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Pizza is our country’s great unifier.
Or at least it was the recipe to success for high school senior Carolina Williams, who applied to Yale with an essay about how much she loves Papa John’s and was admitted alongside praise from the school’s administration. The Brentwood, Tennessee teen was accepted back in March, but her story didn’t go viral until she shared photos on Twitter:
The 200-word essay was supposed to be about something she loves to do, and Papa John’s topped her list.
“Honestly, I thought I should go with the first thing that popped in my head,” Williams, who will be the first in her family to attend college, told the Tennessean. “It was completely genuine.”
“Accepting those warm cardboard boxes at my front door is second nature to me,” part of the essay reads. “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.”
Her acceptance letter was accompanied by handwritten notes from the college’s admissions team, all of whom seemed impressed.
“As a fellow lover of pizza, I laughed out loud (then ordered pizza) after reading your application. Yale would be lucky to have you,” one response glowed.
The best part of this story is that, after all of that, Williams swerved Yale and accepted admission to Auburn University in Alabama instead. Williams told ABC she is planning to study business and minor in economics and felt Auburn was a better fit (plus she liked the scholarships).
She also noted that Auburn has a Papa John’s.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.