Stanford Student

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Stanford loves to ask students what matters to them and why (photo credit: Jrissman).

We came across a sweet editorial on the pages of “The Stanford Daily” written by a current Stanford University senior, Do-Hyoung Park. The editorial is entitled “What matters to you and why?” Does that title sound a bit familiar? For students who’ve applied to Stanford over the years, it sure should because it’s one of their admissions essay questions. Indeed it’s one of our favorites. It’s simple, creative, and it gives students a whole lot of room to express themselves, to write whatever it is they wish.

Do-Hyoung reflects nostalgically on his time in high school and the high stress he was under as he completed his applications and took all of his tests (he was only fifteen when he was working on his applications apparently — because he skipped a few grades, according to the piece). He writes about how he wonders if he squandered some of the opportunities that are offered at such a wonderful institution such as Stanford — if he could have taken more classes, conversed with more professors, joined more clubs. But then he comes to realize that he just wants to smell the “Cardinal red roses,” as he puts it, that he’s a different person than he was in high school. He writes about how it’s not all about achievement and success for him now. It’s now more about enjoying. It’s a philosophy we fully endorse!

As the Stanford student writes, “But the important thing that I’ve come to realize is that unlike what high school me was led to believe, there’s more to life than doing things and achieving things just for the sake of doing things and achieving things. For too long, I simply went through the motions — and for the first time, I allowed myself to stop, smell the (cardinal red) roses and really just be happy. I let myself mess around and take naps when I felt overworked, made a bigger emphasis on taking time to be with my friends and most importantly, found a community and a job that I loved at The Stanford Daily. I let myself stop pushing the pedal to the metal on an engineering career that I’m still not sure about, and as a result, I woke up every day with a smile on my face, knowing that I was trading stress and unhappiness for something that I genuinely loved.”

Well said, Do-Hyoung. Well said.

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