Tufts Essay Question Yolo

College admissions are a tricky business. With so many kids competing for so few spots at private institutions, it can be difficult to get your personality across in just one full essay and a couple 250-word supplementals. That’s probably why Tufts University,  no doubt trying to speak to today’s youth on their level, thought they would help the process along by referencing #YOLO in their application and asking potential students what it “means” to them. Really? You want students who legitimately think serious thoughts about that hashtag to be enrolled in your school? That doesn’t sound like a good idea for anyone.

The full question basically reads like a college essay answer in and of itself, documenting the history of phrases that encapsulate “seizing the day.” Speaking of which, I’m incredibly disappointed that they chose the Rent reference over a potential Newsies one as far as musicals go. If you’re going to be ridiculous, why not fully embrace it?

The ancient Romans started it when they coined the phrase “Carpe diem.” Jonathan Larson proclaimed “No day but today!” and most recently, Drake explained You Only Live Once (YOLO).  Have you ever seized the day? Lived like there was no tomorrow?  Or perhaps you plan to shout YOLO while jumping into something in the future. What does #YOLO mean to you?

This is only one of six questions that you can choose to answer, and they’re all pretty weird, to be honest. One quotes Virginia Woolf and then invites the students to submit a “slam poetry” or video response. Another is one sentence long: “Celebrate your nerdy side.” I don’t even know what that means. Do you just want students to tell you about their fandom pairings, Tufts? Because that’s what you’re going to get. You can’t just let nerds go like that without a direction, guys. Give us some focus here.

(Tufts University Application via Gawker)

Meanwhile in related links

This year’s application to Tufts University asks potential students to answer the question “What does #YOLO mean to you?” Last week, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Lee Coffin announced the revamped essay section in a blog post titled “Let’s Get This Party Started,” writing, “To get your writing juices flowing, we penned questions that won’t sound like the ones you’ll encounter on (most) other college applications. That’s not an attempt to make it ‘harder’ to apply to Tufts; it’s our way of saying ‘think outside the box.’ Here they are (imagine a drumroll):”

… Jonathan Larson proclaimed “No day but today!” and most recently, Drake explained You Only Live Once (YOLO).  Have you ever seized the day? Lived like there was no tomorrow?  Or perhaps you plan to shout YOLO while jumping into something in the future. What does #YOLO mean toyou?


Daily Intelligencer has obtained an expanded list of Tufts’ essay questions for the class of2018:

1. If you could “poke” any historic figure, who would it be? What three status updates would they “like” on your timeline? And what reasons might they have to defriendyou?

2. If you Snapchatted a nude selfie of your personality to the world and it got screen-grabbed, what would we see? Please Instagram your answer to:TuftsSelfieNoLulz.

4. On a recent episode of My Super Sweet Sixteen, Rachel got angry with her stepfather for hiding her belly-button jewelry and making her cover up her tramp stamp. What aspect of your personality would you hide from MTVproducers?

5. We’ve all felt like Karate Kyle at some point. Have you ever witnessed bullying in school or been bullied yourself? What can we do as a society to combat the issues facing KarateKyle?

6. If you could save one person or thing from a Sharknado, who or what would it be and why? And what do you see as the greatest threat to the environmenttoday?

7. Make a Vine loop of you and a friend twerking and show it to a parent or guardian. Transcribe the conversation and use it to evaluate how your family background influences the way you see theworld.

8. Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham said she decided to wax and pluck her 3-year-old daughter Sophia’s unibrow because she “felt bad for her.” What’s the most “totes cray” thing you’ve ever done, and how did it lead to personalgrowth?

9. Imagine for a moment that instead of butt-chugging vodka for a quick and totally intense buzz you could butt-chug a bottle of instant knowledge about the world. From science to history, language to art, what would your bottle be fullof?

11. This year, Amanda Bynes famously tweeted, “I want Drake to murder my vagina.” Using metaphor, describe a special attribute or accomplishment that sets youapart.

12.  Tell us about a time you demonstrated leadershipability.

13. Justin Beiber was recently caught on video urinating in a bucket and spraying something on a picture of the ex-president while shouting “Fuck Bill Clinton!” What political figure has most inspiredyou?

14. Amanda Bynes also tweeted to Rihanna that “Chris Brown beat you because you’re not pretty enough” and that “Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are ugly!” Who exactly is Amanda Bynes? Is she one of those troubled ex-Disney kids? Optional: Describe what community service means toyou.

15. On the Internet, cats in pictures often ask, “I can haz cheeseburger?” But what does that mean? What makes it so funny? Was there a movie, TV show, or song at some point in which a cat asked for a cheeseburger or something? Please include a link and explain clearly andconcisely.

16. In your opinion, is it too late for the admissions office to do one of those Harlem Shake videos? Like, is it already super lame, or do you think if we add a new, funny twist to the footage we already have that it might still get some viral play on YouTube? Offer your answer in 140 characters or less and just be honest.

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