Brittany Stinson is a high school senior who learned on Thursday that she has been accepted into Stanford University, as well as five Ivy League colleges and universities: Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell and University of Pennsylvania. All six are elite colleges that are ultra-competitive and typically have low acceptance rates. In addition to stellar grades and top-tier SAT scores, applicants typically have to set themselves apart in the essay portion of an application. What did Stinson write about in hers? Costco and hot dogs.
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"I'm sort of still in shock," Stinson told Business Insider. "I don't think I've processed everything yet."
On her Common Application admissions essay, Stinson chose prompt No. 1, which tasked her to write about "a background, identity, interest or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it."
Stinson wrote about her experience visiting Costco with her mother, envisioning herself as a conquistador "searching the land for El Dorado" — in this case, free samples.
The seemingly innocuous act of consuming a $1.50 hot dog combo eventually leads her to believe Costco is the "apex of consumerism," evolving into a philosophical discussion on free will and Nutella, and how the experience paralleled with her academic interests and curricular proclivities.
Read Stinson's manifesto below, which she shared in full to Business Insider.
Managing to break free from my mother's grasp, I charged. With arms flailing and chubby legs fluttering beneath me, I was the ferocious two year old rampaging through Costco on a Saturday morning. My mother's eyes widened in horror as I jettisoned my churro; the cinnamon-sugar rocket gracefully sliced its way through the air while I continued my spree. I sprinted through the aisles, looking up in awe at the massive bulk products that towered over me. Overcome with wonder, I wanted to touch and taste, to stick my head into industrial-sized freezers, to explore every crevice. I was a conquistador, but rather than searching the land for El Dorado, I scoured aisles for free samples. Before inevitably being whisked away into a shopping cart, I scaled a mountain of plush toys and surveyed the expanse that lay before me: the kingdom of Costco.