I’m writing to you to quell any fears or hesitations you may have about our first meeting. Anyone would admit that sharing a room with a complete stranger can be a bit intimidating. I can only begin to imagine the look on your face upon our introduction. Your eyes narrow, your mouth twists wryly with reservation, and your arms begin to cross. After all, your Harvard Student Tour Guide left you with the distinct impression that you may be lucky enough to share a room with royalty or even a celebrity. But no, providence has not been kind and, instead, you find yourself face to face with a typical young man from sunny California. At this point, you may be thinking: “Wonderful. I’m stuck rooming with a surfer or, even worse, a football player!” Since first impressions are everything, I decided to write you this letter to provide deeper insight into what lies beneath the stereotypical California image. Who knows, maybe our year together will end up being the tale the tour guides tell to next year’s incoming freshman.
Despite popular opinion, I do not surf. If you’ve never ventured outside of the traditional touristy California locales, you might be surprised to find out that it’s not all rolling waves and beautiful coastline. Where I live, there are more cows than waves. So, since the stereotypical surfer image was not available to me, I chose to play football. I’m ecstatic to be joining the Harvard football team and hope to become a collegiate champion. Being a crimson, for me, is about far more than just football. Sure, I could have chosen any number of highly competitive athletic programs, but Harvard is a package deal. How could you beat having access to both a fantastic football team and the most highly regarded college education available? I truly value the respect that comes along with being a Harvard athlete. Most competitive athletic institutions choose to lower their standards of admission in order to recruit the finest athletes. Personally, I would rather be valued as much for my intellect as for my skills on the field, which is why I have placed a tremendous amount of focus equally in these areas.
Despite my strong commitment to academic and athletic excellence, I still managed to find plenty of time for community activism. On the surface, I know it may seem as though I chose to volunteer my time as a way to make myself look better on paper for college admissions. Embarrassingly, in the beginning, that was my motivation. However, what began as a selfish act soon morphed into a selfless one. Although, I will admit that altruism is never purely selfless. The feelings of warmth and pride I had when coaching soccer clinics for underprivileged youth made me feel, at times, that they were really the ones helping me to gain a better understanding of the world and my position in it. Volunteering has a way of humbling even the most enthusiastic college applicants.
While I don’t know what your concentration will be, I can assure you that I will find it fascinating. I thoroughly enjoy soaking up information from all subjects and, although I am going to be focusing on a degree in either Computer Science or Economics, I will be eager and intrigued to learn more about where your individual passion lies. Perhaps we will have the same concentration and will be able to have long talks about our similarities. Or maybe we will be polar opposites in our interests and goals, which will make for riveting late-night conversations in which we become engrossed in the unique aspects of our education. Whatever the case may be, I want you to know that I have a way of making friends with everyone because, despite our differences, we still have one thing in common: a true commitment to education and the drive necessary to complete and surpass our personal goals. True, I may not be royalty or a Hollywood star, but I am confident that we will both be comfortable and happy as roommates. There is so much more to me than the California football image that lies on the surface. Deep down, I am what every Harvard student strive strives to be: driven, ethical, altruistic, and unique. And as an added perk of being my roommate, you can literally rest soundly knowing that I am not a snorer... or so I’ve been told.
Looking forward to a memorable year,