Expectation: Write your personal statement and supplemental essay.
Reality: College admissions officers will preach about how important these are due to schools no longer requiring test scores. However, here is a list of actual prompts colleges would like you to write:
- What’s your favorite way to eat a potato?
- What’s your favorite word and why?
(University of Virginia)
- Celebrate your curiosity. (This one isn’t even a question.)
- Write an essay on a topic of your choice. (And no, writing a 7-page dissertation on why The Bee Movie was Jerry Seinfeld’s best work is not a good idea.)
- If you had your own food truck or restaurant, what would it be called? (Occidental College)
- Who does Sally sell her seashells to? How much wood can a woodchuck really chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Pick a favorite tongue twister and consider a resolution to its conundrum. (University of Chicago)
- Which Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor (real or imagined) best describes you?
(University of Vermont…who would’ve guessed?)
You will never understand how writing down that “Sally doesn’t sell her seashells to anyone because she’s selling them by the seashore and no one is going to pay for seashells when they’re already at the seashore and could get the seashells for free by bending down so Sally’s business plan is terrible” is as valuable to the University of Chicago as an actual statistical module of your academic progress, but you go with it anyway because you really want to go to college.