The Unspoken Words

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 Future Roommate,

I have never told my sister that I love her.

Growing up, it was not part of our culture -- in our traditional Chinese family, my mother still believes that women belong in the home. There are no hugs or kisses. We respect each other’s space, so a farewell is simply a spoken word, without tears or touch.

But that is merely an excuse for my fear. I can tell a stranger that I love her, and social propriety will require her to repeat the sentiment. There are no such restrictions between sisters.

I have always looked up to my sister despite her introversion. She is my oracle, my guiding force in my life. Still, I know that it is up to me to reach out first.

Yet my previous ventures have been failures. At her graduation, I bounced up to fawn over her glory. I threw a casual arm around her for a picture, almost inducing a hug -- until she pulled away from my grasping touch. There is my fear, carved by the pixels of a snapshot.

So I will start our relationship with honesty. I will tell you how much I adore you, because I know the fun we will have dancing and singing around our room. I will say the word “love”, and I will not let fear get in the way.



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