College Admissions Employees Share Tips For Students Who Want To Get Accepted

College Admissions Employees Share Tips For Students Who Want To Get Accepted

Getting into college is nerve racking simply because you don't always know what they are looking for other than great grades and extra curricular activities, not to mention all of the competition. What if you could have someone inside the system who can tell you just how to catch the eyes of the admissions department? Your lucky day is today!

feelinginside asks:

People who check University Applications. What do students tend to ignore/put in, that would otherwise increase their chances of acceptance?

Start taking notes from this ultimate cheat sheet!

No suck ups, it's about you!

Never write about the school you're applying to. Write about yourself. Who are you, what do you have to offer, what motivates you, who will you be one day?

Professional advice from University of Chicago

I read and evaluated applications for the University of Chicago and now, for the last ~6 years, have helped ~300 students apply to college as an admissions consultant, using the insight I gained within a top-5 admissions office.

  • I see so many students leave off extracurricular activities because they worry they're not prestigious enough. They leave off hobbies as they didn't realize the 10 hours a week they spent on independent art projects could count as an extracurricular. They don't mention their family obligations, such as having to take care of their 4 younger siblings for many hours each day as their single mom works two jobs. For more insight on what might count on your college app, see my post here.
  • They underestimate hours spent on an extracurricular activity. While it is obviously bad to lie/exaggerate your hours, it's not good to underestimate them, either! Last year I worked with an Olympic athlete on her applications. In looking at her original list of extracurricular activities, she had included 15 hours/week as an estimate for her commitment to her sport. I was surprised to hear how low of a time commitment that was, and she remarked "Oh, well, my mom and I have to travel, like, 4 hours roundtrip every day just to get to practice." 4 HOURS EACH DAY!? Add that significant travel time to your activities list, girl! If you, too, have an activity that requires travel time, you can include that time in your estimated hours/week time commitment on your applications. Check out my guide to the activities list for more tips like this.
  • Their essays are generic, too, because they fail to include how they think, feel, or view the world differently as a result of their experiences. I cannot tell you how many students' essays I've read that talk about football or piano or their research position and just gives an A to Z guide of their participation in the activity. After a lot of 1-on-1 brainstorming and revisions, the student wrote an excellent essay starting with really cool imagery about the origami artwork hanging from her bedroom ceiling before transitioning into her hobbies. She wrote something like, "Just as distinctly different are the [origami shape 1] and [origami shape 2] hanging above my head are my passions for [activity 1] and [music]---but they both hang in my heart." It was more well-written than that, but I'm pulling from the dregs of my memory. The essay turned out awesome, was super reflective of how the student thought, felt, or viewed the world differently as a result of her experiences and interests, and she's currently at an Ivy League university---in part because she wrote an essay at the Ivy League level.
  • Be extremely, extremely specific. Research the school extensively. Find classes that the university offers that you haven't seen at any other school (o-chem doesn't cut it). Mention the curriculum (Core at UChicago or Columbia, Open Curriculum at Brown, for example), and don't just say you like it---really dig into WHY that curriculum exists from a fundamental educational level and what sort of catalyst it will be for your own thinking. Search the school's online newspaper for some cool programs that other prospective students might not know about, talk to current students/alumni (if possible) and incorporate things that you learned. Ask them what underlying qualities the student body possesses (for UChicago, it's a thirst for knowledge, and at Georgetown, it might be some Jesuit value), and evidence your possession of those very same characteristics in your essay. Mention specific professors under whom you wish to study/research, and connect their classes/research back to your own intellectual interests. Better yet, email the professor, have an awesome conversation with them, and incorporate some element of that conversation in your essay. Don't think professors will give you the time of day? This strategy has worked for my 1-on-1 students at Stanford, UChicago, Yale, Princeton, Penn, and many more schools. You can download my guide to emailing professors here. Bottom line: If the essay can be copied and pasted to fit any other university, be more specific.
  • If you have any questions, I'm all ears. And if you're applying to college or graduate school and want to work with me 1-on-1, check out my website at www.HelpWithApps.com or engage with me on r/ApplyingToCollege.

