Stanford Admissions Essays

My World, My Dreams

Prompt:

This personal statement helps us become acquainted with you in ways different from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself. We are looking for an essay that will help us know you better as a person and as a student. Please write an essay (250 words minimum) on a topic of your choice.


Most children acquire the same eye color or a similar shaped nose from their parents, but I've inherited much more: a passion for learning and an insatiable curiosity which has served me well throughout my academic career. My father, an electrical engineer, taught me to explore the world with inquisitive eyes, constantly seeking to learn more, to understand more. I watched him for hours as he worked on elevator schematics at home, wondering what all the various symbols and lines meant. I was fascinated by technology and wanted to know how and why things worked the way they did.

"How does this toaster work?" "What’s inside this VCR?" I was never satisfied with the simplified answers that my parents sometimes gave to these questions. So I discovered many answers for myself by exploring and experimenting.

My playground was a jumble of old circuit boards, spare electric wire, and an assortment of broken appliances. I spent hours disassembling and tinkering with the amazing treasures I found lying around our garage. My mother, a first grade teacher, noticed my intellectual curiosity and encouraged my childhood explorations. She gave me piles of mind-opening children's books, which I willingly read. Books like "What Makes Popcorn Pop, and Other Questions about the World around Us" allowed me to discover the irresistible appeal of imaginative questions and their fascinating answers.

I was given a remarkable amount of freedom at a young age. When I was 6, my parents bought an old computer for $25 from a local yard sale with the intention of letting me loose on it. I was thrilled. Motivated by curiosity, I delved into it at once and learned how to use each and every feature of the computer's antiquated MS-DOS operating system. With my father's help and an old programming book by my side, I even created simple videogames for my younger brother to play.

My parents taught me to be independent and self-motivated by providing me opportunities to learn by trial and error. I recall an episode where my parents bought a new microwave when I was just 8 years old. As they unpacked the microwave, I caught sight of the owner's manual and asked to see it. After reading the 40-page text front-to-back, I learned one very important thing: how to use a feature called "child lock," or as I saw it, "parent lock." By pressing a special sequence of buttons on the microwave, I disabled it, thus protecting my parents from the dangers of using the appliance without my supervision. Until this day, the first thing I do after buying a new gadget is read the entire manual, in search of nifty features.

My intellectual curiosity is the result of a unique combination of early influences and childhood experiences which have fueled my passion for learning inside and outside of the classroom -- learning from everything I do. I hope to continue applying this curiosity to all aspects of my life, exploring the world through the eyes of my childhood persona. By refusing to accept the obvious explanation, refusing to settle for a superficial understanding, and refusing to endure the status quo, great American innovators like my role model Benjamin Franklin created new knowledge, new technologies, and new innovations. I strive to do the same. It's part of who I am, and what drives me to become successful and happy.


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How to cite this essay (MLA)

Anonymous Student. "My World, My Dreams" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 21 Sep. 2013. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/stanford/my-world-my-dreams/>.
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