I'm done with college, so for all you high schoolers out there, feel free to use these!
  1. Dental Work
    If you take pride in your teeth, it's a sign that you take pride in YOU. So tell the admissions officers all about your most recent trip to the dentist. And remember they loooove metaphors and similes, so be sure to say lots of things like "My gums were a seething sea of pink" and "the dentist's eyes smiled at me like a newborn babe." (In general, a good rule of thumb for all application essays is to say "newborn babe" as much as possible because it makes you sound old timey and important.)
  2. Grandma Sally's Noodle Kugel
    Talk about how each noodle represents a different part of your family's ancestry, and the sauce is the patriotic air all we Americans breathe, from the old Grandma Sally herself right down to your youngest newborn babe cousin.
  3. My Favorite Class
    Don't say "history" or "calculus" like a little bitch. This is the oldest trick question in the book -- your favorite class is LIFE. That's always the answer they're looking for.
  4. Orchestra in Austria
    Talk about your orchestra trip to Austria, when you played a violin solo in the Vienna Opera House for every living descendant of Albert Einstein. There's no way they're gonna verify you actually went to Austria, and if they ask you to play your violin for them in the interview, just put a bandage on your wrist and be like "I can't, I sprained my wrist from practicing too much, cause as we all know practice makes perfect."
  5. Basketball in Austria
    Talk about your international peacekeeping basketball mission to Austria, when you refereed a basketball game between Israeli and Palestinian youth in the Vienna Opera House.
  6. Strudel in Austria
    Describe strudel you ate in Austria in as much mouth-watering detail as possible, then make sure you include a few pieces of real live strudel with your application. Instant acceptance. (I heard this is how Matt Damon got into Harvard.)
  7. DABFU
    Talk about how you started a DABFU club at your high school to raise awareness that drugs are bad for you. This one is a home run. (But remember to tailor it to your audience -- if you're applying to a cool small liberal arts college, change it to DAOFUWR club - Drugs are okay for you within reason.)
  8. My Favorite Book
    Don't be an idiot. It's not Harry Potter or On the Origin of Species or any of that crap, obviously it's the one YOU wrote. If you pick this prompt, make sure that first you get a job at Amazon, work your way up the ranks til you get the top level of website security clearance, learn to code, and make an entry on the website for your book. I recommend the title be "Grandma Sally's Noodle Kugel: One Really Smart Teen's Look at an All-American Family of Immigrants" but it's up to you.
  9. Lessons I Learned from My Biggest Failure
    Again, don't be dumb. This is a TRICK QUESTION. You learned nothing from your biggest failure because you've never had a big failure. I recommend talking about a parking ticket, and how it was all a big misunderstanding and you ended up getting tea with the metermaid and his newborn babe and his elderly aunt in her nursing home, where you now volunteer three times a week.
  10. Challenging a Belief
    The Common App asks "Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea." This one is so easy to write I'm laughing right now just thinking about it. I don't know why they even ask it. Uhh, how about when you challenged slavery? Duh. Or spoke out against theft? Or murder? Just pick a bad thing, write a couple paragraphs describing how you know it's bad, then conclude with a list of 5 to 10 people who you've told this is a bad thing. Done. Accepted.