Now that college applications are submitted and seniors are in for the long haul, I want to share my honest answers to real college essay prompts.
Q: Describe the world from which you come and how it has affected you.
A: Open with some wry humor, then get serious. Describe my background as “very diverse” and how it’s changed my view on life. Then try to demonstrate how philosophically aware I am, despite not having read a book since middle school.
Q: What makes you happy?
A: Getting into college.
Q: What is your dream?
A: Not to write another essay.
Q: Describe a significant problem that you’ve had to overcome and solve.
A: As someone who has two loving parents who are financially secure, attends a private school, and never has to wait for her Netflix to buffer, my biggest problem in life is deciding where I want to go on summer vacation.
Q: How do you hope to make a difference in the world?
A: After I get my college degree, I’ll let you know.
Q: Why do you want to attend our school?
A: Because I need to get a college degree to get a good job, and you’re one of the schools I can actually get into.
Q: Why are you applying to X major?
A: It’s the only major that I could actually get into at your school.
Q: Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.
A: I objected to writing this essay, and yet here I am writing it – and here you are reading it.
Q: Describe someone who influenced you and how they did.
A: My college counselor. Without him/her, I’d never be writing this essay.
Q: Describe yourself in five words.
A: Good. Fit. For. Your. College.
Q: What extracurricular activity has been the most meaningful to you?
A: I found the cure for cancer, I solved world hunger, I found peace in the Middle East, and I eradicated Zika and Ebola. How could I possibly choose which is the most meaningful?
Q: What is the most influential book you’ve read?
A: Oh, you know, that classic, the one with the moral lesson and the critique on society. Hmm… at the moment I don’t seem to remember the name. But I can assure you, I definitely read it.
Q: Describe an experience when you were unsuccessful in achieving your goal. What did you learn from this experience?
A: Well, if you don’t accept me into this college, I’ll learn that I should have applied to more safety schools.
—By Nicole Wolkov