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Tufts University Asks Applicants, “What Does #YOLO Mean to You?” Without Even a Shred of Irony

Is it possible to send rejection letters to colleges?


College admissions are a tricky business. With so many kids competing for so few spots at private institutions, it can be difficult to get your personality across in just one full essay and a couple 250-word supplementals. That’s probably why Tufts University,  no doubt trying to speak to today’s youth on their level, thought they would help the process along by referencing #YOLO in their application and asking potential students what it “means” to them. Really? You want students who legitimately think serious thoughts about that hashtag to be enrolled in your school? That doesn’t sound like a good idea for anyone.

The full question basically reads like a college essay answer in and of itself, documenting the history of phrases that encapsulate “seizing the day.” Speaking of which, I’m incredibly disappointed that they chose the Rent reference over a potential Newsies one as far as musicals go. If you’re going to be ridiculous, why not fully embrace it?

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?

This is only one of six questions that you can choose to answer, and they’re all pretty weird, to be honest. One quotes Virginia Woolf and then invites the students to submit a “slam poetry” or video response. Another is one sentence long: “Celebrate your nerdy side.” I don’t even know what that means. Do you just want students to tell you about their fandom pairings, Tufts? Because that’s what you’re going to get. You can’t just let nerds go like that without a direction, guys. Give us some focus here.

(Tufts University Application via Gawker)

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