What follows is a real, honest-to-God application from a student received by a colleague at Southampton Uni. The really cool thing is, they gave him a place on the course.
3A.ESSAY: In order for the admissions staff of our university to get to know you, the applicant, better, we ask that you answer the following question:
Q: Are there any significant experiences you have had, or accomplishments you have realised, 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 Kenyan refugess, I write award-winning operas, and 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 cell, I had trials with Manchester United, I am the subject of numerous documentaries.
When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my garden. 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 appeared on Through the Keyhole and won the gold plaque. Last summer I toured Eastern Europe with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I run the 100m in 9.65secs. 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.
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down.
I have made extraordinary four course meals using only some vegetables and a Breville Toaster. I breed prize winning clams.
I have won bullfights in Madrid, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and chess competitions 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 this University.