University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) is obviously trying to get to know their applicants. With multiple essay questions on a variety of topics, students who thoughtfully consider the prompts will have plenty of opportunities to share some revealing stories about themselves. Here are a few tips to help you do that.
Complete each of the following sentences about yourself. Don’t think too long or too hard; just help us get to know you better. Your responses could be as short as one word or as long as about 20 words—no longer, please.
Their directions really say it all. Don't over-think these. The very worst strategy here is to try to impress them. You'll just end up sounding like every other kid.
Instead, tell the truth, whatever it is. And where appropriate, inject some personality into your answer. Here are some examples of what that sounds like:
The last book I read outside of class was…
"Paris Hilton: Life on the Edge" Please don't throw my application away.
It would surprise my friends to know that I…
"..feel a little hurt when they make fun of my hair. I do have bad hair but it's hard to laugh along with them."
If I could travel anywhere in time or space, either real or imagined, I’d go…
"…back in time to my parents' wedding. They looked so happy and it would be fun to see them at 24 and newly in love."
The form of communication that I’d most like to ban from existence is
"Any sentence where people use the word 'like' too often, as in, 'We should, like, hang out.' Ugh."
The question I would most like to have answered is
"Is Jason Siegal going to ever grow a spine and ask me to the prom? Seriously. Embarrassing, but true."
My favorite random fact is
"There are fourteen punctuation marks in standard English grammar."
My most treasured possession is
"My necklace that my mom gave me for my 16th birthday. She got it from her mother when she was 16."
This applicant did a good job. There's no secret strategy at work here–she just told the truth, even when it was embarrassing. She injected her personality into the answers, sometimes being funny, sometimes being serious. And most importantly, she didn't try to serve up responses that were designed to impress.
The message here isn't that everyone should try to be funny; the message is that everyone should be themselves, whether you're funny, self-deprecating, introspective, intellectual, etc. Just relax and tell the truth. And have a little fun while you're doing it.