Different topics

<p>Is it usually considered a bad idea to write on similar topics for more than one, or is it all right as long as they show different parts/facets of us?</p>

<p>For example, my main activity, competitive programming, is broad enough to encompass competing myself, running a sort of team/group, and writing contests so I've listed it as one on the Common App. Would it be bad to overlap topics as in, say, write about all of that in general for the "most meaningful activity essay" (since it is my #1 activity), describe a particular intellectual experience for the "intellectual vitality" one, and multiple experiences from different activities, including competitive programming, as part of the "what matters" essay?</p>

<p>Don’t present yourself as one-dimensional. Write about different aspects of yourself in each essay.</p>

<p>Stanford admits only the most well-rounded students. You should not present yourself as having a “thing” or a primary interest. College is for finding yourself and Stanford will look down on it if you seem to already have it all figured out.</p>

<p>I disagree with doyourhomework. Stanford doesn’t look for only well-rounded students. In fact, being lopsided can be a huge advantage. I was certainly lopsided, with 8/10 of my ECs in the same field. I wrote all my essays about those ECs. So it can work. That said, don’t leave out other meaningful activities if you can help it. Try to present yourself as genuinely as possible.</p>

<p>@doyourhomework Yes, you should present yourself as having a primary interest. Stanford likes people with a passion for a particular thing.</p>

<p>@awesometoad Still, don’t write every essay about competitive programming. Show different sides of yourself and your personality. You want them to understand you and what makes you tick as well as possible. Ask yourself, will writing all 5 essays on the same thing will really show them who you are?</p>

<p>Put yourself in the shoes of an admission officer. Would you want to read ll the essays about the same thing? It’d just get redundant after a while if you’re not revealing any new information about yourself.</p>

<p>That may have been true years ago, but clearly not anymore. It is pretty common knowledge that Stanford is the place for well-rounded kids. Harvard is the place for “experts” in a particular field now.</p>

<p>Sorry if I come across as peevish, but I don’t understand the cut-and-dry well-rounded mentality of Stanford apps. Most of the CS students I know who go to Stanford (only a few, but still) are interested in multiple subjects and are able to talk intelligently about them (for example, I’m interested in politics) but their focus is CS. That’s what they’re good at, and want to focus on.</p>

<p>I’m sorry again, but I don’t think you guys have interpreted my post correctly. I am using specific examples from different activities in my last essay. I am describing the helping/service aspect of what I do in another. I am describing the competition aspect in another and what I learn from it. I am not trying to present myself as one-dimensional. I’m sorry that the different parts of my activities don’t seem to show different sides of me at the outset, and are assumed to be the same.</p>

<p>No, I would not like reading five essays about the exact same thing. But that seems to be a straw man situation. This is 4-5 essays about similar, related activities, some of which overlap about completely different/comprehensive parts of them. I don’t know if the similarity is likely to hurt, though my heart tells me I should go with it since I should be honest and these activities/examples are most meaningful to me.</p>