    References and confidence are everything for grad school

    Wow, I can answer this since I work in American higher education! For graduate school, recommendations are absolutely crucial, so be very careful with who you pick. It's normally the first thing universities look at. I recommend someone who will write passionately but honestly about you. It can sometimes be helpful to send your writer your resume and essay submissions as well (and if they're willing to look at and incorporate those documents, they're probably a good writer for you).

    Also, self-advocacy is key for your essay submissions, so don't be afraid of coming off as bragging. A lot of students try to be humble (or even vague), which hurts their application since admissions doesn't have time to interpret their essay.

    If you have any specific questions about applications, feel free to ask me!

    For those applying abroad

    The strongest bit of advice for students applying to a European (particularly UK) University course - don't send a US style personal statement.

    Applications in the US tend to be handled by admin staff whereas in the UK/EU by academic staff. These academic staff do not want to read several pages on your non academic interests and skills, it's a waste of their time - focus entirely on your subject based interest and experience. It's often not even worth saying why you want to attend that particular Uni on a UK application, unless it's due to the strength of the department or the teaching staff on the course you are actually taking.

    Remember the basics!

    Spellcheck, and check your grammar.

    People often forget to answer the most important question: what do you want to study, and why? You'd be surprised how many personal statements I read that are full of fantastic achievements etc, but none of that matters if I can't tell what you're applying for!

    No sloppiness, only specificity

    I work in the admissions office of my school. Improper emails, misspellings, terrible handwriting all make us critical of whatever you're going to say next. The thing that agitated me the most however , and probably the people that the actual decisions is your level of research on your career. "Elementary school math teacher" is not what you put in the blank for major, "Education" is a major. It's astounding how many potential students don't do research before applying. Last week we had an applicant that wanted to go to the NFL.... we don't have a football team.

    Submit everything online

    Submit your application online. I work in admissions and getting paper applications is not only annoying but it slows down the whole process. For one the amount of spelling errors is alarming and we end up having to call people to see how the correct way to spell their first name. Second as much as it sucks, sometimes paper apps get lost. Get lots in the mail, doesn't get filed properly. Things just move a lot quicker online.

    A list of undergrad and graduate tips

    I've worked in admissions to an undergrad honors program.

    • Humor is fine, but morbid humor is generally hit or miss.
    • I'm scanning your recommendations for actual examples of your awesomeness, as everything is generally going to be boilerplate "best ever!" so if your recommendations have a particulary example "he wrote an essay that made me cry"/"he was the fastest at (whatever)"/"he always stayed to help after" it's helpful. Remind your recommenders of these moments before.
    • Also on recs: I've read some REAL BAD ONES. Every once and awhile there is a person who asked the wrong teacher. If a teacher seems reluctant DO NOT TAKE THEIR REC ASK SOMEONE ELSE.
    • I'm expecting you to have reasonably good grades, so I'm probably scanning your grades for "mistake" grades that you need to explain elsewhere. Why did you get that D? What classes are your weaker classes? if you got below a C- in a class, you probably need to explain that to me.
    • Let someone read your essays for cringe. Please don't write an essay about how a 2 day volunteer trip changed your life unless you actually started volunteering everywhere else/created an NGO for that cause after. I'd rather hear more about your life and activities/hobbies as a whole. Please, if you're going to exaggerate, don't make it something which is basically a lie.
    • If you choose to write the diversity essay, be careful and sensitive with what you say.
    • For graduate school (I've sat on an admissions board here/field specific to social science):

      • The rec thing above TIMES A BILLION MORE. Don't just go for a big name if they don't know you, s/he will write you a 1 paragraph s*** rec.
      • Your statement of purpose should display (1) your research interest (2) how you've previously done work with it (3) who EXACTLY you will work with. Depending on the school, you can and should reach out to professors to discuss with them, especially in smaller schools.
      • Rewrite your statement of purpose over and over, with outside eyes. If you are in undergrad, the career office will and should help you with this.
      • Submit everything on time!
      • Yes, your GRE counts. Yes, that sucks. If your GRE is below a certain threshold, if your GPA is below a certain threshold, if your recs were less than glowing, or if your SoP was less than well-matched, any of these alone can disqualify you depending on the school.
      • Explains the holes or deficiencies

