The Stanford roommate essay is one of four essays you must write as part of your Stanford University college application.
The Stanford letter to roommate prompt has a minimum of 100 words and a maximum of 250 words. Other than that, there are no specific guidelines for how you should answer the question.
The Stanford roommate essay is definitely unique—and you should take that as a license to write about topics you otherwise wouldn’t in your college application.
Stanford Roommate Essay Guidelines
1. The admissions committee includes this prompt to get an idea of what you’re like with your peers, as well as how you’ll fit in with Stanford’s student body.
2. The question isn’t concerned with your plentiful extracurricular achievements or spotless academic record; rather, it’s asking about what you do after you’re finished studying or practicing.
3. What do you like to do when you’re just relaxing? How do you spend your free time? How do you interact with your peers? What are the quirks that make you?
4. Asking this question gives the admissions committee a better picture of the whole of you, rather than just the student who will be attending class.
5. This essay question is a great opportunity to talk about unique aspects of your personality and interests that weren’t showcased in the rest of your application.
Stanford Roommate Essay Examples
“Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate and us to know you better.”
Everybody has peculiarities that most people don’t know about. For example, I have a habit of pinching my ear lobes. I also pour milk into my cereal, only to drain it out after soaking the cereal for a bit.
I have -2.75 vision but I hate wearing glasses because I feel confined and limited in my freedom to think. So you’ll see me squint quite often, trying to overcome my astigmatism—it’s not a death glare, I promise.
I’m also extremely tactile. I like to run my fingers over laser printing because I am amazed by my fingers’ ability to detect subtle impressions.
I have a fetish for things that smell nice, so I like to bury myself under fresh laundry just wheeled back from laundry room 8 (the one closest to our unit).
Driving calms my nerves. Sometimes, my family and I go on midnight highway cruises during which we discuss weighty issues such as the reason people in our society can so adamantly advertise items.
Also, in my home, we have an open-door policy—literally. Every door, excluding those of an occupied bathroom and the fridge, is always open. I hope you and I will be comfortable enough with each other.
Finally, I love the shelves. They organize many different items under a unified structure and I find value in this kind of integrated diversity. And I love them as a metaphor:
Dear Future Roommates
First things first: my Starburst is our Starburst.
Feel free to grab some (but don’t touch the lemon) off my desk whenever. I hope this works the other way around too.
I have my own quirks as do most people. For starters, I can do a hyper-realistic frog impression. (Don’t worry, I’ll chase out any frogs that happen to hop inside.)
Beethoven is my jam and l often subconsciously start humming along to his symphonies. I may even start trumpeting “BAAA DAA DAA DUMMMM” when the brass comes in.
TO MY FUTURE ROOMMATE:
1. Kidnapped your best friend at 3:00 a.m. with a bunch of buddies and take him/her for an emergency milkshake run?
2. Made snow angels in the nude on the school ski trip when it’s 0 degrees outside?
3. Told tourists that if they “pee in the ocean,” they’ll attract great white sharks?
4. Re-enact Monty Python and the Holy Grailin its entirety before your history class.
5. Take apart your broken MP3 because you are sure that you can fix it?
1. Memorized the first half of Whitman’s Song of Myself, because there was nothing better to do.
2. Spent three days arguing with your friends about the socio-political ramifications of the word “Chick?”
3. Stayed up until 5:00 a.m. because the conclusion of your English paper just wasn’t right.
4. Received a parking ticket because you had to respond to a piece of racist graffiti in a public bathroom?
5. Spent the entire day at a cafe re-reading a book by your favorite author?
6. When you were a second grader, explained to a classmate’s mother why you thought screaming at her kid was inappropriate while she threatened to spank you for being so insolent
The Stanford roommate essay is a unique essay that asks every applicant to write a letter to their future roommate.