An Exemplary College Application Essay

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   3A. ESSAY:
   IN ORDER FOR THE ADMISSIONS STAFF OF OUR COLLEGE TO GET TO KNOW YOU,
   THE APPLICANT, BETTER, WE ASK THAT YOU ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:
   ARE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE HAD, OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
   YOU HAVE REALIZED, THAT HAVE HELPED TO DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON?
   
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   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 Thirty
   Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran
   in love, and an outlaw in Peru.
   
   Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly
   defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious
   army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets. I am the
   subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large
   suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On
   Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of
   charge.
   
   I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie.
   Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening
   wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan
   mail. I have been caller number nine and won the weekend passes. Last
   summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force
   demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me
   fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.
   
   I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly
   accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield
   in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that
   evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the
   supermarket. I have performed covert operations for the CIA. I sleep
   once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in
   Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had
   seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.
   
   I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On
   weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami.
   Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it
   down. I have made extraordinary four-course meals using only a Mouli
   and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights
   in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees
   at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart
   surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.
   
   But I have not yet gone to college.
   
   
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   [From Harper's "This essay, by Hugh Gallagher, won first prize in the
   humor category of the 1990 Scholastic Writing Awards. It appeared in
   the May issue of Literary_Calvalcade, a magazine of contemporary
   fiction and student writing published by Scholastic in NYC. Gallagher,
   who is 18, grew up in Newtown Square, PA, and will attend NYU this
   fall."]
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Thanks to Janna Metcalfe Rosales who forwarded this to me.