Editorial: Hashtags and White Lies

Editorial Staff

College application season is in full swing, and college essay topics are on the mind of nearly every senior. Students spend years worrying about looking good for colleges, and through their essays they feel the need to show off their accomplishments while trying to hide their faults. In an effort to lighten up their applications, a few colleges have added creative essay topics. These topics have posed an additional challenge for applicants: they must answer the question humorously while still conveying why they are the perfect candidate for their dream college. The Bark decided to examine one such essay prompt, from Tufts University, through the eyes of a brutally honest applicant

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“What does #YOLO mean to you?”

With this essay, I’m going to try to show you that I have an easygoing yet responsible attitude in life, which, of course, will make me a perfect addition to your college campus. Here’s how I embody #YOLO: I always try to follow my dreams, and I love to take risks. This is shown in how I first experienced #YOLO while listening to Drake’s song “The Motto.” Drake told me that “You only live once,” and I embraced this mantra by torrenting his album. This just shows that I’m willing to take risks and go against the norm, characteristics that hopefully seem appealing to you.

Unfortunately, this year I haven’t had too much time for #YOLO. I’ve been too busy stressing about my percentile ranking and getting teachers to give me recommendations and writing essays like this. I figured that a good essay could make up for mediocre grades, subpar SAT scores, and a lack of commitment to pretty much anything.

Nevertheless, I’ve embraced #YOLO in my academics by taking way too many AP classes in an ill-advised attempt to save my GPA. I decided to quit most of my extracurriculars because I didn’t have time for them, between calculus homework and econ homework and maintaining a steady flow of witty tweets.

Despite my recent lack of #YOLO, rest assured that when I’m accepted into your college, I will embrace #YOLO as much as I can. After all, my love for #YOLO extends beyond academic pursuits. On my application, you will see that I’m involved in activities ranging from the Community Service Club to the Other Community Service Club, showing my dedication to helping others.

Because of my passion for #YOLO, I take pride in my schoolwork and always focus on doing my best. Although that’s an extremely vague and probably untrue statement, I’m choosing to talk about it because I want you to picture me as the most disciplined student ever. My high grades and good scores were earned because I’m always motivated to do well, and because I have a really expensive tutor.

Although I’ve hopefully demonstrated excellent work habits and a love for learning, I’m really worried that you won’t accept me because I got a B in sophomore P.E. Sometime around February of my sophomore year, I decided that it was better to talk with friends than to actually participate in class. I chose to do this not because I was too lazy to dress out or run a mile,  but because I was embracing a fun-loving #YOLO lifestyle.

You should be assured that I never use #YOLO as an excuse to do anything stupid. I’m worried that you won’t accept me if I show any signs of being immature or irresponsible, even though I’m planning on using college as an excuse to turn up. I’ve even been careful to change all of my social media profiles to my first and middle name, so you won’t find my pictures from Steve Aoki, and by ensuring that all illegal substances have been blurred out of my Instagram pictures. #nofilter. #SIKE. I’ve never heard of anyone who has actually gotten denied because of their Facebook pictures, but I don’t want to be the first. After all, it’s always best to play it safe when embracing #YOLO. #acceptme. #please. #loveme.