Just a few months after her 18th birthday, Carolina Williams has suddenly hit the national spotlight for 196 words that she sent to Yale University.
“I never really understood the concept of viral until now,” she said.
The teenager from Brentwood, Tenn., wrote a college admissions essay about her love for Papa John’s Pizza. (Click the yellow highlights for more.)
“When the delivery person rings my doorbell, I instantly morph into one of Pavlov’s dogs, salivating to the sound that signals the arrival of the cheesy, circular glory. It smells like celebration, as I love to rejoice a happy occasion by calling Papa John’s for my favorite food.”
Williams was admitted.
“I laughed so hard on your pizza essay. I kept thinking that you are the kind of person that I would love to be best friends with,” a Yale admissions officer wrote in an email.
Williams and her friends thought it would be funny to tweet the pizza company, which has responded with free pizzas and offers of an internship, she said. Then her local newspaper wrote a story about it, and it took off from there.
That’s how we got here.
Speaking to The Washington Post from orientation at Auburn University in Alabama, Williams described her newfound fame.
“I’d walk into a place and they’d go, ‘Oh, it’s the pizza girl,’ which is a great reputation, honestly.”
They would also ask why she chose Auburn over Yale, she said.
“Auburn was just personally a better fit for me. I felt more at home here. It was just a gut feeling.”
When asked why she loves Papa John’s above all the other pizzas out there, Williams, who says she is the first person in her family to go to college, said that she will eat pretty much any pizza put in front of her but that something about Papa John’s brings her back.
“I’ve been ordering there since I was little. It’s such a classic to me.”
And I love their garlic sauce.”
Clickon the highlighted sections to see more about Carolina Williams, including the other college essay that Yale praised. Also, see why college counselors thought the essay was successful and a possible reason a Yale admissions officer would write the student a note.
The Yale University application essay: (“Write about something that you love to do”)
The sound of my doorbell starts off high, then the pitch mellows out, and the whole effect mimics an instrumental interpretation of rain finally finding a steady pace at which to fall. I have spent several minutes analyzing its tone because I have had many opportunities to do so, as one thing I love to do is order pizza and have it delivered to my house. When the delivery person rings my doorbell, I instantly morph into one of Pavlov’s dogs, salivating to the sound that signals the arrival of the cheesy, circular glory. It smells like celebration, as I love to rejoice a happy occasion by calling Papa John’s for my favorite food. It tastes like comfort, since having pizza delivered to my quiet home is a way for me to unwind. It looks like self-sufficiency, because when I was young, ordering pizza made me feel grown-up, and it still provides that satisfaction for my child at heart. Accepting those warm cardboard boxes is second nature to me, but I will always love ordering pizza because of the way eight slices of something so ordinary are able to evoke feelings of independence, consolation, and joy.
Handwritten note on invitation letter to Yale’s Bulldog Saturday:
Congratulations on your acceptance and welcome to Yale! I absolutely loved reading your application. Your essay on reading 100 books in a year was so passionate, fun, and likable and, as a fellow lover of pizza, I laughed out loud (then ordered pizza) after reading your application. Yale would be lucky to have you, and I know …”
Email from the regional Yale admissions officer
“I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read your application. As someone who kept trying to read books for fun on tops of thousands of applications this winter, I really loved your essay on reading 100 books in a year and I laughed so hard on your pizza essay. I kept thinking that you are the kind of person that I would love to be best friends with. I want you to know that every part of your application stood out in our process and we are thrilled to be able to offer you a spot at Yale …”
Today, there are many delicious foods easily available. I sometime wonder how life was in the ancient past when they did not have ease of access to food as we do today.
However, though I can find food of all kinds in our stores there are foods that stand out as my favorite.
I easily walk past the pizzas, the fluffy pasties, pies, and cream cakes. But when I sit in the restaurant and see the words oxtail stew, with creamed spinach and potatoes I positively drool.
The Waitron places the crispy warm bread rolls beside me on a white plate. In front of me were yellow balls of butter. Next, she placed in front of me a bowl of creamed spinach, dark green finely cut with the white cream and steam coming from it advertising it was freshly cooked. I inhaled the warm aroma unique to spinach. Beside it was a bowl with smooth white mashed potato. Rich creamy smooth and firm from the butter and milk that had been beaten into it to add to its flavor and smooth texture.
Then came the bowl full of oxtail stew. Its rich dark brown color was set off by the white bowl it was in. The gravy was thick and rich. I could smell the aroma of beef, garlic, and herbs and spices drifting up from it into my nose. My mouth watered in anticipation.
Now I took the silver spoon and dipped it into the bowl of potato. It smoothly penetrated the firm fluffy white mound. I lifted the spoon and turned it over on my plate depositing a mound of potato. I repeated this 3 times. Then using another spoon I scooped up spinach dripping white sauce and put it on the plate beside the potato. The dark green Spinach was hot, the white Sauce melted and it contrasted with the creamy potato. Now after a second helping of spinach I took another larger spoon. I dipped it into the rich brown stew and stirred it. Then I scooped up a chunky slice of oxtail. Several other pieces followed that one onto my plate, the rich brown meat, contrasting with the dark green spinach and creamy white potato. The succulent meat gleaming with a coating of rich gravy and the aroma of gravy, garlic spinach and potato blending in the steam rising from my plate. I scooped up gravy from the bowl and trickled it over the white potato catching the scent of red wine. I broke the roll and spread butter on it and I was ready to eat.
Now the decision where to start, so I bit into the fresh crisp roll and tasted its warm soft texture and the melting butter. By then I had decided to sample the potato with gravy and the spinach. The potato was smooth, with a taste of butter over powered with the tangy gravy, its garlic and hint of good red wine in it. The spinach was a good foil. Smooth with its vegetable texture and plain white sauce it softened the taste of the gravy. Then I used my fork and removed the succulent meat from the bone. Its soft texture, fatty feeling in the mouth, the spice wine and garlic in the gravy made it perfect. So I sat contented at my table eating as much as I could, and more than I should of my favorite food.
Tips on writing a descriptive essay about your favorite food:
- This essay form is personal. It describes your personal experience and view on your favorite food.
- The goal is to create a vivid picture in the reader’s imagination.
- Brainstorm by using your power of observation and make notes.
- Carefully choose descriptive words that bring out a vivid picture of what you describe – in this case – your favorite food.
- Ensure you apply all your senses. The reader must be brought into the picture in his imagination. If you use words such as hot, cold, warm, dark, light, sunshine, fragrant, and the like.
- Describe, where you can, your emotions and feelings. Most of the readers will identify and connect with emotion.
- Do not lose your focus and make sure you organize your paper correctly.
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Tags: descriptive essays, essay on food