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Posted on 2005.11.26 at 18:09
Mood: strong desire to procrastinate
Music: Cake-Mexico (bcs I wish I were Mexican!)
The final Stanford short answer question: "Write a note to your future roommate relating a personal experience that reveals something about you" (1500-1600 characters limit).

Excuse you?!

Dear roommate,
Here I sit at my keyboard, diet coke in hand, struggling to begin the final task that stands between me and the completion of my Stanford application: I am to attempt to define myself and squeeze a description of my personality into a single experience and a mere 1500 characters. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not the type who enjoys talking incessantly about herself or even analyzing how she may be perceived by others (although I'm sure these points could be debated. After all, I do have a livejournal), I just fear that the restrictions placed on such a broad and reflective question will leave you with a very inaccurate and incomplete view of who I am. Now, I could at least try to obey the assignment and use the remaining space to share with you a self-defining, identity revealing, two-hundred word anecdote (because aren't we all full of those?), but I still fear that might be insufficient. Therefore, I will leave you with this: Have a good year at Stanford. I obviously will not being seeing you because I can't answer the freakin' essay question.
Your potential (but very, very, extremely unlikely) future roommate,

(That's not my actual essay. I haven't started it yet because I have NO IDEA what to write.)

Okay, maybe I'm dramatic and need to let go of my "oh god poor me I have to describe myself in such a limited amount of space" mind set but I hate having such broad questions with such ridiculous restrictions. I know I should swallow my pride and just follow instructions (I mean, the whole thing really isn't THAT big of a deal) but I feel like there is so much pressure to depict myself accurately. I guess that's an impossible task when I'm being evaluated by a few thousand characters, numbers and a piece of paper. The thought of not having that control both stresses me out and relaxes me simultaneously, although, unfortunately, I think I would place more emphasis on the former (unless that means I have a superiority complex that causes me to function under the assumption that if hte admissions officers DID in fact have an accurate idea of who I was, I would be accepted. I don't think that's the cause of my concern though! I just don't like all of this uncertainty.)God damn you, college apps! God damn you, irrational anxiety!

Eh, screw Stanford for tonight. It's Saturday and I shall not be taken down by bullshit like this!

[Oh, but in the meantime do any of you have any ideas as to what I should write about? Any input would be greatly appreciated! Think of this as one of those "if your eyes are passing over this you have to indulge me and give me attention and share a memory of me" memes! :) ]


ex_mirages347 at 2005-11-27 03:29 (UTC) (Link)
I dont understand why they call 1500 a note, since its like 4 or 5 pages, right? its kind of a mean question, cause its like saying its for your roommate, but really, they read it? thats so not nice.
staticsoliloquy at 2005-11-27 06:19 (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if she meant 1500 words since mine was 183. 1/3 of a page. less than 1100 characters.
jess_is_here at 2005-11-27 07:18 (UTC) (Link)
woops, i meant characters!

it is mean. it almost makes me as sad as opportunity costs.
staticsoliloquy at 2005-11-27 06:21 (UTC) (Link)
dear jess,

If it helps, I'll share with you the one I wrote.

"My name isn’t phonetically-correct because it’s pronounced “knee,” not “nigh.” I’m Vietnamese, and I came to the US in 1994. Coming from a low-income, immigrant household on government assistance, our priority has never been education, yet it’s the most stressed value. We arrived in America with no money in our pockets, but hearts full of desires. As a result, my siblings had to work as cleaners for a restaurant at night, entering the working field while going to a junior college during the day. My sister brought her biology book to read after she had finished scrubbing the toilets while my brother solved a few Calculus problems between the vacuuming and the wiping. Although deferring their “American dreams” was difficult, it was better than being homeless in Vietnam. After realizing my family’s sacrifice, I knew I not only had to excel, but to succeed in all my endeavors. I resolved to receive the best education, and to surpass all expectations bestowed upon me. I wanted them to be proud of my accomplishments, and let them know that their sacrifices haven’t been in vain. "
jess_is_here at 2005-11-27 07:17 (UTC) (Link)
wow. you and you're family have been through so much. i have so much respect for you.

thanks for sharing that. I don't think I have any experiences nearly as moving as that, but maybe it will get the juices flowing.
chocolate_horse at 2005-11-27 20:02 (UTC) (Link)
this one wasn't as hard for me as the one-page essay... i just wrote about one of my extracurriculars, but i made sure to pick one that "reveals something about me." i have no idea what to do for the long essay, though. i wrote something already, but it's bad and i have no idea how to make it better.

are you trying to get your stanford application done by december 1st? apparently the "preferred" deadline is the 1st, but the actual deadline is the 15th... i have no idea how i can finish my application by the 1st.
jess_is_here at 2005-11-27 23:13 (UTC) (Link)
yeah, i'm going to get it done by the first. i don't know if your app will be viewed any differently if you submit it on the fifteenth, but i think i'll just be safe and go with the first.

wouldn't it be grand if we both went to stanford. although you have a much better chance of being accepted than i do! :(
chocolate_horse at 2005-11-28 01:46 (UTC) (Link)
aww, thanks! but i think you probably have a better chance of getting into stanford.
jess_is_here at 2005-11-28 02:39 (UTC) (Link)
no, you do!!!

haha, we'll just go back and forth forever. until april, that is.
chocolate_horse at 2005-11-29 01:30 (UTC) (Link)
we have basically the same grades and the same test scores, and we both volunteer, and you have debate and i work for the paper. therefore, our applications are equal, and if one of us gets in and the other doesn't, there's obviously some height-based discrimination going on.
jess_is_here at 2005-11-30 04:51 (UTC) (Link)
haha, i hope i don't get the short end of the stick!

oh dear, that was a bad pun and it didn't even really make sense!
chocolate_horse at 2005-11-30 06:24 (UTC) (Link)
well, they might be the type to discriminate against tall people... who knows what admissions committees look for...
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