Tag Archives: college

The Lighter Side of the Moon Guide to College Essays

25 Jun

As school ends and summer begins, the cold shackles of academia are finally loosened as students are released into eight weeks of pure fun in the sun. Except for juniors. For the most industrious eleventh graders, summer means the time to start working on college essays in advance of application deadlines in the fall. As a service to you, the readers, I am happy to offer my advice on this process for the low, low price of absolutely free. Tips are always encouraged.

Picking a Topic

A great topic is the foundation for a great essay. Make sure to pick an experience that was of immense importance to you and is unique to your life. Did you suffer through a debilitating illness? Milk it. Have you endured a significant emotional trauma? That’s a goldmine. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have no such tragic experiences, I personally recommend writing about your own birth. You’d be hard pressed to find something that affected your life more than being born.


Everybody knows you have to kick off an essay with an exciting and inviting hook. You need to start your essay with something unique that gets your point across: Admit me. Consider using statistics like how many days you have been alive or the percentage of your soul you sold during this process. Some people have found success with the Merriam-Webster opener, in which you give the dictionary definition of important words like “admitted” or “college”. However, I would caution against using a quote from an important author or celebrity as it sends the message that you don’t have enough original ides of your own. Putting your own name on the quote is a really quick fix.

Writing the Essay 

Writing the college essay is actually quite simple once you sit down to do it. First, figure out what language you’re going to write in. If you write in something other than English, odds are nobody will be able to read it. But if your essay sucks, this may not be the worst thing. Next, write down some nouns. Almost every college essay has nouns in it and those in the know will tell you that an essay without nouns is very rarely successful. But, you won’t get by on just nouns alone. If you really want a standout piece of writing, toss in some adjectives. But don’t go overboard with the words. Many students often try to include verbs in their essays, but that’s a very risky move as verbs are one of the most challenging types of words. Sprinkle some punctuation throughout all of these other words, and you’ve got a great essay.


The font you choose is probably more important than whatever you write. Think about the best books ever written and their typefaces. Huckleberry Finn?  That’s Times New Roman. To Kill a Mockingbird? Times New Roman. The Bible?  Times New Roman probably. If that’s not a great tip, I don’t know what is.

Phrases to Avoid

There are some words and phrases that, no matter what, you shouldn’t use in your essay. Here’s some examples:

  • I’m not racist, but…
  • I don’t really believe in college.
  • I’m not a huge fan of diversity on campus
  • My haters are my motivators.
  • 😉
  • I hope your college has a white rights club.
  • Ask not what your college can teach me, but what I can teach you.
  • My best feature is my body.


I’ve suffered a lot in my life. My dog has canine diabetes. My dad is not very smart. I have mild night terrors. The moral of the story is this: Admit me. I remember my own birth very vividly. In many ways, birth is a lot like learning. It’s a long, dark road that leads to a bright end. Your mom is hopefully there to support you the whole way. There are well-educated people whose job it is to help you through the process. In fact, just by being born, I’ve already learned everything there is to know.

Here are some nouns that describe me: Excellence. Science. Skills.

Here are some adjectives: Superb. Academic. Skilled.

Here’s a verb and some punctuation: Succeed..,*//

If I could, I would make this essay in Times New Roman. I’m not racist, but it’s a great font.



14 Apr

With the College Board enacting sweeping changes to the SAT next year, parents and educators are worried. Though none were actually asked for their opinions on the matter, we’re pretty sure students are concerned as well. In response to this vocal blowback and out of genuine concern for student welfare and achievement, the Collegeboard has instituted a new practice exam: the PSAT, or Post-natal SAT.

Studies have shown that factors such as college readiness, eventual salary, and life fulfillment can be predicted almost immediately after a baby exits the womb. The PSAT holistically evaluates your 8-pound-bundle-of-joy’s scholastic ability in reading, writing, and math. With our rapid scoring system, you will get your infant’s scores in just two weeks, allowing them to start preparing for a second attempt almost immediately. Your baby will get an early taste of their future schooling life as their already sleepless nights are filled with rigorous test prep.

We at the College Board know that being thrust from a warm cocoon of innocence into the chaos of the world can be stressful in students, so we will be offering a wide variety of review materials for your fetus. In cooperation with Little Einsteins, we will be selling audio study materials for the PSAT, which you can pipe into your uterus at high volumes. Did you feel that kick? Looks like your little one just learned something new.

Of course, the College Board has gone to great lengths to make sure the PSAT scoring is fair. If your baby tries to stick a pen in its mouth during the writing section, he’s performing better than most of his peers, meaning a score in the high 700s. If your infant looks at a math problem, craps itself, and cries, he’s approaching math like many college students do! You’ve done a great job parenting this kid for the last five minutes.

To register for the Post-natal SAT, visit kollegeboard4kids.com. For help evaluating your parenting style and priorities, seek psychiatric or religious counsel.



Real College Packing List

24 Aug

There are many packing lists out there to help you make sure you don’t forget anything when you go to college. Unfortunately, they often miss a few essential items:

  • That university-branded shot glass your cool uncle bought you
  • Air freshener to be used in lieu of doing your laundry
  • Supermarket supply of Doritos, Easy Mac, and Sprite
  • Two-ply toilet paper (because the crummy dorm room brand can’t support that diet)
  • DS game you beat last year during Spanish 301
  • The pile of shirts for other colleges your grandma bought you hoping you’d end up somewhere else
  • Sweatshirt commemorating the graduating class you would have been in had you not taken seven years




New Technique Saves Thousands on College Tuition

29 Jun

With the rising cost of college tuition, it is becoming harder and harder for families to send their kids away for a higher-level education. For that reason, more and more parents are turning towards a homeschool college education. Here is a selection of programming required by the Georgia Organization of Teaching Or Schooling Correctly at Home with On-topic, Open Learning (G.O.T.O.S.C.H.O.O.L.).

