College Essays: Winning One Liners from Stanford

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Tis the season of the cursed college admission essay.

You can tell that simply by looking at what’s selling on One of the brisk sellers on Amazon today is a book that was published in 1987:

On Writing the College Application Essay: The Key to Acceptance and the College of your Choice.

I hope the college essay advice is better than its ungainly title.

If you are agonizing over an admissions essay — or your child is — the Stanford Magazine might prove inspiring. An article in the current issue includes the first lines of college essays submitted by applicants to the university’s 2012 class.

The authors of all the admission essay openers, by the way, received Stanford acceptance letters.

Here were some of the admission officers’ favorites:

  • The spaghetti burbled and slushed around the pan, and as I stirred it, the noises it gave off began to sound increasingly like bodily functions.
  • Unlike many mathematicians, I live in an irrational world; I feel that my life is defined by a certain amount of irrationalities that bloom too frequently, such as my brief foray in front of 400 people without my pants.
  • I change my name each time I place an order at Starbucks.
  • When I was in eighth grade I couldn’t read.

You can read more of the opening sentences here.

Further Reading:

Writing a Winning College Essay

A College Game Plan for High School Seniors

The College Essay Word Count

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