The Eighth Page

Community Service

This is the second part in what is for now my two part series on the college admissions process. The first part was a few weeks ago on SATs. It wasn’t a two part series when I wrote the first one, but then I wrote this one, and hey, why not, right? There comes a time in every man’s life when he must do two things. The first thing is hunt down a man and kill him in cold blood, but that’s a whole different 500-700 word article. The second is to write a college admissions essay. There are a couple of different approaches that one can take in writing their college opus, and I’ll run down the basics of the most essential. The best approach to take is the lengthy essay about your trips to feed refugees in Africa and how the experience with the children changed your outlook on not only Africa but also the very essence of life itself. The problem here of course is that to write this particular essay you probably should have actually gone to Africa and fed the refugees. No, throwing things at them doesn’t count. So with the super community service hero angle crossed off the list, a popular option among people is the gimmick essay. Some of the possibilities here include writing a comprehensive essay about how you don’t care about being accepted to the school. Perhaps you could write your essay in crayon, or maybe you’ll write a 150-word essay on SPAM so the Harvard Admissions board can finally see how deep and artistic you are. This seems like a good idea until you walk out of the FedEx store, take 20 steps, and realize you sent the college of your dreams a spray painted shoe filled to the brim with banana peels instead of an essay. Maybe that’ll fly at Hampshire College, but keep in mind they live in Wigwams. So what you’ll need to find is some kind of middle ground. Don’t make up a story about the time you flew around the world in a hot air balloon to benefit orphans, but at the same time don’t slap mail the college admissions office an enormous novelty salami with “please accept me” written on the side with a wood burner. More popular essay topics include writing a life lesson you’ve learned from a teacher. Writing about how Ronald McDonald taught you the lessons of the streets is not acceptable. If you chose to go this route at least have the good taste to spell it “streetz” – ‘Z’ has been long rumored to be the most popular letter among college admissions officers. I swear. Another idea is to write your college essay about the college admissions officer you imagine will be reading your essay. Get creative! Is he tall or short? Fat or skinny? Does he have a certain affection for anime? If he does than just write the whole thing about Dragonball Z. This is a pretty high risk technique, sinc few admissions officers enjoy Dragonball Z, but if yours does then you’re good to go. Just don’t write about Pokemon, as most admissions officers will find it childish and below the standards of their particular university. Aim for Yuh-Gi-Oh, at least. If you can’t think of anything to write about at all, just reuse an old essay that earned a six. Sure, the admission officer reading your essay may not understand exactly why you wrote your college essay on love in The Great Gatsby, but hey, at least it won’t suck. Either way, just stick to your heart and stuff like that and write about what you feel and you’ll be all set. As for me, I’m off to stuff some spray painted shoes with bananas. See you at BHCC!