"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.. 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.. 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,.
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.. 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..
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 —. 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. 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;. 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. 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.. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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!". 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.". 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. 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. 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. yeah! Still in need of an outro…