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What do you do that shows your intellectual vitality?

tokenadulttokenadult Posts: 17,473Super Moderator Senior Member
edited November 2008 in Stanford University
AAAARRRGH! I've just got to do something in this forum to relieve the pile-up of chances threads. So how about a thread that just might IMPROVE your chances?

The Stanford admission office has been remarkably consistent, under at least two directors, in saying that what Stanford is looking for in applicants is "intellectual vitality." So here is my question for everyone applying to Stanford this year: what do you do in your day-by-day life that shows your intellectual vitality? What do you learn because you love to learn it? What do you do to energize your mind and become smarter?

If you can answer that question here, you can answer it on your application. Feel free to practice in this thread.

P.S. No, I have no idea what your chances are. Please don't ask.
Post edited by tokenadult on
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Replies to: What do you do that shows your intellectual vitality?

  • issacnewtonissacnewton Posts: 3,020Registered User Senior Member
    I am not applying, but I can answer in a short way..
    ''I be myself, to show my intellectual vitality''...and this is what makes me smarter, makes me learn whatever I wish ''to enjoy'', for the love of learning...:)..
  • llpitchllpitch Posts: 4,318Registered User Senior Member
    Well other than Mu Alpha Theta I don't really do any EC's that show my "intellectual vitality". All of my EC's are band related (my main passion).

    I guess how I show mine is that I'm self-studying 3 APs this year. Is that kind of what they're looking for?
  • poloruler23poloruler23 Posts: 293Registered User Junior Member
    i seriously doubt it ^^^
  • tokenadulttokenadult Posts: 17,473Super Moderator Senior Member
    Self-studying AP courses is certainly more intellectually vital than watching TV sitcoms.

    Stanford's marching band has a particular role in Stanford's campus culture that should not be underestimated. A passion for band music is noteworthy to the Stanford admission committee.

    How about anyone else? Is your intellectual vitality strong enough to be described in writing?
  • AlumotherAlumother Posts: 6,191Registered User Senior Member
    Intellectual vitality, IMO, doesn't require that you do anything to "show" it. It is who you are. How you approach everything. Now maybe there are certain activities you participate in that have been motivated by intellectual vitality. Or where intellectual vitality has flourished. But honestly I swear the intellectually curious among us can make going to the supermarket a vital act:).

    If you do it to show anything, it's ambition.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Posts: 17,473Super Moderator Senior Member
    I'm writing from the point of view of an admission committee looking at applications. Presumably, everyone who submits an application would like to have an offer of admission from Stanford. I don't know how many high-school-age people go to the supermarket regularly, but certainly most of us adults do, intellectually vital or not. But what is the admission committee going to do if it announces to the whole wide world that it is looking for intellectual vitality (as Stanford's admission committee has announced) and the admission file looks like every other high school kid's admission file?
  • GA2012MOMGA2012MOM Posts: 4,954Registered User Senior Member
    It seems to me this would be something that would come across in teacher reccomendations. They would know the day in day out vitality of the student.
  • alohasam89alohasam89 Posts: 590Registered User Member
    my intellectual experience was seeing a man die in my arms, at least i thought he died
  • tokenadulttokenadult Posts: 17,473Super Moderator Senior Member
    That seems like it would be an unusual experience. Are you saying the man is alive now?

    What, more generally, do high school students like to learn for fun these days?
  • collegefan903collegefan903 Posts: 706Registered User Member
    some people still learn for fun. I do, which is probably why I don't do as well in the subjects I don't like.. although I do alright overall. I know some people who are really into things like computer programming and coding, and they are all self-taught.
  • AlumotherAlumother Posts: 6,191Registered User Senior Member
    Learn for fun? My son, hip hop music production, everything possible about college basketball, tropical and marine ecology. He much prefers what he teaches himself out of school to what he learns in school. I doubt he would call it "learning" to his friends, but since he gathers huge quantities of information, analyzes the patterns of that information, and uses his analysis for future assessment of additional information, I call it learning:).
  • tokenadulttokenadult Posts: 17,473Super Moderator Senior Member
    I'm surprised I'm not hearing from more students in this thread.
  • riverrunnerriverrunner Posts: 2,707Registered User Senior Member
    they are asleep, at my house. resting up for a day of catching up on intellectual pursuit. 6 APs. agree with poster who said teacher recs will out. the kid who questions, digs, and goes beyond the expected scope of assignments should be described glowingly. broken wrist. sorry about poor typing.
  • sooxeesooxee Posts: 72Registered User Junior Member
    I think it comes off in your essay, not in your stats. Anyone who has enough money to enroll in a prestigious school/prep program can UP their grades and have high scores.

    My main essay will be about my fascination/obsession with Rubik's cubes... I think it shows that 1. I'm slightly more unique (Girls and Rubik's cubes?) and 2. I look for an escape (from homework and tests) that challenges me and gets me into a nice zen mode? It keeps me concentrated. I don't know! :( I haven't finished the essay yet because I don't know where I want to go with it. Blah.
  • pianogirl_90pianogirl_90 Posts: 35Registered User Junior Member
    I wrote about my summer science research project and how it inspired me to search and join a year long research internship with local university.
    Is this OK or Is it going to look like I am boasting about my "intellect" ?
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