Naina Mukherjee ∙ 12/23/2021 ∙ December 2021
College essays. Should you write them? Absolutely! Do you want to write them? Answers vary, but I say no. The NCEWSOVIPs (National College Essay Writing Society Of Very Important People) also says no. According to a study done in 2011 in a waste management lab in northeastern Wyoming (population 8), only 50% of students who wrote college essays got into college whereas 75% of students who didn’t write essays got into their top choice college!
Trust me, the numbers don’t lie. And, if you don’t believe me, I have a personal story to soften your heart. I also have your social security number to blackmail you with.
One day I came home from school to find a note taped to my door. Written in comic sans font size 14, I quickly realized that the sender was in distress. I snatched it off my door ignoring the paint that came off with it (my door is from Ikea). Scanning the letter quickly with my speed reading skills, obtained through copious amounts of doing the homework while the teacher is collecting it, I got the gist that the student had applied to college and not gotten in! Appalled by the non-existent use of spellcheck, I read through my tears, the comic sans blurring my vision. The letter was typed on a bubble tea receipt, and I recoiled in terror at the sight of the blasphemous coffee bubble tea order WITH NO BUBBLES. Nonetheless, I reached into my cold dark heart and found that little shriveled sliver of kindness that allowed me to knock on my neighbor's door and greet the weary 12 year old that opened the door with a teary smile From what I remember the conversation went something like this: “You got my letter?” “Yes, I got that horrid receipt of yours.” *Quizzical look from the dumb child* “Yes, I got it.” I adjusted accordingly. “Why didn’t I get in?” “The simple answer is; because you tried.” “Wot?” “All these teachers and parents and guidance counselors try to get you to believe that you need to construct a brilliant masterpiece of a personal essay to get into college. And those who say, ‘just be yourself’ they’re on the right track. But really, your true self doesn’t even want to write a college essay. And does anyone like your true self anyways? The truth is, the simpler the better. So why not go all the way?” “Wot?” “Don’t write an essay.” “Okay.”
The door slammed in my face and I smiled to myself. I had just changed this kid's life. In a good way. Forever. 6 years later, I was walking out of my building to see this kid gallivanting about. “I got in!” they said to me. “Your advice worked. I didn’t even apply and I got this in the mail!” They flung the paper in front of me. On the top it read: “EVICTION NOTICE: You have been accepted for the ‘Giving Away Your House For No Reason Program’ (GAYHFNR) and are being evicted. Leave by Monday.”
“Do you know how to read?” “I learned the word ‘accepted’ just for this day. Thank you for your help. I could’ve never done it without you.” The child flung the flyer in the air again. The red bold of the word EVICTION taunted you.
“So I was right.” “Yes. 75% of people who don’t apply to college get in. Thank you!” “No problem. Have a good time at EVICTION college. I hope you get a good dorm room and a nice campus.” You skipped away merrily. After you shared these findings with the world, every school would go bankrupt and you would become rich and famous just like your great grandmother Joe Cheating who invented the concept of cheating on tests in 1782. People would be getting college acceptance letters so often it would exacerbate climate change!