Late-Night Intellectual Conversations

Such discussions with peers are absolutely essential components of the college experience. To simulate this experience at home, stay up late with your child between one and three times a month. Fill the room with odorous smoke, and then ask big questions through the haze. What is our country doing overseas? Do we even get to decide what we do in life? What if our whole universe is just one atom in one cell in the big toe of some giant human in another world? Mind. Blown. (And you didn’t even have to poison your child’s religious upbringing by sending him/her to an accredited school.)

Social Interaction

Some say the most important thing one learns at college is how to interact with others. To meet this requirement, purchase a keg of a non-alcoholic beverage once a month. Stand around it and talk about the college experience, taking care to put yourself in their shoes. A sample conversation might go as follows:

PARENT: Woah, college rules, right?
CHILD: I have never had a real friend.
PARENT: Check it out, someone brought a beach ball! College rules!
CHILD: Every night I pray for the courage to run away.

Note: The board initially required an alcoholic beverage to be imbibed, until Georgian homeschoolers protested against requiring families to purchase and use “Satan Juice”.

Health and Nutrition

Sleep-away college offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for kids to teach themselves about their body and their needs. To accurately recreate such self-discovery, lock your child in a room with nothing but a crate of PopTarts for one week. This activity can also be counted toward the biology requirement, as it teaches students the importance and value of fiber.

Note: Families can determine sexual health lessons on their own. We’re not going to touch that one.

Bieber’s Big Adventure

22 Apr

Rumors are flying that Justin Bieber will be attending the esteemed Cornell University next fall as a student (he had better chances at admission being a foreign applicant). Though this story is proven to be blatantly false, I have certain obligations as a blogger to perpetuate lies generated on the Internet. Here is a leaked transcript from Justin’s admissions interview:


INTERVIEWER: Why do you want to come here to Cornell?

BIEBER: Well, I’m excited to begin this next project, and I really hope the fans like this. Everything I do is for the fans. They’re my backbone. They motivate me.

INTERVIEWER: Excuse me? You are applying to a university. Your fans do not matter.

BIEBER: Whoa. I’m not here to make anyone angry. I just want to make some music and have fun. I think Cornell’s going to be a great next step in my life path. I’ve done great things in the music world, but there’s still things I want to do.

INTERVIEWER: What’s your prospective major?

BIEBER: I’m going to major in swag, you know? No, I’m really not sure. Definitely not music, or anything like that. I’ll probably survey my fan base on what they want me to do. Current options are veterinary science and aeronautics. Imagine me flying an airplane. That’d be tight!

INTERVIEWER: Quite honestly, I wouldn’t want you flying a plane. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

BIEBER: I’m in it to win it. I’ll really fight for the admissions slot. Cornell’s the place for me. My whole life, I’ve learned that if you have a dream, you’ve got to go catch it. Look out Cornell, here comes Justin Bieber.

INTERVIEWER: That was really believable. Do you have any questions about Cornell before we conclude?

BIEBER: On a scale of one to ten, rank the girls here. Any nice biddies on the campus?

INTERVIEWER: Please leave my office.

Cathy Wern ’16. Admissions Essay at Bismarck University.

1 Mar

When I went to Costa Rica between my sophomore and junior years of high school to volunteer in a rural school, I thought  I would be teaching the children. But nothing compared to the messages they taught me. As I watched the kids trudge through eight miles of alligator-infested rainforest in dirty clothes, taking occasional sips from old jugs of brackish water, I instantly understood that I am very fortunate. I come from an excellent background and a wealthy, supportive family, the kind that can pay for my college education with no financial aid. As I saw kids reenacting sword fights with sticks through the window of the air-conditioned Range Rover, I learned that even in the face of a struggle, it is possible to love life and be happy. Did they fill themselves with apathy and whine about it as their indigenous culture disappeared at the hands of the white man? They most certainly did not. They smiled, filled their hearts with jubilation, euphoria, bliss, and joviality, and made the best of their situation. I like to call that life lesson “Costa Rican smiles.”

When I hiked Mt. Ranier with my youth group of blind, deaf, quadriplegic orphans, I committed to wearing a “Costa Rican smile” and made sure to encourage all of my hiking partners to enjoy the experience too. I forced my hiking teammates to overcome their physical and mental challenges as I dragged their entirely paralyzed bodies up the sheer ice faces of Mt. Ranier. I became a true leader that frigid day on the slopes, as I watched my impaired friends follow me on a path to achieving their goals. So when I got home and attended meetings for my Model UN, NCL, Debate, Student Council, Poetry, Computers and Technology, and Fashion Design clubs, I communicated with a louder voice and participated more. Younger members of the club began to ask me questions after club meetings like, “How do you balance your intelligence, athleticism, friendliness and inner beauty with your charity work?” or “How do you use your intelligence to become a leader in the community?” And I did it all with a “Costa Rican smile.”

I’m obviously a leader, and one with a passion for philanthropy. The fact that my parents sent me to Costa Rica to watch poor people for a week should convince you I am the perfect applicant for Bismarck University, and the sheer cookie-cutterness of my extracurriculars list should amaze you. For the last four years I have deliberately sold my soul to become the least interesting high-schooler in America, and I expect you to acknowledge this with an acceptance letter. Once again, they can pay.

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