SparkNotes Blog

College Essay Asks What YOLO Means to You

GUYS. This is REAL. A real, actual college wants to know what #YOLO means to you.

The blog Jezebel alerted us to this real essay prompt for Tufts University applicants:

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?

Fortunately, Tufts does recognize the o.g. YOLO: “carpe diem” a.k.a. “seize the day.” And we can appreciate that Tufts admissions counselors want applicants to answer things they know about, in a vernacular that its applicants understand. Still, we can’t help but feel like colleges should be asking applicants about slightly more scholarly, less trendy, non-Drake-lyric-type things.

But maybe we’re just fuddy-duddies who feel like Drake, hashtags, and slang have no place in a college admissions essay. Other than the use of those aforementioned, abominable things, the prompt and its spirit are a nice writing exercise that can showcase your ability to live in the moment. Seizing the day (and even YOLO-ing) are important things for people to do, especially with how serious and time-consuming high school and extracurriculars are these days.

Even considering that, we have one last complaint: We feel the hashtag in the last question is unnecessary and out of place. But now that hashtags are on Facebook, we guess they’re okay everywhere.

What do you think about this essay prompt? Ridiculous, with the times, or something in between?

[via Jezebel]