Dear Roommate Essay

This Stanford roommate essay example can be used as a preparation material for students who want to write their papers on the similar topic.

Dear future Stanford roommate,

My name is Rosetta, but I adore when my friends call me Rose. It reminds me of my favorite movie Titanic and its main female character Rose Dawson. I want to warn you that I adore watching this masterpiece at least once a month. To tell you the truth about other types of films, I am not a very avid fan. I hate horror films, and I am that person who hasn’t seen even one episode of Game of Thrones. If you are its voracious devotee, you may try persuading me to watch it. Maybe, I just need somebody to give me a great spur.

As to my hobbies, I adore ballroom dancing, and I virtually dance everywhere, especially at home. So, don’t be scared if you suddenly find me performing weird movements while I am frying eggs in the kitchen. It is my way of unwinding and relaxing.

Some other unusual things which you should know before we share one room together is that I never kill any live insects. I just can’t stand if somebody kills them in front of me. So, if you would have a desire to get rid of flies or gnats, just do it if I don’t see this. I’ll be delighted if you appreciate my strange attitude towards those small creatures.

You can think that I am a vegetarian due to the previous odd love to insects, but I am not. I adore eating chicken food and every meal connected with it. As I started talking about food habits, I hate when anyone takes my food from the same plate. That’s why, after I buy chips or fruits, I always use two plates. One of them is wholly mine, and another is for guests. It doesn’t mean that I am greedy, I just like treating others this way.

As all Stanford undergraduates, I would spend lots of time studying. I always prepare tests and notes using our study guides in advance. My best way study is in the evening. I am not that kind of a morning bird who prefers to learn the material before classes. I would rather keep late hours and go to sleep at 3 am than go to bed at 9 pm and continue learning the material in the early morning. If you do not endorse such regime, I promise you won’t hear any sound from me while I’m doing my night studying.

My favorite means of remembering information is creating mind maps; before the exams, this method helps me revise all the material. Although I am not good at painting, I can draw mind maps pretty lovely. During the preparation I scatter many multiple pencils, pens, colorful paper, stickers to create a creative mess. I promise you that everything will be taken away.

In the morning I devote half an hour to yoga exercises. It helps me to get focused on study for classes. If you want, you can try practicing yoga with me; it will help your self-concentration, make you more resilient and enduring. I hope that you have the same sport passion; I would be glad to have a companion during my morning training.

I am a real Instagram lover, and I have a fashion blog. I need someone to help me decide which photo to choose, which color filter is suitable and other details. If you hate those things, just tell me this. And I will never bother you with such blogger’s questions. Having said that, I do hope that you adore taking photos and posting them on your social media profile. I would be glad if we could share our experience, take photos together. I understand that in Stanford I wouldn’t have lots of fast free study and will have to pay less attention to Instagram. Still it would be great to have a few minutes per day to post photos. It is who I am, and it reveals my creative personality.

I hope this letter has helped us to become close. I am eager to communicate with you in person. I am sure that as we both want to study at Stanford, we will find lots of things in common. If we appear to be people with different tastes and worldviews, I promise to do my best to learn everything I can from your personality because extremes meet.
Best wishes,


  • University, Undergraduate Admission at Stanford. “Transfer Application Requirements.”Essays : Stanford University,
  • “How to Write the Stanford Roommate Essay?” Free Essays –, 18 Oct. 2017,

Dear Parent:

Before we talk about the "Stanford roommate essay," let’s talk about Stanford. You know the overall acceptance rate is just under 5%. It’s probably closer to 10% for kids with hooks; common hooks include being a recruited athlete, a legacy student, a member of the first generation in one’s family to attend college, an underrepresented minority, a development case (connection to a big donor), or an exceptional talent (significant contribution or state/national recognition). That means the acceptance rate is a bit under 5% for kids without hooks. Whether or not your child has a hook, we can say one thing for sure: Stanford is a low-probability “reach school.”

You need to think about applying to Stanford or any other selective school the same way you might think about playing blackjack. On the rare occasions I sit down to play blackjack, I don’t expect to win because I know the odds are against me. But just because the odds are against me doesn’t mean there is nothing I can do to improve my odds. Actually, there are two things I can do, one easy and one hard.

Overview: Basic Strategy & Advanced Strategy

The easy thing is basic strategy. Basic strategy tells me, depending on my hand and the dealer’s up card, whether I should hit or stand. For example, if I have a 13 and the dealer’s up card is a 2, then I should stand. The hard thing, which I cannot do, is the advanced strategy counting cards. If I know when the deck has a high ratio of face cards, I can adjust my bets to increase my returns.

