By Abigail Anderson
Stanford University has one of the longest and most time-intensive supplements in American college admissions and, if their application numbers are any indication, this has done nothing to dissuade nearly 50,000 students from applying just last year. Stanford’s reputation as an intellectual, competitive, entrepreneurial, quirky California powerhouse—in academics and athletics—can make these essays feel even more challenging than they ought to be. The short and sweet version of our advice? Be yourself. You’ll find that an open, honest response bears much more fruit than a manufactured answer that targets what you think the reader wants to see.