        If there are problematic areas in your application (for example, some bad grades or weak extracurricular activities), give me some context. I want to understand why you're still a good candidate. I really want to admit you. As a college, we need the tuition and financial aid money you can provide, and we can't get that unless you're admitted and enroll. So explain those bad grades or other problems that might make me think you would struggle in college. Be careful not to shrug off responsibility for your own actions, though. Ideally, I want to see you take ownership of your struggles and that you've learned from them, with evidence that you've improved.

        Always do more

        Show your effort, in any way you can. This doesn't mean to try those gimmicks or to pester the school with unsolicited materials, but do take advantage of every single opportunity and option they offer. Don't just do the standard or minimum amount of effort if you can do more.

        Update your info, yikes!

        You'd be surprised how often people use a copy and pasted response to questions, or even their entire admission letter. You can have the best application ever seen, but your chances drop instantly if your admission letter for University X still says "for these reasons and so many more, I believe University Y is the perfect fit for me."

        Ok, so go to University Y. Application rejected

        Depends on the school...

        I guess this is just at select institutions. I worked in an admissions office for a 8 years and the institution I worked at just cared if you had the correct high school credits, GPA, test scores, no criminal record. If you met that you were admitted and many times even if you did not you still get in. Funding was based on numbers so they didn't give a rats a** about you or your ambitions.

        Some specific advice on sharing your dreams

        Hi there, I'm a former Admissions officer for a private liberal arts college.

        If the school(s) you're applying to take the Common App, try your best to make it stand out with unique stories or big dreams you have. Admissions offices receive tens of thousands of Common Apps every year, and many of these admissions offices are bored of reading about your 4.0 and involvement in 17 different leadership groups. Our office wants to know why you should get a chance at a stellar secondary education, not why you're already such a smart cookie. We want to put the best and brightest people in a position to succeed for the rest of their life, and as most people know here, GRADES AND CLUBS MEAN NOTHING AFTER GRADUATION.

        A good way to address this within the Common App essay: "What have you experienced in your life that made you try to enact a change, better yourself, or cause deep reflection?" Some examples that I read about include, a woman who used her popularity as homecoming queen to organize a school-wide flood cleanup effort, a former athlete whose career-ending injury made him look into his true passion of astronomy, and a programmer who at age 23 wanted so badly to start his own company, but wanted to take management courses to round himself out.

        Oh, and of course, spell check, spell check, spell check. Have someone else read your essay for you. Read it out loud in front of a mirror. Make sure the grammar works verbally too.

        You're going to be okay. Best of luck to everyone currently working on their applications! :)

        How to stand out for the right reasons

        Finally something I can answer about my work.

        I assist with admissions for a graduate program at a large University (40,000+ student population). Our program sees over 400 applications per year, first an online application, and then we do in-person interviews. You're probably doing most things right when applying, spell checking your submissions, make sure your references are strong, meet all the requirements, etc..

        Things you DON'T want to do - make yourself stand out in a negative way. Any applicant who doesn't submit docs on time, whose interactions with staff are rude/negative/pushy (including reception) - we note and keep track of all of that and you will not be getting an interview, despite what your GPA may be. If you waited until two weeks before the submission deadline to ask a referee to send a letter and they didn't get around to it? Don't call and ask for additional time, there's a deadline and it was your responsibility to meet it. Didn't like the answer you got to an emailed question? Don't come in after seeing our note that we don't do in-person advising, and try and pressure staff into giving you a different answer. Don't, for the love of god, have your parent call or come in on your behalf. There are privacy laws for a reason and we don't want a student who can't ask their own questions. Unsure if your documents reached us? Don't call or email to ask about them; read the instructions we listed that stated to check your online application as all updates will be made there and that we won't take call to confirm. Don't ask to speak to the Department Head or an Admissions Committee member because you have a 'unique' situation. We note everything. We receive enough applications from students who exceed all of our minimum requirements that we can afford to be extremely picky.

