September 1, 2019 28



“Dear Humans of UChicago, I, a noble gargoyle,
am sad.” Hey guys it’s Chloe again with another video! And today we’re going to be talking about
my UChicago essays I know that some people in the comments have
been asking to see them (or maybe just one comment) I’ve been thinking about doing this video. So today in specific we’re going to talk about
my why UChicago essay. I know there’s the optional essay and then
there’s also the personal statement; but this one felt the most connected to UChicago I’m going to be talking about my brainstorm
process, how I went with this idea, and then ultimately I’ll be reading quite a lot of
it. I personally will not be reading the entire
thing front to back, and the reason is because 1)It’s kind of long 2) there’s a lot of detail
in this that I think is better for me to explain part by part. So I’m going to talk about it, draw some examples
from my essay, and then talk about it more. My essay, as you’ve heard previously, is a
letter to UChicago. And my approach to this whole thing is based
off this video that I found on the UChicago admissions website. Now this is actually like a 100% true story. I remember when I was in 9th grade and we
were doing Notre Dame in music class, the French musical. I don’t speak French, love the musical, I
watched the musical in French I was looking at Notre Dame and gargoyles
and things like that, so I searched up “gargoyle” on Youtube videos. I kept scrolling and scrolling and I saw “Sad
Gargoyle Diary” Now I was not aware that Sad _______ Diary
was a trend on Youtube at the time. Being on Youtube was already a novelty for
me being in Shanghai — Youtube was like “woo you need VPN” and stuff like that. Anyhow, I went on there, found the gargoyle
video, and it was posted by UChicago Admissions and 9th grade freshman me was like ?????? So, went on it, clicked on it, it was an extremely
entertaining video. I will link the video in my description down
below. It was basically — I can’t tell if they
were admissions officers or students — but they were doing voiceovers over different
gargoyles on campus, doing things like “I see that giant metal bird” (plane) “Oh I’m going to swallowed by the green death”
(vines) Anyhow, it was very entertaining and I immediately
fell in love with like the kind of like *hand gestures* quirky, weird, like why are you voiceovering
gargoyle in your school? Anyhow, very entertaining to me. So my entire essay is themed around this idea:
it’s a Sad Gargoyle Diary 2.0 First thing about the structure: I chose a
letter even though I knew it was quite risky because I felt that it was the easiest way
for me to embody a gargoyle, but also show that I knew a lot about the school Few things that I gathered from reading like
a shit ton of why essays which I’m sure everyone did was: 1. You have to show that you really like the
school (obviously, everyone tells you that) but I think the easiest way to do that is
to include a lot of detail; and so, anything on the official website is basically off-limits,
because anyone can just search that up. So I pulled my information from pictures of
UChicago, actual maps of the place, If you’ve visited the place then maybe something
like a small detail about the place that really makes it special. I pulled my research off of Facebook memes
— I didn’t write about any of them, but I kind of got the “feel” from that you know
— so Facebook meme groups, Niche… I think that’s it. There should be one more meme page, but basically
meme pages are a good source of material to get a good “feel” And then I talked to a lot of admissions counselors in my school and also from UChicago if I had
the chance to meet them Sometimes they go around touring; they stopped at my school a couple times:
I would ask them “What’s your favorite part of UChicago” and things like that Also third of all would be the alumni in your
school If you’re lucky enough to have any alumni. In my school we had one guy go to UChicago
four years ago, and then someone who got in the year before me but didn’t go So that’s not a lot of resources I asked them for their essays Some replied, some didn’t, and then kind of
referenced them okay; so that’s just for Why Essays in general More specific to my essay. I wrote the entire essay in the perspective
of a gargoyle, and basically the gargoyle is sad because it’s not a student at UChicago So it’s writing about how “everyday I’m seeing
these students walk past and I’m feeling sad and feeling all this tension and brain (what)
and intelligence oozing up from the air” It sounds cheesy but that’s literally what
I wrote And then in there I sneaked in a lot of detail
that I think was quite important This is the fourth paragraph from my essay: “These studious humans are akin to medieval
infantry: tireless, leaving no field untouched, embracing
potential clamor, sculpting their ever-changing perspectives
in debates. What glory lies within Albert Pick Hall under the instruction of Professor J. Brehm! I yearn to sharpen my mind (and talons), to discuss how to reconcile polarizing perspectives
and achieve solidarity in “Organizational Decision Making”, or how human (and gargoyle) political beliefs can change completely with
Professor Oliver.” So, in that one, I talked about talons and
gargoyle political beliefs and things like that, but I also threw in course names, professor
names, names of buildings, etc Which, the name of the building was surprisingly
difficult to find: it’s not just like “The Undergraduate Building” there’s actually a
specific name for each building on most gothic or most older college campuses And it’s really useful if you throw that in
(I felt) Kind of balance the creative element, with
the specificity and research on the university element One more example: “I long for the chance to sit at the roundtables
in the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, or on coffee counters in Ex Libris Cafe after late nights at the Regenstein — for I believe that the conveyance of my words
in any discussion rivals my talent in spewing water.” If you didn’t know, gargoyles spew water. Ex Libris Cafe is a cafe that’s actually embedded
