Welcome to the pack, younglings

In response to today’s uncovering of application essays from the class of 2017, Bwog staff got hit by a wave of nostalgia and began combing through our own application materials–leading to a wave of embarrassment.  In solidarity with those prospies who naively bravely posted their essays online, here are some choice lines from Bwog staffers’ applications:

Columbia personal essays:

“Where would Barney be without Baby Bop, or Scooby-Doo without Shaggy?”

“I was idly scrolling through my weekly emailed schedule of events from the New York Times when I saw Pullman’s name and froze.”

“I remember him gently wiping the tears from my face when I scraped my knee during hopscotch and gallantly running home to locate a band-aid. Playing the part of a patient instructor, he taught his young grasshopper the art of catching grasshoppers.”

“Alas, my front teeth are still intact, and so is my humility.”

“I understand, now, that there is something marvelous about an adolescent girl reading a thick paperback book and perceiving almost immediately that the magic of these few square inches is everything she will ever know, for I set out to write about it, and indeed I have.”

“I soon coined the phrase ‘putting the ‘fun’ in fungi.'”

“Standing behind the observation window, I started to sweat. I began to feel lightheaded as numbness overtook my arms and legs. I tried to ignore it; I tried to stay focused. This could be my career someday, I reminded myself. How could I feel this way? As I pondered the question, everything went dark.”

“A renowned twentieth-century philosopher, social critic, and modern day oracle once lamented reflecting on the issues facing the world, “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.” Bob Dylan, despite his self-induced cognitive impairments, managed to capture poetically what I view as the core of ambition.”

Why Columbia?

“I could, perhaps, discover what it was that turned a teddy bear into a moose, how to strike a new deal, or what gave an intelligent young man from a poor family the hope to lead the nation.”

“The first night I stayed at Columbia, I had the good fortune to attend a talk in Dodge Hall by Ian Frazier, a freelance writer for The New Yorker whom I deeply admire, which confirmed my belief that Columbia has access to the resources of the most intellectually stimulating city in the world.”

“Finally, I loved having an excuse to be on campus.  I couldn’t help but smile as I walked around; the feel of campus, the friendliness and curiosity of the students, and my thoughts from our discussion of the available courses make Columbia seem like a perfect place for me to learn and grow.”

Favorite works of culture?

“Yet every time I feel like giving up I find my favorite poem and look my skinny-faced, warm-hearted, thick-bearded hero straight in the soul. ‘…Already am. Always was. And I still have time to be.'”

“Thus I legitimately adore the voices of both Ramon Vargas, the tenor opera singer, and Jake Snider, the lead singer of the indie rock band Minus the Bear.”

“The poetry of Anis Mojgani is both a maelstrom of emotion and the sound of your mother’s voice as she slides into the last note of your favorite lullaby.”

It’s not only CU apps…  To House Stark Princeton:

“In my junior year of high school, I began for the first time to demonstrate an interest in my chosen field by collecting English courses like vintage stamps.”

“I would go undercover, like James Bond, take the money, smuggle it across neighborhood lines all the way to school, find my superior intelligence officer, hand over the care package, and then mission complete!

What if my parents found out – could they have me sent to jail? Stumbling through the hallways at school, I tried to keep my head low to avoid suspicion. What if everyone could see the guilt in my face? What if they knew I was a criminal? There was only one thing that kept my tiny Scooby-Doo sneakers shuffling across the floor, and that was hope.”

And, of course, Columbia’s favorite potential school: UChicago

“I found pretending to be Lucy a fascinating use of time and imagination. I walked into class excited to make up new stories about Lucy’s nights of debauchery. I trained myself to actually respond the first time someone said “Lucy.” I usually read during breaks so, to be more in character, I brought in more controversial books – Fight Club, A Clockwork Orange, The Catcher in the Rye.”

[Why Chicago?] “As for the cold, I guess I will just have to buy long underwear.”

Were your essays even more pretentious and cringe-worthy than ours? Post them in the comments!

Update, 4/24: Columbia Lion has joined our call for solidarity and posted their essays as well.

Cubs via Postcard Journeys