Friday, September 10, 2010

College Essays

Before I begin this, I would like to thank my college counselor for telling me that I, as a transfer student, do not have to worry about writing an essay.  Turns out, as a transfer student, I'm expected to write TWO. 

Let me ask you a question: if you were guaranteed entry to your top university through some kind of program, your GPA, that sort of thing, would you take a few liberties with your essay?  Because I'm pretty much guaranteed a spot - though my fingers are still crossed - and instead of writing the typical college essay about how (enter tragic moment that happened to you) shaped you or a typical About You essay, I think I may switch it up.

Like, for instance, wouldn't it be way more interesting to write about your first time having sex and how that particular incident made you who you are today rather than a divorce, death, or poverty?  And hello, sex totally DOES shape a person, by the way.  Maybe sometimes even more than the usual response.  Maybe as a RESULT of those usual responses.  Or maybe the first time you saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.  The first time you heard an Eminem song.  Your first kiss.  Your first love.  Your best friend. 

Or, if you had to write about yourself, I think it would be way more interesting to read about the fact that your role model is not some politician or good samaritan or anything like that, but Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, Cher from Clueless, Nat from Charlie's Angels, Lara Croft from Tomb Raider (as portrayed by Angelina Jolie) and Max from Dark Angel.  That you don't have a crush on Brad Pitt but Johnny Depp and Joel McHale and Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.  That you have your own funeral planned.  That you like to go for random drives down PCH whenever you feel like it.  That you like to dance in the aisles of supermarkets.  That the best day of your life was at Alcatraz.  That you and your brother are as close as middle finger over index finger kind of close.  That you're a hopeless romantic and you try to infuse that in your writing.  That you're a writer and a poet.  That the only label you really see yourself as is blonde.  That you like to order things from Amazon.  That you know more about John Dillinger than most people because you're kind of in love with the guy.  Who cares if he was a bank robber and also dead?  Has anyone seen Titanic?  Love can certainly go on.  That you get amused and excited about the smallest things because you know that in life, the smallest things really count.

At least that's my humble opinion.  I mean, think about it.  If I was running for Miss America and I was asked what I wanted most for the world, I wouldn't answer world peace.  That's lame and impossible.  I would say, "I wish there were more bank robbers standing up for what they believe in and that they take the country by storm like John Dillinger did.  That's what I want for the world - another John Dillinger."  That's way more interesting - and honest! - than world peace.

We'll see what happens with MY college essays.  But if I'm guaranteed entry, I'm going to take advantage of the fact that I tend to use the right side of my brain - the creative, artistic side - way more than my left (thanks Physiological Psychology!) and make sure I write essays the Admissions Board don't exactly forget.

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