If you are surfing the internet to understand what this assignment is about, it means that you decided to enter Stanford University. Great choice, congratulations!
However, it has high standards, so you will need to do your best to succeed. Stanford roommate essay is a compulsory essay, which is included in the application process. It is a sort of letter to your future roommate. Based on University’s website, this letter should include any details about your personality that may help your roommate to understand who you are.
Keep in mind that Stanford’s admission committee pays a big attention to this essay. Wonder why? The answer is simple: Stanford is well-known for a friendly and supportive community and they take the atmosphere rather seriously. That is why you need to work really hard on your Stanford roommate essay if you want to increase your chances of being enrolled.
Stanford Roommate Essay: How to Write It
This essay has a big share in the application, so you must approach the assignment responsibly. We are ready to share the main rules that will help you to impress the board with your Stanford roommate essay:
- Start with an outline
Planning is a crucial skill not only in our regular but in academic life as well. Especially when it comes to such short assignments as a roommate essay. It should be only 100-250 words long, so it is important to know what details you want to include the text.
- Choose a structure
Even though the roommate essay is rather small, it should still follow a common structure with paragraphs. Organize details that you want to discuss according to the topic. Such a simple approach will make your essay logical and readable.
Even experienced students and professional writers can’t complete an essay from the first attempt. In 99% of cases, you will need to rewrite certain parts, which is totally fine. Just don’t forget to have some time to revise and polish your essay before submitting it.
- Remember about balance
It is rather difficult to make your roommate essay readable, fun and informative. That is why you need to try and find a perfect balance between the number of details and their explanations.
The perfect variant is to devote two-three sentences to every detail about yourself.
And finally: remember that your Stanford roommate essay will be read by your future tutors, so it is better to leave stories about parties or alcohol for personal communication with your roommate.
Example of a Stanford roommate essay outline
Even though you may have a different number of details to include or a variety of topics to discuss, here is a general outline that any roommate essay should follow:
- First sentence: ‘We all have unknown facts that can describe us as a person. For example, I like to spend Sundays at a park, sipping coffee and reading books. And if I have started writing about books, it would be important to mention that I usually upload all the books to my reader, so there won’t be piles of them in the dorm room’
- Body paragraphs. Here you can introduce the things that you have chosen for your essay. Devote one paragraph to a certain detail and add a few sentences about it. ‘I have a passion for cooking. While my friends went to other countries to enjoy sightseeing or to relax on the beach, I always roamed the city looking for traditional recipes and local cafes’
- Conclusion. Here you should summarize everything that you mentioned before. Two sentences would be more than enough. For example, ‘Now you know a few things about who I am. Hopefully, you don’t think that I am a complete weirdo and we have some things in common’
- The closing sentence should look as follows: ‘It will be great to learn more about who you are’.
Good topics for your Stanford roommate essay
By now you probably know that your Stanford essay may be anything but not a boring enumeration of your biggest high school achievements. If you don’t know what to write about, here are a few topics that are always a good choice:
Things that distinguish you
We all have a quirk: something that makes us unique and depicts us in the best light. Do you like your pasta to be undercooked or like learning a new foreign language every year?
- It doesn’t matter what fad you have: a roommate essay is a place, where it can be appropriate. In addition, such quirks are always funny!
- Don’t forget to provide a brief explanation of your motivation: your grandpa with Italian roots always cooked pasta that way or you learn languages because you want to visit all the countries in the world.
- Adding new twists and turns to your description allows enriching the essay and to tell more about your motives and interests.
Relationships with people
One of the main goals of Stanford roommate’s essay is to show the admission board if you can easily fit in their campus. That is why telling about your relationships with peers is always a great topic choice.
- Write about how you communicate with classmates. Maybe you have created a club for those, who suck in math or organized a music band and stayed after classes to practice.
- You can also tell about relationships with friends: share engaging stories, funny moments and situations that show your personality.
- The examples you choose should show that you are a friendly, positive and kind person. While other parts of the application focus on your academic success, a roommate essay is a chance to show who you really are.
Tell what you do for you
Stanford roommate’s essay gives a great opportunity to tell what you do for yourself, not for others. Maybe you like spending evenings watching detective movies or learning Photoshop. Maybe you have a blog about local cuisine or you teach your younger brother to play baseball.
It doesn’t matter whether your hobby is serious or important enough: just share it with the reader.
Tips for crafting a great Stanford roommate essay
This sort of essay is rather personalized, so you need to avoid cliché phrases and sentences if you want to impress the admission board. Here are a few additional tips that you may use:
Try to be as specific as possible
Your essay should paint a very vivid and clear portrait of your personality. Remember that the whole point of Stanford roommate’s essay is to give readers a clear picture of who you are apart from grades and honors.
This essay is your chance to present yourself in full color through plain words on paper. Never think of the things that the committee is willing to hear from you. You should never pretend to be a different person.
Be yourself, tell real-life stories and don’t be afraid to seem funny or not perfect. The brighter your details will be, the more real you will look like!
You don’t need to worry about impressing the admission committee through your Stanford roommate essay. Trust us, officers don’t expect you to be world-ecology leaders or authors of a best seller. You shouldn’t try and look more important than you really are. Believe us, it is rather simple to detect whether a story is real or made-up. So if you don’t want to be caught on a lie, stick to a real story. Officers will be more pleased to read that you have spent 17 hours in a row participating in a Counter-Strike championship than a made-up story that you think they would appreciate.
Above we have already indicated why it is so important to revise your essay. But let us again emphasize the importance of this stage. It is not enough to craft an interesting essay: it should also be readable and professional. That is why you need to make sure that you have enough time to proofread and polish every part of your application before submitting it. Your Stanford roommate essay mustn’t contain any grammar and spelling errors, so don’t forget about a grammar and spelling check once the first draft is created. We strongly recommend you to ask a person you trust to read your essay. Second opinion and a fresh look is always a great option. Ask your parents, friends or teachers to evaluate whether your essay contains an accurate description of you as a person. Then ask them to check whether there are any small typos or errors left. The second opinion is a great way to improve your paper, so never neglect this tool!
Even though Stanford’s roommate essay is more casual and informal, it must be written in an academic language without any mistakes.
We hope that with our guidelines you will write a great Stanford roommate essay that will be highly praised by the admission committee.
Always write truthfully and never makeup facts and stories. If you lie and the board decides to check those facts, you will surely fail and will miss your chance of being accepted to Stanford.