inside the Regenstein, which is one of the major libraries in UChicago. So here I was just really casually throwing
out me wanting to stay at this cafe at this library To you, it’s like a “wow” piece of information,
but for the admissions officer reading this essay — they’re going to know what Ex Libris cafe
and the Regenstein is So when they read it actually in a sentence It just naturally gives them like a “Oh yeah, she knows the place” that kind of
feeling? That was what I was going for The rest of my essay, I talked about the chance
I got to go to Chicago which was the Global Youth Ambassador’s Leadership Summit (GYALS)
in Chicago and I basically talked about how honorable
it was for Chicago as a city to embrace me, a little gargoyle, and invited me to the camp And then I talked about this amazing chance
that the executive director of GYALS program heard that my dream school was UChicago He probably heard it because I told anyone
who would listen but, it paid off! He connected me with his friend at UChicago,
who turns out to be Professor Alison Siegler, and if you don’t know who she is I’ll link
her page down below as we’ll She’s amazing She’s a Seventh Circuit lawyer who teaches
and her firm is in the UChicago Law School So I actually got to meet her on campus for
like an hour, and talk to her and her undergraduate interns That really gave me a lot of insight into
UChicago Next, I talked about the quirkiness, the fun
of UChicago that it’s very much known for I tried to make humor a really big thing in
my Why Essay I’m not a very funny person, because they
just come really naturally to me Like when someone says something I’ll be like
“oh yeah, dadadadada” and then there will be like Awkward laughter in the room or just complete
silence in the room It’s not funny it’s just an offbeat kind of “hiarh” That’s the kind of feeling I tried to incorporate
into my essay as well as a lot of detail So I felt like that really packed a punch Let me give you a couple of examples: I’m going to read you guys the beginning again Because in the middle I put a lot more (as
I mentioned previously) professor names, program names, things like
that But in the beginning and in the end I packed
it full of like “fun stuff” Example:
After “I, a noble gargoyle, am sad; the time has
come for me to chronicle my heartache.” I put: “Unlike the fearsome beasts that alight on
Cobb Gate, I do not ensconce stony-faced under sunlight,
but, perch on an unremembered pediment in the University of Chicago. Associate me not with the unaspiring grotesques
or chimeras, hunky punks, the frogs with bat wings, or white men with
scripts and harps! I have a dream, simultaneously a sorrow — I wish to be a student on this campus.” Cobb Gate is that really famous gate that
all the admitted students go through before they go to UChicago There are 5 gargoyles that sit on it, and
I think they famously represent the admission officers So I was like “Unlike” the fearsome beasts
that alight on Cobb Gate I do not ensconce under the sunlight, but rather I hide away in some corner of UChicago So that absolves the 1) I am not one of the
admissions officers gargoyles and 2) you don’t know who I am, because I
lurk in the shadows That solves the “Where is this gargoyle is
she like going after a specific one in this school” I mentioned grotesques, chimeras, hunky-punks,
frogs with bat wings, white men with scripts and harps — These are all actual statues in UChicago Later on I put something like This is towards the end:
“Let me tell you this, humans: My stony skin gleamed when I found that the rhythm of your school matched the rhythmic
beating of my wings: slightly off. The same wings quiver as I ache to hold a
pen and paper to submit uproarious Scavenger Hunt proposals, or offer my insights on the comparability
of latke and hamantash. Afternoons spent pouring over The Leviathan
in Mansueto, enjoying dollar shakes from the Reynolds, practicing Liszt on the grand piano in Blackstone
residential, grabbing insomnia cookies to sneak into lectures
at the Institute of Politics — curse the barriers that stand between us!” So I just listed a bunch of things that I
really want to do, which is genuinely true: they have amazing dollar shakes and who else has an Insomnia Cookies, and now boba tea, built into the dorm room? This video is, again, kind of long, I apologize
— but one more thing I really wanted to touch on in my essay was the ending: “Dear humans, I implore — take me to further skies, enliven my stony
wings, let my screech be heard! I know you will embrace the rather odd juxtaposition
of a gothic gargoyle in an avant-garde glass dome library, just as you forbid letter discrimination to
your name. Decidedly Yours, Chloe Tan First of Her Name, The Unburnt from Sun, Queen of the Spires, Gargoyle of the Great
Unknown, Protector of the Roof, Breaker of Stone, Spewer of Water, and Prospective Gargoyle.” So IF you don’t know the reference, I literally
took Daenerys Targaryen and all her titles and put it here I basically changed each one of them to fit
my gargoyle persona so there was “Gargoyle of the Great Unknown”, “Queen of the Spires” like the spires on the
gothic towers “The Unburnt… from Sun” and then “Protector of roof”, “Breaker of
stone” “Spewer of water” and then finally, Prospective gargoyle. I also mentioned letter discrimination because you know how Uchicago’s gothic font It’s called fete fraftur the C isn’t capitalized, the U isn’t capitalized I found that really cool So I just said “Just as you forbid letter discrimination
to your name” That’s all I have today for my Why UChicago
essay I hope you guys enjoyed it or at least, I hope it was useful for you
guys Let me know in the comments if you guys have
any further questions or if you guys want to see more excerpts from
my essays I would be really happy to send you parts
of it I’m not really comfortable with posting my
entire essay on Youtube, but if you guys want to hear more parts of it I would be more than willing to make a part
2 where I read more parts from it So yeah! Still in need of an outro…

