The Uncommon Application: 16 More Questions From the Tufts Admission Board

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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 drum roll):”

… 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?


Daily Intelligencer has obtained an expanded list of Tufts’ essay questions for the class of 2018:

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 defriend you?

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.

3. In his new single “I Am a God,” Kanye West implores an imaginary, symbolic figure “in a French-ass restaurant” to “hurry up with my damn croissants.” Explore the themes of identity and class in contemporary American society as they relate to the French-ass restaurants and croissants in your own life.

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 MTV producers?

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 Karate Kyle?

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 environment today?

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 the world.

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 personal growth?

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 full of?

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

12.  Tell us about a time you demonstrated leadership ability.

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 inspired you?

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 to you.

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 and concisely.

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.

(A hat tip to our friends at the New Republic who had a similar idea, and posted it faster.)