I’m talking about blackjack because it carries such a close parallel with the writing process, especially for the Stanford roommate essay. For the Stanford roommate essay, there is a “basic strategy” that we use to avoid dumb mistakes, and there is an “advanced strategy” that we use to improve our returns. Following these strategies doesn’t guarantee a win, but it ensures we’ve done everything possible to improve our odds.

Stanford Roommate Essay: Basic Strategy

Basic strategy for the Stanford roommate essay involves avoiding two common but entirely avoidable mistakes. First, don’t write broad statements about what kind of roommate you’ll be. I’m very neat. I’m very messy. I go to bed early. I go to bed late. I wake up early. I wake up late. But don’t worry -- I’m sure we’ll get along great! OMG. No. If I’ve seen dozens of these and similar statements in first drafts I’ve come across, I feel sorry for the admission officers who have seen thousands. So stay away from these broad descriptions of who you are.

Second, don’t write about all the typical college or Stanford experiences you anticipate having with your roommate. I look forward to grabbing a late-night snack with you. I look forward to making it through our first all-nighter. I look forward to 2:00 am discussions about the Meaning of Life and Our Purpose on Earth. I look forward to fountain-hopping. I look forward to Big Game. These were all part of Stanford life when I was there, and I’m sure they still are. The problem is, again, that if I’ve seen dozens of these types of statements, I’m sure admission officers have seen thousands. And if that’s the case, writing these statements won’t help you stand out.

Stanford Roommate Essay: Advanced Strategy

In a nutshell, basic strategy for the Stanford roommate essay means not writing about what kind of roommate you’ll be and not writing about generic college experiences you hope to share with your roommate. If you can help your child avoid these two mistakes, her essay will automatically improve. But what about advanced strategy? Advanced strategy isn’t that tricky. It comes down to one word: intimacy.

Intimacy is secret knowledge. It includes knowledge of a person’s dreams, fears, insecurities, contradictions, quirks, or eccentricities. To count as intimacy, this knowledge has to relate to something only someone who has spent a lot of time with us might have observed. For example, my wife, Christa, does not fully close any container, whether it’s tupperware for leftovers or the cap to a gallon of milk, a bottle of water, or a tube of toothpaste. I have no idea why. When I order fries from the drive-thru, I know I won’t eat them with ketchup because I am going to devour them as I drive while they are still hot -- but I still always say yes to ketchup when the server asks me. It makes no sense.

The examples above -- lids on containers, unused ketchup -- are solitary intimacies. But intimacies extend to other people, too. What secret habits or traditions do you have with your close friends? Why are those meaningful? How have they affected you? These interpersonal intimacies help the reader understand what it feels like to hang out with you.

How to Apply Advanced Strategy

The easiest way to apply advanced strategy to the Stanford roommate essay is to freewrite based on this idea: “Most people don’t know this about me, but my family and close friends all know __________.” If your child can come up with 5-10 of these intimacies, chances are she’ll have enough material for this 250-word essay. Will that answer the prompt, though? Let’s see what it asks us:

“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 -- know you better. (100 to 250 words)”

My answer is yes, writing those intimacies will answer the prompt. No matter whether we are looking at the Common App essay, the “why this college” essay, the Stanford roommate essay, or any other application essay, the topic is the same: you. This prompt’s purpose is clear; Stanford wants to get to know you better.

Recap: 3 Tips to Improve the Stanford Roommate Essay

To recap, here are three ideas to keep in mind while you’re helping your child along with the Stanford roommate essay:

  1. Basic Strategy, Part 1: Forget using general terms (neat, messy, goes to bed early, goes to bed late, gets up early, gets up late) to describe yourself.
  2. Basic Strategy, Part 2: Forget emphasizing generic college or Stanford experiences (late night snacks, all-nighters, late-night conversations, fountain-hopping, Big Game).
  3. Advanced Strategy: Write about intimacies -- specific idiosyncrasies or specific habits or routines you share with family and close friends -- that would not be apparent to someone who doesn’t know you well.

By following the basic strategy, your child will avoid wasting space saying things that thousands of other applicants are saying. By following the advanced strategy, your child will pinpoint unique experiences, traits, and habits. If your child can write with intimacy, then you and your child will both have peace of mind. You’ll know you have done everything possible with this essay to improve the odds of admission. Good luck!


P.S. If you have questions about how to handle the Stanford roommate essay (or any other application essay), please email or call us about working together, or join our free private Facebook group for parents. Talk to you soon!

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