28 Replies to “WHY UCHICAGO ESSAY: My Essay & Tips”

  • Jacqueline Wang says:

    love your attitude

  • nicole yeo says:

    hey Chloe! fellow Singaporean here. will you be going to oxford or uchicago?

  • Avery Reyna says:

    I absolutely loved your essay (or at least the parts you showed lol). It’s such a creative approach to such a tedious prompt that is given by virtually every top 20 university. I also really like the idea of a second part where you read more sections from your essay. I would love to hear more 🙂 I personally wrote my essay on how much I love asking questions and why UChiacgo would not only supply me with the incentive to ask questions, but give me the tools to answer them. I go into a lot more detail but that’s that lol

  • Nasir Smith says:

    I got in ED2! I hope I see you on campus!

  • sumin lee says:

    Hi Chloe, you are amazing!! Did you also apply to your regular decisions schools?

  • Cindy Xu says:

    Hi Chloe! I just watched three of your videos in a row and I am amazed and inspired by your essay, extracurriculars, and most importantly your incredible humor and character. UChicago is probably one of my dream schools and while I was scrolling on the admissions website, I was wondering, is the Why UChicago essay the same as the UChicago Supplement Question? – a clueless sophomore

  • Iveth Cruz says:

    Im currently a junior and recently received the spring open house invite from UChicago. Do you think I should go or is this more aimed towards seniors?

  • Imani Hayes says:

    are you an out of state student from U Chicago?

  • Imani Hayes says:

    is Communication and Journalism majors offered at U Chicago?

  • iirviinnn Irvin Montoya says:

    How expensive is it to go to UC? Like for a year?

