The prefrosh still have a lot to learn before they reach these hallowed halls.
In this next part of our introduction to the CC/SEAS Class of 2020, we decided to take a different approach. Sure, we could share all of the funny, shocking, and downright strange messages we had access to—and believe us, we have a lot of screenshots that didn’t make the cut— but somehow those short excerpts don’t seem to fully acquaint us with the various prefrosh characters. Luckily, the Class of 2020 really went above and beyond in sharing a variety of material with each other–so much so, that these budding Lions even shared their Common App essays and Columbia supplementals in a public group (similar to our peers in the Class of 2017). We think that these essays provide a much richer idea of what we’ll be dealing with next year. To help you prepare, Bwog is sharing some of the prefrosh admission essays. All essays we found are included to the fullest extent available.
*Note: The prefrosh did not consistently share quality pictures of their admissions essays. Bwog apologizes, though we hope you’re entertained regardless.
Columbia Supplemental Responses
- They really love their band. We hope CUMB doesn’t disappoint them.
- Regarding The Catcher in the Rye: “When I was little, my grandpa and I would feed ducks. I, too, wondered where they went during winter…”
- “Weirdly enough, one of my favorite sections is the obituary page.”
- “One Direction is one of my favorite music groups”
- “As I walked through halls and libraries on the campus with my tour group, topics of conversation ranged from quirky school legends to an annual bad poetry contest.”
- Under a section which lists print, electronic publication and websites regularly read: “Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy”
- “I also read/watch Buzzfeed because I appreciate its commentary on current social issues.”
- Under the list of films, concerts, shows, etc. enjoyed most: “Civil War to Civil Rights: The Politics of History – Eric Foner”
- “Writing is my therapy. It is natural, vulnerable, sincere, and holy.”
- Ah yes, we love our regular visits to FreeRice.com, too.
- Trend we’ve noticed in the Class of 2020: they have a distinct love for John Green.
- This prefrosh allegedly has a solid chunk of the Core finished already. We’re sure it’s coincidental.
- Vogue, Wired, and The American Journal of Medicine? Truly a Renaissance Man.
Common Application And Miscellaneous Essays
All photos courtesy of Bwog Staff
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Tips for answering Columbia’s 2017 writing supplement
In addition to the primary components of the Common Application and Coalition Application, applicants are asked to respond to Columbia-specific questions to tell the Admissions Committee more about their academic, extracurricular and intellectual interests. We review the responses to these questions very carefully in order get a full sense of each unique individual beyond his or her transcripts and test scores.
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with these questions before beginning your application:
- In 150 words or fewer, please list a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community.
Lists are accepted here, so feel free to do just that. Of course, you want your “ideal college community” to overlap with the Columbia community that you’ve observed. Research is key here – if you can, visit campus! There is no better way to learn about the “feel” of a school than to be there. If you can’t visit, try to contact current students and have them answer some questions. Learning how current students feel about a college can speak greatly toward the type of community the school fosters.
For the four list questions that follow, we ask that you list each individual response using commas or semicolons; the items do not have to be numbered or in any specific order. No narrative or explanatory text is needed. It is not necessary to italicize or underline titles of books or other publications. Author names may be included, but are not required. You do not need to fill the entire space or use the maximum number of words; there is no minimum word count in this section, so please respond to the extent that you feel is appropriate.
- List the titles of the required readings from courses during the school year or summer that you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)
Pick out the books that you enjoyed most this year (and don’t fake it!). When brainstorming, pick out novels that you learned something from or that had a meaningful impact on you in some way.
- List the titles of the books you read for pleasure that you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)
This cannot (and should not) be a repetition of the list from the previous question. Columbia wants to learn more about you by seeing what you’re interested in reading.
- List the titles of the print, electronic publications and websites you read regularly. (150 words or less)
Again, be honest here (there are no wrong answers). You could list a newspaper, magazine, blog, cookbook or website. Try and show a connection between the particular publication and an interest or hobby you’ve discussed somewhere else in your application.
- List the titles of the films, concerts, shows, exhibits, lectures and other entertainments you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)
A strong answer here can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, just as with the previous prompt. Stick to who you are and what you enjoy, whether it’s movies, music, theater or art, for example. The important thing is to continue to reinforce your unique interests and personality to the admissions officer.
- Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why. (300 words or less)
Before writing, always try and re-read the question to highlight key components. The three most important words here are “you”, “value” and “Columbia” – use this as a reference while you write. Think about what draws you to Columbia – what specifically does the school offer that you see the most value in? What does it offer that no other school can? Additionally, how will you benefit from this? How will this add to your education as a student? Columbia’s admissions officers are looking for students who will thrive as a result of the resources the school provides.
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