10 Shocking College Application Essays

May 27, 2015

Handcuffs, vomit, Dick Cheney, rap music and car accidents… these are the essay topics that got students into top colleges. Thousands of students uploaded their common apps to AdmitSee last year. Here are 10 incredibly shocking essay intros from students accepted to universities including Harvard, Duke, USC, Stanford and Scripps.

1. My parents named me after their dead dog. Honestly. Let me be clear: they did not simply recycle the name of an admired pet or panic after harboring a “Baby Boy Goodman” after several days in the hospital. My parents thoughtfully and intentionally named me after their beloved golden retriever. Read On >>

2. I’m tired. I’m tired of the dirty looks. I’m tired of the condescending comments. I’m tired of having to justify. I doth confess: I love rap music. Rap is, to use a scientific term, quite “dope.” Read On >>

3. “Welcome to Wal-Mart!” That’s what my father says when he greets people at his job. Similarly, my mom may ask a Sears customer, “How can I help you today?” Read On >>

4. Lying motionless, my body tensed up as I could hear the careful, yet quick unwrapping of needles. Read On >>

5. When I was young the world of men was frightening, a world where women cried on the couch because in the kitchen there were words thrown across the room like stones, words meant to hurt and maim, to tear the water from open eyes, eyes that looked like mine. Read On >>

6. I was thirteen years old when I ran away from home for the first time. Read On >>

7. We met in 2006—the year Dick Cheney shot some guy in the face, Twitter was launched, and Pluto was declared to no longer be a planet—at a SkateWorld birthday party. Rosa was hyper competitive, overly ambitious, loud, and sometimes crude: in other words, everything I was not. Read On >>

8. The first thing I remember about childhood is vomit, little me retching Wonderbread and grape juice on Calvary Preschool’s shag carpet.  Read On >>

9. I shouldn’t be alive right now, but I am. My story almost ended when a drunk driver and two semis crushed my family’s car.  Read On >> 

10. I heard the click… click of the handcuffs as she locked them around my wrists and the wooden dining chair I was pushed onto. The smell of her cigarette breath stuck under my nose, carrying her irate words—”useless,” “stupid” ... grotesque breasts swinging above me as she stood back up from bending over.  Read On >>

Wondering why these students shared such personal information? They get paid every time high school students view their application details and message them. If you’re a current college or grad student, upload your old application essays now. You get $10 upfront plus half of every dollar we make sharing your content. It’s anonymous and takes just minutes. Join the AdmitSee community to start earning now.



Browse Successful Application Files

FreddyChang13
UPenn ‘19


Accepted to UPenn, Babson

I am a determined perfectionist who realizes that perfection is not achievable.
KMM96
UPenn ‘19


Accepted to UPenn, GWU, NYU, Alabama, UDel

Proud graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. BA in Art History, Class of 2019
chapril
UPenn ‘18


Accepted to UPenn, Babson, UT Austin

Hey guys! I'm a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, and I love all things finance and entrepreneurship.
greyscale
UPenn ‘18


Accepted to UPenn, Cornell, UT Austin, CMU, Columbia

I'm just a girl from Dallas, TX who wants to manage her own tech firm in the future and retire as a safari park ranger.

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