• Beth & Tim Manners

Seinfeld Style: The Essay About ‘Nothing’

Updated: Sep 20, 2019

Bates: Darryl Uy, an admissions officer at Bates College, suggests a ‘Seinfeldian’ approach to writing your college essay. He explains: “It could be about nothing but a few moments in your ordinary life that I can’t find anywhere else in your application. If you could take me into your life for 5 minutes, I think that is a successful essay.”


He adds: “Try to find a topic that resonates with you and your experiences so your personality and voice can shine through … If you’re not funny in real life, don’t try to be funny in your essay. That rarely works.”


Katie Moran Madden, a Bates alum and admissions expert, says the essay should reflect both your personal attributes and what you value. “All of us are trying to shape a community. And we try not to create a community of people with similar talents, interests, perspectives … make the essay about you. It doesn’t have to be exciting. It doesn’t have to move us.”

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