Senior Writes a Totally Not Recycled, Unique “Why College” Essay

A senior writes a draft of a “Why College” essay, except it’s not so great.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Subject: Is this advisable?

Jane Smith <>

to Elizabeth ▾

Hi Elizabeth! I hope maternity leave is going well for you. I’m sorry for interrupting your bonding time with the new baby (how is she?), but I desperately need some advice about whether or not to accept an applicant to JDU’s Class of 2026.

The other week, President Johnson pulled me aside and asked me to consider giving student applicant 9720125 a boost in the application process (apparently their parents are a delightful addition to his Sunday brunches). While I would normally just add them to the Z-List, I had a few concerns after reading their “Why JDU” essay, which I’ve attached below. It seems like they accidentally submitted a rough draft instead of the final piece. Do you think that 9720125 would make a good addition to the campus?

Thanks for the help,

Office of Admissions

John Doe University

“In 650 words or less, please explain why you want to apply to John Doe University.”

When I was a fetus, I often wrote code using my developing mind. Before I was even born, I had already learned Python and Java and built my own computer out of biological compounds.

I thought that at the wise age of 17, I had already learned all there was to know about the world. However, during my mission trip to [...note to self: remind me where I went again?], I gained experiences and knowledge that I never would’ve otherwise. I met so many people who, simply because of bad luck, never had the chance to have an education like I had. Of course, that was until I packed my suitcase and bought a plane ticket to my destination. With my trusty Papermate ballpoint pen, I managed to fix everything! Long-term effects of colonialism? Gone! Income inequalities? Gone! I even solved sexism while staying up one night daydreaming about working at FAANG after getting my CS degree [maybe curing cancer would work better here, idk].

My experiences from those fateful two weeks are what drove me to apply to this college. John Doe University has a strong student volunteer culture—perfect for Instagram virtue signaling! I also plan on joining John Doe’s Smile Club [what do they even do again?] and doing independent research under the supervision of Professor Adams from the Psychology Department (I look up to them immensely!) on why my ego is so huge and how to transplant pieces of it to those less fortunate. In addition, I’m extremely excited about attending class, especially because the class sizes at JDU are so small! The few students in Organic Chemistry would help decrease the probability of having another antisocial being in the room other than me. In the past, I always had to murder some of my classmates to become the only psychopath in Algebra II, which seriously reduced the amount of time I had available to find a cure for cancer [maybe I should put this in the additional info section—something about being a big fish in a small pond?]. Yale also has great study abroad opportunities available for undergraduate Yalies, which is great for my passion for mission trips [so sad that my admissions consultant said that I shouldn’t talk about my illegal black market business in kidney donations in this essay]. Finally, John Doe’s unique core curriculum would allow me to learn from many disciplines beside my double major in computer science and pre-med. I’m looking forward to taking classes like LIT251: Analysis of “American Psycho” and SPORT1/0: Fictional Water Polo and overall becoming a well-rounded person.

[Hm need to write a bit more about my construction plans for a new library…]

Elizabeth Hall <>

to me ▾

Hi Jane,

A new library would make for some great scenic photos on next year’s Apply to JDU pamphlets.

Don’t worry too much about it!

Office of Admissions

John Doe University