The college application essay is something that most high school seniors dread. A lot is riding on it – a good one will make your application go to the top of the recruitment pile, a bad one will lump you in the with the hundreds or even thousands others who did not make it. Whether you get into your dream school or not depends on this.
The purpose of this essay is to show the person you are behind the grades and standardised test scores. It’s to sell who you are and the potential you have to admission officers.
It’s serious, yes, but some universities like to have some fun too.
But how wacky is too wacky? Can you tell which of the following are real college essay prompts and which are just pure hogwash?
"Cats have nine lives, Pac-Man has three lives, and radioactive isotopes have half-lives. How many lives does something else - conceptual or actual - have, and why?"
"Describe yourself as fully and accurately as possible in 140 characters."
"What do you hope to find over the rainbow?"
"A hot dog might be a sandwich, and cereal might be a soup, but is a ______ a ______?"
"The planet has warmed beyond 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, which scientists have warned would bring catastrophic impact to humankind. Describe what you imagine you will see outside your window and why."
"What do you think will be a better acronym than YOLO?"
"You were just invited to speak at the next UN Climate Action Summit. Write your speech."
"So where is Waldo, really?"