        The people who do stand out are the ones who did everything that was asked of them; submitted all documents on time, met and completed all requirements, didn't come in when we said not to, didn't make a fuss, were passionate, enthusiastic and had a positive interaction to everyone they interact with.

        Devote yourself to something, it will pay off

        Don't just be a resume filler. One year in the environmental club, one year in the history club, one year in the robotics club, etc. shows your just trying to con your way in. Find something you really enjoy and stay devoted to it. Show you're willing to put in work for something you care about, not just go through the motions.

        A job looks great!

        Part-time jobs. In this day and age a lot of kids go to college never having held a job. If you did have a part-time job and can get a letter of recommendation from your boss (responsible, hard working, gets along well with others, reliable, honest), it goes a LONG way.

        Always submit as much as you can

        I'm a student who works for admissions, so I don't technically decide whether or not you get in, but I do have a good tip.

        I'm from a state (hint, it's Delaware) where there is a heavy emphasis on "test-optional" submissions, especially for in-state students, and lots of people think that they will just ignore the test scores and judge you without them.

        While this is true, this puts you at a HEAVY disadvantage with the admissions team. They look at test-optionals last, so if they've already gotten close to their admissions quota, they will be much more scrupulous, and it'll be harder to get in. Their logic is that if you don't submit your test scores, you either don't test well, or "aren't smart enough" for the university, which is unfortunate.

        So if you want to submit test-optional to a certain large university in Delaware, please please PLEASE only do it if you've got a great GPA, a large amount of extra-, and recommendations from teachers/administrators. Even mediocre test scores are better than no test scores, it seems.

        Think about what they are looking for

        Supplementary advice:

        Put yourself in the place of the admissions reader. Just imagine how many apps you have to read. Imagine how boring they are. Imagine how many sound like clones. Imagine how many times you have to see the same adjectives. Imagine how happy you are when an original one comes along! In other words, personalize your app. Make it serious, but fun. Show how distinct and creative you are.

        Basically, what you want to demonstrate is that you are smart, creative, and above all else, that you will contribute something positive and unique to the University Community.

        Grading thousands of college papers each year, I cannot tell you how happy I am when I see someone who thinks differently, who takes the assignment seriously, has fun with it, and who doesn't just offer up the routine stuff.

        Good luck!

        There is a process

        I used to work in the admissions department of a university in Florida. One thing I learned about the admissions process there: although you're required to submit an essay, it won't even get read unless they can't make up their mind on grades alone. So the best tip I can give is to just not f*** around in high school.

        Please don't!

        I used to work in an Admission office and it was remarkable how many students used text language, i.e. LOL, BTW, etc. Just embarrassing

        Have you ever found yourself in an argument so stupid and/or pointless that you were sure you were being punked? Like you keep looking away from the other person to check your surroundings for places Ashton Kutcher and a camera crew could come popping out of?

        You're not the only one.

        u/Anti-hollowkid asked: What is the dumbest argument you've ever been in?

        Brace yourselves, folks. Some of these arguments are breathtakingly bonkers. The sheer number of people who are willing to argue with someone over provable facts and what that other person likes or doesn't like is just ... stunning. It's stunning, you guys. Just not in a good way.

        I Know What I Like

        Giphy

        My wife and I once argued over whether or not I liked mustard on my hot dog. I was for me liking mustard, she was against me liking mustard.

        The argument lasted way longer that you could ever imagine it would.

        - AardvarkAndy

        A Stair Step

        My brother and I argued if our staircase had 13 or 14 steps, based on an argument about if the floor of the second floor counts as a stair-step or not. We still have no solution.

        - RazerWolf04

        My dad is a stairbuilder and I spent many summers working at his warehouse, so I can clear this up. 14.

