Hugh Gallagher’s ‘College Essay’
In honor of pencil day I want to share this essay with you. The following essay was written by Hugh Gallagher, an author and musician from New York. It was confirmed by Gallagher that the following essay was part of his college application process. . .”When I was 17, I wrote the now famous College Application Essay. I was just a kid, very bored, and thought a college essay was a dumb thing to have to write, so I just entertained myself. I made up all this ridiculous stuff, and entered it in a high school writing contest. It won first place and launched my writing career, at the age of 18. When the Internet started, my college application essay became one of the most popular attachments of the Nineties. Everyone was emailing it around, and millions of people read it. Most of them don’t know I wrote it. People don’t believe I sent it to colleges, but I did. . .” Click here to read more
3A. ESSAY: IN ORDER FOR THE ADMISSIONS STAFF OF OUR COLLEGE TO GET TO KNOW YOU, THE APPLICANT, BETTER, WE ASK THAT YOU ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:
ARE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE HAD, OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU HAVE REALIZED, THAT HAVE HELPED TO DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON?
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.
I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.
Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I’m bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.
I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear.
I don’t perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.
I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy.
I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down.
I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.
But I have not yet gone to college.
As someone who wrote her first resume entirely in rhyme and ended up with the job of her dreams at the age of 18, I totally appreciate how useful being bored can be…. Thank you to Cole’s friend Patryk for the share!
4 thoughts on “Hugh Gallagher’s ‘College Essay’”
Hadn’t seen this one before — what a clever take on a traditionally boring task! No wonder it’s been re-printed so many times. You (and Cole) will see — college admission essays can be a nightmare!
Well I think I will like the essays more than the financial stuff but I am not looking forward to any of it. At least I have plenty of friends to ask for advice that have been through the process and made it to the other side with their sanity still intact. Most of them. 😀
This is amazing. I had never seen it before. College essays are such a drag but once you know what you want to to write about or have an idea it’s much easier.
I am sharing this with all the teens in my life! Thanks.
Glad you liked it Liz. I thought it was very inspiring. Share away!
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