SparkNotes Blog

The 15 Worst Sentences to Begin a College Essay

There are plenty of good guides to beginning a college admissions essay. This isn’t one of them.

When you find yourself tearing your hair out, looking for that perfect hook to get you in the door at your dream school, we advocate firmly against trying any of these approaches. Seriously, don’t start your college essay with any of these list entries. (Unless you’re applying to opposite college. Then it might work out OK.)


I am the nefarious Lina Turkel, and I am writing you from my secret, evil volcano lair to tell you of my desire to dominate your institution.

I hope that this Tweet conveys my commitment to technology and the modern learning environment. #AdmitMe #EssayIn140

My name is Rahim Johnson, and I will be calling you hourly to confirm that my application materials are in order.

As a Jedi, I strongly suggest that this is the application you are looking for (hand wave hand wave hand wave.)

Congratulations, You have won a brand new college student! Please send enrollment materials to claim your winnings.

Should the Hunger Games be instated during my attendance, I believe myself well equipped to defend your university’s district.

Attached you will find a $20 bill stapled to the envelope, for expediency.

As a time traveler, I have peered into the future and know already that I will be admitted, so I am writing you merely as a formality.

My name is Laura Goodman, and I have recently discovered a virulent disease I would like to introduce to your campus!

My name is Ronald Worthington (call me Ron), and I am seeking to study in your Defense Against the Dark Arts department.

While most pathological liars would dishonestly try to hide their condition from you, I have endeavored to be as honest as possible in the following letter.

I am an fastiduous studemt appplying to you’re english deportment.

I’m Bobby, and I am hoping that this essay will adequately appease my parents’ insistence that I apply to college.

Please enjoy the enclosed glitter while considering my application.

As my mentor, Elmer Fudd, once said…

Think you’ve got an even worse lead line for your application? Lay it on us and share the despair in the comments.