Reading the college essay topics for what seems to be the hundredth time, he searches in vain for an event, challenge, accomplishment, obstacle, interest or talent about which to write.
For a fleeting moment, he laments the absence of a personal tragedy to exploit while he sits with the cursor flashing—a pulsating symbol of perplexity. Especially tormented are the perfectionists, you dutiful students who view the college essay as just one more roadblock to be overcome with sheer will.
His young mind races from topic to topic, each of which he dismisses immediately. His meaningful relationship with his deceased grandfather…overdone.
The first time he received a grade below an “A” on an English paper...trite.
Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.
Greatest College Entrance Essay
I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes.The following are tips for these applicants in developing an authentic, impactful college essay: Don’t read the essay questions, read yourself.Most conformists will stifle their unique voice by attempting to respond to the specific prompts that the Common Application provides.I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants.I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin.This satirical essay — or a version of it — was written in 1990 by high school student Hugh Gallagher, who entered it in the humor category of the Scholastic Writing Awards and won first prize.The text was then published in before taking off as one of the most forwarded viral emails of the 1990s.Though it was not Gallagher's actual college application essay, he did submit it as a sample of his work to college writing programs and was accepted, with scholarship, to New York University, from which he graduated in 1994. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening.I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket.