First lines from the application essays of Stanford’s 2008 class.

Source: Stanford Alumni magazine, Sep/Oct 2008

The undergraduate admissions staff, while evaluating students on their total merit, take notice of the first lines that make essay-reading a particular pleasure. We asked them to share some of their favorite openers from those students who, starting in September, can write, Call me Cardinal.

  • Unlike many mathematicians, I live in an irrational world; I feel that my life is defined by a certain amount of irrationalities that bloom too frequently, such as my brief foray in front of 400 people without my pants.
  • Sitting cross-legged on the floor of a Bhimanagar slum dwelling in Bangalore, I ran my fingers across a fresh cut on my forehead.
  • I almost didn’t live through September 11th, 2001.
  • When I was 8 years old, I shocked my family and a local archaeologist by discovering artifacts dating back almost 3,500 years.
  • When I was in eighth grade I couldn’t read.

…¬†

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