This Teen’s Essay About Papa John’s Got Her Into Yale


Anyone who’s attended college understands the massive stress involved with the application process. You played five varsity sports (how is that even possible?), got a 4.0, you aced your SATs, ACTs, and every other monotonous exam possible, what more could the college of your dreams want from you? Well, they want you to write an essay on your favorite thing in the world. What could be easier?

The problem is that while explaining your favorite thing, you also have to find a way to show them why they should accept you into their prestigious university. Obviously, writing about pizza isn’t a good idea, right? That is, unless you’re high school senior Carolina Williams. Because that’s exactly what she did and now she’s heading to Yale because of it.

She didn’t just write about her love for pizza, though. She specifically wrote about her love for Papa John’s pizza: “When I saw that the prompt was ‘Write about what you love to do,’ my very first thought was order pizza from Papa John’s,” Williams told Business Insider.

Williams says she orders pizza from Papa John’s every week. Because of this and her love for Peyton Manning’s favorite pie, it was an obvious topic for her college admissions essay. “I thought for a while about if I should actually do that and if they would take it seriously, but I decided to just write it because it was so easy and my passion came through,” she said.

Obviously, her essay wasn’t just pizza-centric. That would be ridiculous. But, she did find a way to explain who she was and why she should be admitted to Yale based on her pizza-fandom. “Accepting those warm cardboard boxes at my front door 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, consolidation, and joy,” she wrote in the essay that she posted on Twitter along with her letter of acceptance.

Not surprisingly, Papa John’s responded via Twitter with congratulations.

With colleges getting more exclusive every year, it’s hard to stand out against the crowd. Of course, we can’t all write about our love of ‘za to get a spot at a prestigious institution, but we can use it as inspiration. (At least to order a izza right now!)