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College essays are a necessary evil when it comes to applying for your tertiary education. Colleges use the essays to learn more about your personality and communication skills.
But every once in a while, some colleges get more than they bargained for when an applicant takes his or her essay to the next level. The result is a hilarious bunch.
Some people got really creative with their essay ideas. One online commenter wrote about a friend's college essay that is not-so-normal.
He wrote, "The University of Chicago lets applicants choose their own essay question, so my friend decided to write a thousand words debating the question "If a piece of toast always lands butter side down and a cat always lands on its feet, what would happen if you were to attach a piece of toast butter side up to a cat's back?" He explained the theory of "cat/toast equilibrium" and went into detail explaining what he believed would happen. He got in."
Joking with the judges
The people who read and judge your essay and application can be pretty tough. One Yale applicant kept his answer short and sassy. His parent was a famous actor, so he acted a bit more relaxed in his essay.
Yale's essay question was "Why Yale?" The applicant wrote, "Dear Yale, you're great. There's no need to fish for compliments."
He got in, and when he met the Dean on one of his first days, the Dean said, "I really enjoyed your essay."
One applicant at Occidental, a private liberal arts college, wanted to show off their philosophical chops. As you'll be able to tell, it fell flat:
"I believe in jello; a silly greeting, tasty dessert, or the answer to life as we know it?
"Factor #1: Have you ever tried to make jello? It takes patience. First you have to boil the water; then mix it with powder, stirring for two minutes; then finally adding the cold water and putting it in the fridge for 45 minutes. Think about the creation of people."
This metaphor was probably a little too far-fetched for readers, and just a bit weird.
The "make up your own question" essay
BroBible listed funny college application stories, and this one was definitely interesting: "When applying to college we were told about a kid that applied to Harvard. Their prompt asked them to propose their own question and answer it. The kid asked himself "Do you play the trombone?" His answer: "No." Of course he got in. I'm not sure what the moral of the story was…maybe to think outside the box?"
The most interesting candidate in the world
In the early 90s, a New York University candidate felt that making himself unique was the key to getting accepted. So he went overboard.
"I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently.
"Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row. I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing. I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook 30-minute brownies in 20 minutes."
The candidate goes on, with more outrageous claims, including that he's an outlaw in Peru, was scouted by the New York Mets and receives fan mail despite being a private citizen. In the end, however, he writes about the one thing he has yet to do: "But, I have not yet gone to college."
Now that you've been entertained by these hilarious, not-so-ordinary essays, it's time to start thinking about your own. Even more, it's time to start thinking about the next step in your life, including education.
College essays may sound boring, but they're necessary to help you succeed in getting you into the college of your choice. Regardless of your background and essay writing skills, consider BYU Graduate Studies to help you succeed beyond your essay.
Ben lives with his wife, Kilee, and dog, Paisley, in Arkansas. He has a passion for personal finance, sports, and learning. Ben recently started a blog at www.wealthgospel.com where you can find more of his opinions on personal finance. His life goals are to write about personal finance all day and start a non-profit organization to help others become self-reliant and to find their true potential. On any given day, you could find him eating homemade salsa, picking blackberries, or staying up until 3 a.m. to finish a book.