Successful Yale Essays

My colleagues and I can tell when an essay is written more by a parent or, dare I even say it, a college consultant than by a student – and I can promise you that those pieces are not very good.

BEST FIRST LINE Leaping into the air from the couch, flapping my arms, ambitiously trying to achieve flight. This dream drove me to consistently jump off the couch, believing I would touch the sky. FASTEST RUBIX CUBE SOLVER “Because in the end, he and I alone understand the bliss of cubing; we alone can appreciate reading late at night with our trusty buddy and value the stress relief it offers with our spinning and rotating its faces at four turns per second; we alone know what it means to be a cuber: confident, patient, and resilient.) comes through loud and clear and we really get a sense of who you are.When I talk to prospective Yalies about the application process, I am often asked what my favorite essay topic is. The quality of a college essay has little to do with topic, and everything to do with reflection and voice.And it doesn’t matter if we’ve read about it before – only you can write about you.I do have favorite essays that I can remember, but they have no particular topic in common.Thus, although my soles do not sport dazzling rays anymore, shoes, I have discovered, are not the sole way to make people smile. Because when the sun exits left and the moon enters stage east, this is who we are and who we will be: cubers ’til the end of time.” BEST DRAMATIZATION OF AN EXTRA-CURRICULAR The Model United Nations (MUN) Committee Chair taps his gavel, while delegates from across the country rip papers and pass notes.And making people smile—well, that’s good for the soul (theirs and mine) . Whispers flow through the air, and nervous delegates click their pens.Sometimes I pause in the middle of a conversation and observe as an impartial third party.In my mind’s eye I see the movements and random formations around the room as a battle map; the type found in military theory books.The life of an admissions officer can be a fascinating one.I spend a lot of time traveling to faraway places to meet students from around the world, voting in committee to help determine each next college class, but I am perhaps most privileged to have a unique glimpse into the personal lives of hundreds of 17 year olds each year via my absolute favorite art form: the college essay.

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