Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Should U Chicago's admissions dean have sent this essay around or am I too strict?

GreeneryGreenery Registered User Posts: 975 Member
edited December 2012 in College Essays
I think the "Essay" is too provocative...and they should have kept it in the "Admission" Office. I'm not against the selection of the student, but I dislike the decision of the Dean of sending this kind of "Essay" to prospective students...kind of romantic (?), a private love story...? What do you think?
"Dear" [student's name],

"I am sending you the following essay by one of your classmates with the hope that it lightens your mood, reduces any end-of-the-year stress and inspires your creative juices in completing your applications. Enjoy the essay and the holidays!

"Dear University of Chicago,

It fills me up with that gooey sap you feel late at night when I think about things that are really special to me about you. Sometimes I just hunger for more, but I keep that a secret. The mail you send is such a tease; I like to imagine additional words on the page. Words like "you're accepted" or "you're awesome!" or "don't worry, she still loves you!" but I know they're all lies. You never called after that one time, I visited you thrice, but you never come around anymore. Tell me, was I just one in a line of many? Was I just another supple "applicant" to you, looking for a place to live, looking for someone to teach me the ways of the world? The closeness between us was beautiful, it couldn't have been just me that felt it, I know you felt it too. The intimacy was akin to that of scholar and original text, your depth as a person is astounding! To be honest, I must confess I had already dreamt of a rosy future together, one filled with late nights and long discussions over the Gothic era and the ethical stage of Kierkegaard, we would watch the sunset together and spend every Christmas snuggled in blankets. Eventually we would get older, I would become a well-educated corporate lawyer and you would enrich yourself within the domain of human knowledge. Your cup overfloweth with academic genius, pour a little on me. You're legendary for it, they all told me it would never work out between us, but I had hope. I had so much hope; I replied to your adorable letters and put up with your puns. I knew going into it that you would be an expensive one to keep around, I accounted for all that; I understand someone of your caliber and taste.

And now you inquire as to my wishes? They're simple, accept me for who I am! Why can't you just love and not ask why? Not ask about my assets or my past? I'm living in the now, I'm waiting for you to catch up, but you're too caught up in my past, I offer us a future together, not a past to dwell upon. Whenever I'm around you, I just get that tingle deep inside me that tells me you're the one; you have that air of brilliance and ingenuity that I crave in a person, you're so mature and sophisticated, originality is really your strongest and most admirable trait. I wish we could be together, I still think in my heart of hearts we were meant to be, but you have to meet me halfway, dear. I'm on one knee here with tears welling up in my eyes, the fireworks are timed and ready to light up the night sky for you, just say 'I accept...you.'



P.S. Rohan was admitted to UChicago last week and will be joining us in the fall. I can't wait to meet him.

P.P.S. This was in response to the question: How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community and future? DO NOT see this as a blueprint, but one of many types of essays we get. Be yourself!

Best regards,
James N...Vice President
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid"
Post edited by Greenery on

Replies to: Should U Chicago's admissions dean have sent this essay around or am I too strict?

  • patsmompatsmom Registered User Posts: 4,636 Senior Member
    I think it's a pretty clever essay. I'm not sure I see why you object to it.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    I don't either. I think it was clever and well done, though what do I know, I'm not U of C material. I don't see it as provocative or inappropriate, at all. What did you object to?
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,915 Senior Member
    I'm sure they got Rohan's permission. I think the letter is funny. My son's essay "Why Chicago" essay clearly wasn't the quirkiest one out there this year.
  • GreeneryGreenery Registered User Posts: 975 Member
    I have mix feelings: I like to read the "essay," however, I feel the content is something you will say to an intimate person and not share it with anyone else. Maybe that's the reason I feel uncomfortable...like it should have kept private. I agree a clever essay...I cannot explain why I feel awkward.
  • rrahrrah Registered User Posts: 1,662 Senior Member
    I too think it's clever and funny. I can see why the student was admitted.
  • limabeanslimabeans Registered User Posts: 4,754 Senior Member
    Greenery, The purpose of UChicago's sharing this essay is to show the extent other applicants write their essays. It's really to get you to think "outside the box". For all I know, this letter was actually written by a marketing committee and not really by an applicant. It's really not at all designed to make someone feel uncomfortable when they read it; it's designed to inspire you to write something unique. They chose this essay to illustrate what that looks like. Remember, they had thousands from which to choose. This one fit their criteria: send something a bit bizarre, unexpected, light-hearted, and somewhat generic.

    So, no. You're not too 'strict'. But, you're not reading it from their point of view, or using their criteria.
  • MD MomMD Mom Registered User Posts: 6,728 Senior Member
    Clever--reminds me of a poem my daughter wrote that sounded very provocative, and at the end you learned she was talking a washing machine. It was priceless watching her father read it for the first time.
  • roshkeroshke Registered User Posts: 3,123 Senior Member
    As spoof on a love letter, it is meant to be tongue-in-cheek and humorous. There is really nothing in that letter that most people would consider inappropriate (sappy, maybe!). If the language bothers you because it sounds too much like a real intimate love letter, then I'd characterize that as extremely conservative by today's standards, though (kind of like an 8:00 pm curfew for a HS senior ;)). I suspect there are cultural background differences here.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 12,867 Senior Member
    greenery, you are "reading "too much" and "too little" into this wonderful essay! I agree with roshke, it is a wonderful spoof on what at first glance may appear to be a "love letter", but it is wonderfully twisted into an original, "quirky" "why Chicago" admissions essay!
  • Confused92Confused92 Registered User Posts: 198 Junior Member
    There's absolutely nothing wrong with the essay.

    There is something wrong with the dean sending this around, namely that now my Why Chicago looks roughly 63% less original. yippee
  • 2collegewego2collegewego Registered User Posts: 2,710 Senior Member
    I love it! I'm glad that kid got in. :-)
  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon Registered User Posts: 12,128 Senior Member
    Ditto, Roshke.

    (For some reason :confused:) it reminds me a little bit of an essay my D wrote for school she didn't end up attending...where from some sort of free-formish prompt she wrote a personal letter to their director of (whatever they called) residence hall services. I can't remember much of it but I do remember that in the "letter" she was lamenting the lack of a wire coat-hanger on the "provided materials list" . She listed several reasons why they should be provided as standard equipment but I only remember a couple:

    Securing the muffler to her Xterra in the event she knocked it loose in a snow-drift.

    And she closed with (and I remember this one because it was so bizarre) un-winding it to its full length so she could reach across from her bed and poke her sleeping roomie "while denying all knowledge of the poke and the poking device". Bet she was the only one who wrote THAT. ;)
  • YurtleYurtle Registered User Posts: 850 Member
    I laughed! It was cute.

    It's a spoof letter, and it's very witty.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,878 Forum Champion
    very witty! :)
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 18,263 Senior Member
    I think it was a little intimidating to send this around a week before the application deadline, but it's awfully good.

    I would like to sticky it and have it handy to trot out whenever people here are complaining about some student with inferior "stats" and "ECs" getting accepted at a college in lieu of his betters. This essay comes close to an automatic acceptance, regardless of what the rest of the application looks like, as long as it is consistent with the applicant actually having written this. (And the internal hints are that there were plenty of flaws in the rest of the application.) When we look at a resume and list of stats, we are looking at only a portion of the information available to admissions staff. And something like this is far more impressive (and probably more rare) than 4.0 GPAs or 2400 SATs.
This discussion has been closed.