College Essay Prompts 2014-15

Strings, however, always have explained or enriched our lives, from Theseus’s escape route from the Labyrinth, to kittens playing with balls of yarn, to the single hair that held the sword above Damocles, to the Old Norse tradition that one’s life is a thread woven into a tapestry of fate, to the beautiful sounds of the finely tuned string of a violin, to the children’s game of cat’s cradle, to the concept of stringing someone along.

Use the power of string to explain the biggest or the smallest phenomenon.

Write an essay somehow inspired by super-huge mustard. Imagine you’ve struck a deal with the Dean of Admissions himself, Dean Nondorf.

People often think of language as a connector, something that brings people together by helping them share experiences, feelings, ideas, etc. It goes as follows: you’re guaranteed admission to the University of Chicago regardless of any circumstances that arise.

Susan Sontag, AB’51, wrote that “[s]ilence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.” Write about an issue or a situation when you remained silent, and explain how silence may speak in ways that you did or did not intend.

The Aesthetics of Silence, 1967.“…I [was] eager to escape backward again, to be off to invent a past for the present.” —The Rose Rabbi by Daniel Stern Present: pres·ent 1.

Create your own idiom, and tell us its origin—you know, the whole nine yards. Tell us about the relationship between you and your arch-nemesis (either real or imagined).

PS: A picture is worth a thousand words.“A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.” –Oscar Wilde. Heisenberg claims that you cannot know both the position and momentum of an electron with total certainty.

a full list of unmodified majors ready for your editor’s eye is available here. Describe something vestigial (real or imagined) and provide an explanation for its existence.

In French, there is no difference between “conscience” and “consciousness.” In Japanese, there is a word that specifically refers to the splittable wooden chopsticks you get at restaurants.

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