My name is Stephen.

I like to write and tweet.

I work, code and photograph.

Learn more about me and my blog.

Stanford Essay: Map Madman

Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—know you better.

Dear roommate,

As a kid, I was known as The Geographomaniac. The souvenirs I demanded on trips were multiple distinguishing maps. The day that I got the intricate NYC transit map, I spent hours analyzing different bus, subway, ferry routes. Every birthday, I would ask for maps to decorate my walls - world maps on the East, country maps on the South, province maps on the West, and city maps on the North.

I also love everything involving maps. Scavenger hunt is my favorite weekend activity. (The fact that Stanford freshmen participate in an SF Scavenger Hunt confirms that Stanford is my ideal college.) Riding up Mount Diablo with an elevation profile was among the craziest things I’ve done, although I only finished 20% of the climb before becoming too tired. Even my award-winning creation at Alameda County Apps Challenge was a park location finder.

With maps, I can reach any destinations without having people tell me the directions. With maps, I can go anywhere with unlimited number of route options. I really value this sense of freedom to explore and to create. I enjoy being a student because I love seeking alternative solutions to problems. I enjoy being an entrepreneur because I can design products that are the best for customers. Life is like a map - the number of paths might be finite, but the combination of these paths is infinite.

One more thing: as long as you’re with me at Stanford, you’ll never get lost.