College Admissions Essay by Hugh Gallagher

Last updated on February 23rd, 2020

This essay, by Hugh Gallagher, won first prize in the humour
category of the 1990 Scholastic Writing Awards. It appeared in the May
issue of Literary Cavalcade, a magazine of contemporary fiction and
student writing published by Scholastic in New York City. Gallagher,
who was eighteen at the time, grew up in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania,
and attended New York University that fall. I hope you enjoy this College Admissions Essay by Hugh Gallagher.

3A. In order for the Admissions staff of our college to get to know
you, the applicant, better we ask that you answer the following
question: Are there any significant experiences you have had, or
accomplishments you have realized, that have helped to define you as a
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 Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I 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 cello, I was scouted by the Mets. I am the
subject of numerous documentaries. when I’m bored, I build large
suspension bridges in my yard.

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 been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes.
Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force
demonstration. I bat .400. 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 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 a Mouli
and a toaster oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights
in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees
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 college.

— The END —

I hope you enjoyed this College Admissions Essay by Hugh Gallagher

Please do not use it to apply to my Alma Mater, The College of New Jersey (Formerly Trenton State College) College Admissions Essay by Hugh Gallagher

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