In college, as I became more politically engaged, my interest began to gravitate more towards political science. The interest in serving and understanding people has never changed, yet I realized I could make a greater difference doing something for which I have a deeper passion, political science. Pursuing dual degrees in both Psychology and Political Science, I was provided an opportunity to complete a thesis in Psychology with Dr. Sheryl Carol a Professor in Social Psychology at the University of Texas (UT) This fall I will complete an additional thesis as a McNair Scholar with Dr. Ken Chambers, Associate Professor in Latin American studies in the UT Political Science Department.
This satirical essay — or a version of it — was written in 1990 by high school student Hugh Gallagher, who entered it in the humor category of the Scholastic Writing Awards and won first prize. The text was then published in Literary Cavalcade , a magazine of contemporary student writing, and reprinted in Harper's and The Guardian before taking off as one of the most forwarded viral emails of the 1990s.
Though it was not Gallagher's actual college application essay, he did submit it as a sample of his work to college writing programs and was accepted, with scholarship, to New York University, from which he graduated in 1994. Since then he has worked as a freelance writer. His first novel, Teeth , was published by Pocket Books in March 1998.
I’m sure many people would probably make blanket statements that are hard to understand…”don’t write about something too grandiose” “don’t write about something too mundane” “don’t make it too intellectual-sounding” “don’t make it sound like intellectualism is not a part of your life”–but the best advice I can give is figure out a writing style that works for you, and run with it. If you look hard enough, you will find people in your life who know you well enough to give you tips on your writing style while staying true to yourself and making it genuine. Take this advice with a grain of salt. Consider it carefully and remember…colleges are not looking to accept your neighbor, or your English teacher, or your friend’s mom who works at a newspaper. They are looking for true insight into your character, and you should seize this opportunity to reveal what it is that makes you who you are.