High School senior Brittany Stinson’s Costco Essay has gone viral. The essay, accessible here, uses Costco as a metaphor to explain her intellectual curiosity. The essay was a hit—Stinson was accepted to five Ivies and Stanford.
Her success--the essay is spectacular--underscores a fundamental rule for the personal statement: the importance of focusing on one instance in the life of the applicant and expanding on its meaning or importance. Stinson earns brownie points for tying her Costco metaphor to how she would add value to a college campus.
For those aspiring to earn admission to colleges like Yale, and Columbia, take comfort knowing that even the most selective colleges in the country appreciate an essay that focuses on a day-to-day activity like going to Costco as long as you can demonstrate why that instance you choose to write demonstrates value to an admissions officer.