and start to sing, "All the world seems in tune on a spring afternoon as we're poisoning pigeons in the park." I don't really want to murder innocent pigeons, and I do sing normal songs, too (opposed to Tom Lehrer's "Pigeons In The Park"). And don't be alarmed when I come up with terrible jokes about 185 random objects walking into bars. Some of my wordplay isn't so terrible, and thinking of jokes is thoroughly entertaining. My closet is in rainbow order, I like to point out Mini Coopers when I see them, and I love to crunch numbers in a world where math is the not-so-popular runt of the academic litter.

I like to think I'm normal in some ways, though. While my ukulele, jokes, and academics are important, my family and friends transcend everything else in my life. When I can, I like to snowboard and play soccer. I thoroughly enjoy art and music, as well as the occasional rock concert. I hope that's enough for us to become good friends, Future Roommate.
I did some revisions, and came up with two different options: one a lot like the first, and one that's more anecdotal. If you could give me feedback on either, and tell me which you like better, that would be lovely. =) Thanks!

Here's the prompt again:
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.


OPTION ONE: SMALL REVISIONS

Dear Future Roommate,

It's common knowledge that every dorm room contains a normal roommate and a weird roommate; if your roommate isn't weird, then you are. However, you'll have nothing to worry about, Future Roommate, because I will probably be the weird roommate.

I'll seem perfectly normal at first; I'll be introverted, yet pleasant, and I'll smile a lot. Don't worry; the shyness will disappear shortly after we meet. When this happens, I'll still smile a lot, but please don't be alarmed when I pull out a ukulele and start to sing, "All the world seems in tune on a spring afternoon as we're poisoning pigeons in the park." Murdering innocent pigeons isn't really my cup of tea, and I do sing normal songs, too (as opposed to Tom Lehrer's "Pigeons In The Park"). And please try not to stare when I start to come up with terrible puns about 185 random objects walking into bars. Some of my wordplay might elicit smiles, and thinking of jokes is actually quite stimulating; you should join me sometime. You'll also notice that my closet is in rainbow order, I like to point out Mini Coopers when I see them, and I love to crunch numbers in a world where math is the ostracized runt of the academic litter.

I like to think I'm normal in some ways, though. While my ukulele, jokes, and academics are important, my family and friends transcend everything else in my life. I thoroughly enjoy art and music, as well as the occasional rock concert (jumping frequently enough for my 5'2" self to see the band). When I can, I like to snowboard and play soccer. I hope that's enough for us to become good friends, Future Roommate.

Best wishes,
Rachel


OPTION TWO: THE OVERHAUL

Dear Future Roommate,

It's common knowledge that every dorm room contains a normal roommate and a weird roommate; if your roommate isn't weird, then you are. However, you'll have nothing to worry about, Future Roommate, because I will probably be the weird roommate.

If you don't believe me, take a gander into one of my childhood beach days. Everyone knows Lake Washington isn't the most pristine body of water there is. I discovered this at the tender age of six when I found a small, dead fish lying on the sand. Any normal six-year-old would scrunch their nose, utter a long, nasally "ew," and play on the other side of the beach. Being the odd little girl that I was, I retrieved a bucket, filled it with sand and water, and put the corpse in the bucket. I named it Fish, and it was my pet fish for the day. Peculiar, I know, but no one could say that I hated animals at that age. When my mom didn't permit me to bring Fish home, though, I wasn't particularly heartbroken. I suppose no one could say that I wasn't hygienic at that age, either.

I realize that I was truly bizarre as a child. However, I did grow up. Today, I'm still bizarre, but I have normal qualities, too. I sing about poisoning pigeons in the park on the ukulele, but I also enjoy most anything I hear on the alternative rock station. I spend my time thinking up terrible puns, but I'll see a movie any day of the week when I'm not busy with homework, rehearsal, or soccer. I love math, fake mustaches, and the rain, but my family and friends transcend every part of my life. I hope that's enough normalcy for us to become good friends, Future Roommate.

Best wishes,
Rachel
i prefer the second a lot more.the short story is a unique way of telling the admissions office you love animals BTW do you want to study animal science? the 2nd holds the reader's attention a lot more than the first.



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