For many students and families, Yale is a dream. With application season getting more and more competitive, how can students step up and turn this dream into a reality? Take a look at the following essay intros from Yale students on AdmitSee:
Class of 2020
I believe in the power of the hallway.
I attend a high school filled with everything from a robotics center to a three-dimensional anatomy table; there exist so many special locations I could label “home.” And yet, I still find myself happiest when walking through the somewhat stuffy, overwhelmingly overpopulated, yet comfortably carpeted hallways I frequent between classes. Read on.
Class of 2020
I see it everyday: boxes piled upon boxes, the remnants of our last move. Every crevice in my apartment holds a reminder that my home isn’t permanent and in another couple of years, we’ll move again. 5 different homes. 7 different schools. Continue reading.
Class 0f 2019
“Without balance, you have nothing.” My fencing coach has taught me many things, but this is by far the most important. He demonstrated it during my very first lesson, when he nearly toppled me over with merely a light push on the shoulder as I stood in the en garde position. Although I quickly found my balance while fencing, it wasn’t as easy to find balance in the rest of my life. View full profile.
Class of 2020
The incessant Q&A never really got to me. “Yes, I am an albino.” “Yes, my eyes are blue, not red.” “Yes, I do know how much some would pay for this hair.” I always told myself I had a story to tell. God made me special, right? Living with a disability, I sought to convince myself of internal worth at a young age. Nothing truly combatted such worth until I reached high school and listened more closely. Surprisingly, words murmured behind my back dug a lot deeper than inquiries and insults to my face. Whereas before it merely represented a conversational ice-breaker, albinism began to define my identity. No longer did others know me as the theater kid with chamber music on his iPod. Rather, I became a sight to see. “I saw a shooting star!” “I saw an albino!” Keep reading.
Class of 2019
I turned to see my mother’s red face, eyes welled with tears that I have not seen since my family immigrated to the United States. I remember the sorrow and vulnerability consuming my mother’s face, but I only heard my heart pounding against my chest. For the first time as a child, I remember hoping my suspicions and theories about my father’s long-term absence were wrong; How could he abandon his young family? Why would he abandon me? View full profile.
Applying to college?
View the app files and essays of accepted students.LEARN MORE
Are you looking to apply to Yale? Make sure to search through profiles of students accepted to see essays, stats, and advice. See how they got in, and how you can too!
About The Author
Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.
College application essay questions can be weird. Students’ answers? They can be weirder. Some people have a way of turning the simplest questions into unexpected essay answers. That’s called creativity. In most cases, it works.
Admission essays should never be boring. To make it impressive, you have to think of an unusual answer to the question hundreds of other students are answering. Let’s go through few weird admission essays that worked, shall we?
Benjamin’s 20 Questions Essay
At its official website, Johns Hopkins University published the top 5 admissions essays from the class of 2012. The one that’s featured first is also the weirdest one. Benjamin answers unusual questions, such as these:
- Is it bigger than a breadbox?
- Does it strive to learn?
- Is it driven?
- Does it think deeply?
All answers are yes, along a brief explanation of the answer. He is talking about himself as the it—a student with versatile interests and strong determination to grow. The admission committee? Impressed.
Josh Mahoney’s Essay about Football… And Law
This essay is featured at the website of University of Chicago Law School. At first, it seems pretty standard: Josh is talking about a passion – football. Then you wonder: wait, isn’t this an application essay for law school? What’s with the football?
Well, Josh writes about his injury; the moment that pushed him towards exploring other aspects of life. His intellect, mainly. Finally, we see why he decided to apply to law school. He connects college football, passions, weaknesses, and solutions into a single decision: entering law school to become a stronger person.
Although the essay seems disoriented and irrelevant at first, you can’t stop reading it. It’s one of the rare cases when a too long introduction to the point does work.
Joseph Poirier’s Common App Personal Essay
“When problems arise, I solve them using copper fittings.”
That’s how this essay starts. Joseph explains his fascination with copper during childhood. Then, he talks about his failures. Then, he returned to his primal interest: copper. Failures and copper, failures and copper… is that what this essay is all about? No. Somewhere along the way, you realize it’s about learning to grow from failure.
Although it’s an unusual personal statement, to say the least, it worked for the admissions board at Tufts University. In fact, it’s featured at the website as one of the best ones.
Ahmad Ashraf’s Application Essay for Connecticut College
“Mum, I’m gay.”
That’s how the essay starts. It’s bold. It’s weirdly brave. Also, what’s with the mum? What’s informal language doing in an admissions essay?
This essay defies rules. It’s exactly why it works.
Nathaniel Colburn’s Essay about the Homeless Lady
This one is featured at the website of Hamilton College. When you’re asked to write a personal story about a defining moment, the last thought of your mind is the memory of a homeless person. Well, that’s exactly what Nathaniel thought of.
A homeless person changed his point of view. He explained that moment beautifully in this application essay.
Ahmed’s #BlackLivesMatter Essay
This has to be the weirdest one. Ziad Ahmed got into Stanford with an application essay that wasn’t an essay at all. He said he didn’t think he’d be admitted to Stanford. It looks like he wasn’t even trying. To the prompt What matters to you, and why? Ahmed wrote nothing but the hashtag, 100 times.
It worked. For Stanford!
Brenden’s Essay that Got Him into Yale, Columbia, MIT, and University of Virginia
Wow! Is it possible to get into so many first-class universities with a single essay? It’s almost impossible, but Brenden Rodriquez did it. What’s the essay about? Music and math.
The sentences are long. The paragraphs are long. The entire essay goes against the simplicity tips you get from any writing guide. That’s why it’s unusual. The difference is that this student can write long sentences. Although the essay has chunky paragraphs, the reader’s attention is not lost. Plus, he talks about math being present in music. And football. How cool is that?
Before you start the process of creating an admissions essay, you should first read some successful examples. What did you notice about the ones we featured above? They were weird, weren’t they? Being unusual works sometimes. It’s always good to be brave. However, you have to find the good weird way to write the admissions essay.