  • ariomuhammad87 says:

    Hi CHLOE, wowwww.. I just accidentally found your video starting from PPE Oxford interview & now I am loving seeing your explanation of your essay. I am actually a father of two kids. 1 boys who is now almost 6 Yo and a baby 10 months old. I & MY WIFE are from Indonesia anyway. I have just finished my PhD in Bristol Uni and my wife is now pursuing her PhD in the same uni as well.

    We really love to learn parenting in this day and I am amazed with your deeper knowledge on what you are studying now. Can you share me what is your education background?

    I am curious like:

    (1) how many books you read in a month?

    (2) when did you start loving reading?

    (3) is there any specific suggestions for us as a parent to educate our kids so they can grow up at least having rich knowledge like you?

    (4) may you share your parents method of educating you?

    It is amazing to see your essay structure since I knew a lot of my friend who is writing their essay during master degree. I am in Engineering so don't have such kind of experience.

    I do really appreciate if you can reply my questions.

  • cat dog says:

    Do I see a fellow Jerry?!

  • Camille Luong says:

    Wow this is great!!

  • Andrea Primicias says:

    Hi! I really loved your essay. It is indeed very creative and shows a lot of insight into your personality and how you are a perfect fit for UChicago. I really liked the intro and ending most especially because of the fun and humor behind them. As a person, I find humor very eye-catching, so it caused me to release a chuckle or two haha. I am interested in applying as an EDI applicant, but I need a lot of help writing my essay. 🙁 I would really love to hear more from yours just to gain some more inspiration. 🙂 So far, I have a few ideas in mind, but they're not quite solid yet.

  • Prash R says:

    Hi Chloe! Thanks for your UChicago videos! I’m really interested in UChicago, and I was wondering—if you don’t mind—whether you can read my “Why UChicago” essay and the Uncommon supplement. Let me know.

  • Lexi Hacker says:

    I’m going on a university tour to UC on Tuesday!!! UC is my dream school for sure. Also I love your shirt!

  • Grace Guo says:

    Hi Chloe! Your essay is impressive to me. I don't quite understand about the letter discrimination part. Can you explain it more?

  • Lexi Hacker says:

    Little update: I finished my tour and I was completely in awe! I’ve had a creative block for the past few years but as soon as I stepped on campus I felt that block completely disappear. I was super nervous about my supplemental essays and that they might not be up to par with other, more worthy applicants but now I feel completely confident in my creative writing skills which I haven’t felt in years.
    Returning to your video for your tips so I can better critique the essays I just wrote!! If at all possible, I would be incredibly honored if you would do me the service of reviewing my essay or essays and giving your thoughts on them!!
    Hopefully I’ll be accepted and admitted for next year so I can take some naps in those comfy chairs in the old library that’s actually not a library!! 😉

  • Baffour Ntiamoah says:

    Can I please get your email

  • Ishan Malhotra says:

    Hi Chloe, loved the video. Is it possible for you to send me this supplement on mail?

  • Surabhi Chavan says:

    I have a question: how are you so cute? ❤. No but seriously, I loved your essay a lot! I am inspired to write a good essay for my own application. The only catch is that I'm an Indian and unlike you, i havent seen the uchicago campus before. So how do i go about gathering the little details about the university? Any help would be great!

  • Hannah Lee says:

    While I was listening, I thought this essay was the creative supplemental!! Your why Uchicago is so detailed and written elegantly and was a JOY to listen to. Anddddd GOT fan here~ love the ending

  • Chioma Nwoye says:

    I got accepted!! :') thanks for all your helpful videos!

  • AD Changedfored says:

    Hi Chloe! I am applying ED 2 to UChicago this year and now trying to write my Why UChicago essay. Could you please share with me some thoughts regarding your most favorite parts of your life at UChicago as a freshman student, especially the school traditions that you find most interesting? Thank you very much.

  • Jason Faber says:

    woah im the 10000th viewer!

  • Yara says:

    hey, I recently got in but just found your videos!! I would love to chat about the school and get some inside tips:)

  • Tala Malo says:

    How did you handle finishing your essays by early decision results? When did you start?

  • Natalie Fangg says:

    you are funny!! don't say that you're not! I love your videos 🙂 Thank you for making them~~

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