Kalissa’s SpongeBob Squarepants college essay has gained million views on TikTok!
Writing a college admissions essay can be intimidating and difficult. But it doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun and personal, which was what USA-based student Kalissa Persaud probably had in mind when she wrote about SpongeBob Squarepants for her college essay.
Persaud’s reflection on the famed Nickelodeon animation that is set under the sea landed her a slot into prestigious institutions such as the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC). With stiff admission rates of about 9% and 12%, respectively for both aforementioned universities, Persaud’s feat was especially lauded on TikTok because she also got into seven other universities.
Now a college graduate, Persaud posted on TikTok to look back and read her heartfelt admission essay last February 2023. The video that discussed the impact of childhood shows on how people become adults has since gained 9 million views and 1.8 million likes as of this writing.
@kalissapersaud Replying to @waitingfordhoom4 one of my favorite pieces i’ve ever written?? it’s important to be yourself in your applications! enjoy enjoy enjoy! #? #fyp #fyp #usc #ucla #spongebob #collegeessay #collegeessaytips #college ? original sound – kalizzle?????
The SpongeBob Squarepants college essay
Persaud’s viral TikTok post ran for 2:50 minutes which she started from the beginning, that is, from when she started watching the famous sea sponge.
“If I had to estimate, I’d say I’ve watched every episode of SpongeBob SquarePants at least eight times. I speak candidly when I say SpongeBob is my hero,” she began.
“It’s no secret that the setup of the SpongeBob Squarepants show is bizarre,” she said, adding, “One could choose to criticize the ridiculousness of the show or simply indulge in the absurdity of it all. I indulged.”
Persaud went on to recall her earliest memories of watching SpongeBob — when she was 4 years old and would return from school, immediately begging her grandmother to change the channel from Bollywood movies to her favorite yellow sea creature. Then, to her grandmother’s dismay, she’d belt out the theme song and perform—moments that, in hindsight, fueled her dreams of becoming an actor.
“There were no rules in the episodes. The opportunities were limitless. It showed me that my imagination could run wild and, more importantly, being able to access my imagination was a meaningful skill,” she said.
As someone who had issues believing in herself, Persaud recalled how she had the tendency to overthink. How she felt mediocre all the time and “Whenever I thought of any scenario, my mind made a list of every little thing that could go wrong, even if it was completely irrational.”
After this, she discussed which aspect of the show resonated with her.
“I thought back to the first episode of ‘SpongeBob’ in which a swarm of anchovies came to feast at the Krusty Krab, where SpongeBob is seeking employment as a fry cook. He keeps calm amongst all of the anchovy chaos despite it being his first day, and efficiently serves Krabby Patties. I questioned when I became so doubtful. If SpongeBob could serve a thousand anchovies on his first day, then I could definitely try to gain some lost confidence back,” she reasoned.
She wrapped up her letter by highlighting how SpongeBob has been a driving force in shaping the person that she is and her passion for acting.
“After all, being an actor requires confidence and imagination — two things of mine that were greatly developed through watching SpongeBob. I look forward to further developing these things throughout college and the rest of my life. In the words of Mr. SquarePants himself, ‘I’m ready!'” she wrote.
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