Application help

Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2017 06:26 pm
Hey guys! I am writing application essays and would love any help, opinions, comments and feedback. I will be posting all of my essays and their prompts, but feel free to respond to as many as you'd like. Everything is appreciated!

1) Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.

“I wanna have my birthday here mommy!” I definitely was no ordinary child. Unlike most seven year old boys who begged their parents for sleepovers or Pokemon themed parties, I wanted to invite my friends to Kumon and spend my birthday doing math with them.

In addition to the challenge and ability to learn content years beyond my grade level, Kumon has reminded me that math isn’t about merely solving the problem. It’s the euphoria that follows the hungry, sleepless nights, the wastebasket full of failed attempts. It’s the feeling of complete immersion, when time and space cease to exist beyond your individual realm. Kumon has taught me that math is about passion. It’s the reason I voluntarily completed 100 pages of questions covering applications of integration and differential equations in a single night just because of interest and excitement. Kumon has reminded me of the true essence of mathematics. [150 words]

2) What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?

The lack of access to quality education continually worsens social challenges, perpetuating a vicious cycle. From increased financial disparity, to the urban and rural divide, as well as drug use and racial, religious and cultural conflicts, accessible quality education could help prevent potentially violent conflicts that arise from cultural intolerance. [50 words]

3) How did you spend your last two summers?

I never felt as motivated, independent and in my element as during my last two summers at both Phillips Academies. Given the responsibility for my own learning and being surrounded with more like-minded individuals empowered me to learn beyond the classroom and capitalize on as many opportunities as I could. [50 words]

4) What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?

Every month I rewatch Steve Jobs’ revolutionary keynote presentation of the iPhone, arguably the most influential consumer electronics product ever created, at MacWorld in 2007 to remind me of innovation. Being able to witness this monumental event, with all of Steve Jobs’ characteristic charisma, in person would be my dream. [50 words]

5) What five words best describe you?

Curious, competitive, autodidact, balanced, musical

6) When the choice is yours, what do you read, listen to, or watch?

“How Not to Be Wrong”: Love how Ellenberg connects mathematics and various aspects of life, creating a beautiful collage demonstrating math’s overwhelming presence in life and adding a new dimension to decision-making.

“The Meaning of Science”, “The Martian”, “The Science of Interstellar”, Interstellar, Silicon Valley, Ludovico Einaudi, Ernest Cline, Quora [50 words]

7) Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford.

I can’t wait to meet more people who love learning both inside and outside of the classroom! Along those lines, I would love to participate in SURIM. The focus on self-discovery, and the idea of personally contributing to the field makes me believe that this program was designed for me. [50 words]

8) Imagine you had an extra hour in the day — how would you spend that time?

Typically my mornings are quite pressed, so with an extra hour, I would play piano for 30 minutes, then eat a complete breakfast. That way, instead of getting to school in a rush with a sandwich in my hand, I could arrive school calmly and ready to seize the day. [50 words]

Thank you so much guys!
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Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2017 07:32 pm
I honestly can't see anything to comment on beyond some very minor nitpicking (perhaps a comma here and there). Interesting that you want to see Jobs whereas he was really more of the marketing guy than the inventor (I just read a ton of stuff about him).

You are a good writer, and I take it you had word count limitations you had to abide by. There are a few places where you could cut a word or two if you had something you wanted to add which you could not. E. g.

you wrote:
I definitely was no ordinary child.

me wrote:
I was no ordinary child.

you wrote:
It’s the euphoria that follows the hungry, sleepless nights, the wastebasket full of failed attempts.

me wrote:
It’s the euphoria following the hungry, sleepless nights, the wastebasket full of failed attempts.

Like I said, these are minor and nitpicky, but if you need the word count to say something else, then you can make changes like this. Often, the word 'that' can be excised without losing meaning. Compound sentences (sentences which consist of two clauses joined by a conjunction such as 'and') can be replaced with complex ones (the conjunction is replaced by a semicolon, thereby saving a word). You can also, often, get rid of adverbs if your verbs are better. The word 'definitely' was superfluous (see above). Other idioms can be replaced with shorter versions (e. g. 'the reason I' can be changed to 'why I', etc.). Words like 'just', 'merely', and 'only' are often superfluous, too.

Like I said, I'm nitpicking here. You are a great writer and I wish you the best of luck getting into Stanford.
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