        - Apples9308

        Saturdays

        My husband and I have this thing where we only say "I love you" on Saturdays. Every other day it's "I love you, but only on Saturdays." I don't know how it started, but it's been going for 11 years now.

        We're both shiftworkers, so sometimes we have to stop and think what day it actually is. We had an argument recently over whether it was Saturday or not. I said it was Saturday, he said it was Friday. It was Monday.

        - FormalMango

        Iraq

        I remember when I was about 13 my parents had an hour-long shouting match that ended with them almost getting divorced. The issue? Whether or not the nation of Iraq has a coastline.

        My mother arguing that Iraq had a coastline, while my stepdad argued that it did not. This was back in 2004, and they are still quite happily married to this day. That incident is something they look back on and laugh about, and both of them admit it was really a pretty stupid thing to argue over.

        - dontcryformegiratina

        $40

        With an ex:

        "I owe you $80 for the bills of ours that you pay, and you owe me $40 for the bills of ours that I paid. Here's $40 in cash; we're even."

        She did not understand this.

        I literally had to go get another $40 out of the ATM, and hand the $80 to her. Then I had her hand me the $40 she owed me.

        "Now how much do you have in your hand?"

        She still didn't understand.

        She somehow has a college degree.

        - Speedly

        Mini Wheats

        When we were kids my brother and I got in a physical fight because he said I like mini wheats and I insisted I didn't. His argument was that I always sang the mini wheats song and I was deeply offended that he wasn't aware that it was just stuck in my head but I hated the cereal. I actually did like the cereal I'm not sure why I was arguing with him about it but I remember how genuinely angry I was.

        - shicole3

        Crayons

        Giphy

        I'll tell you about the only legal trouble I've ever been in, the fight that got me arrested. It started over whether we should return a box of crayons or not, and to this day I don't have any idea how it escalated to the point of the cops being called, but they were and I was the one taken in.

        - CorrectionalChard

        That's Unfair

        My boyfriend insisted that when two people are in an argument and one makes a point so reasonable and logical the other one can't disagree with it - it's unfair. I tried, logically and reasonably, to explain several times why that is just winning the argument, proving your point thoroughly and is completely fair.

        His answer was that I was being unfair.

        - ShyAcorn

        Pure Masochism

        How the ch in masochism is pronounced. My friend caught me saying "masoKism" while he would say "masoSYism."

        To be fair, he grew up speaking French, in which the ch in masochism is pronounced in "his" way. But he insisted that I was the wrong one here and that was just infuriating.

        - argofire

        Emailing NASA

        A woman was adamant that looking at the big solar eclipse on the television was unsafe unless you were wearing glasses. She wouldn't believe us and insisted on emailing NASA to check.

        - derawin07

        A Non-Standard Ruler? 

        I worked for a company that made signs. We had a customer ask for signs that were 7mm wide that were to go on a door. Our sign makers figured the order meant inches because 7mm is pretty small, so made them 7 inches. I got a phone call from the customer who went mad at me for making them the wrong size. So I put a reorder through for 7 mm.

        Argued with the sign makers over it but they eventually agreed to do it after I shown them the order in writing. I even had the customer put her complaint in writing, reiterating the size they wanted.

        7mm signs went out and a day later I get the customer on the phone literally screaming at me.

        Cue the dumb argument - we ended up having an argument over how big a millimetre is, and obviously everyone in the office were laughing, but this customer just wouldn't accept it and said we must be using a non-standard ruler to measure.

        Ended up being escalating to the sales department manager who refused to issue a refund. We still don't know what they actually meant.

        - Lovelocke

        This Unusual Vegan Argument

        Was in a pub with a few friends, and some random Dude dropped an ear, and somehow figured I'm vegan. Well, people like him are the reason I usually avoid mentioning it. He came up to me and insisted on starting a discussion about veganism. He claimed that by the end of it, I would be eating meat again.

        He listed some stupid arguments, I told him I was not convinced and then tried to keep on drinking beer with my friends. He followed me, and wanted me to "try to convert him to a vegan." I stupidly listed some of my reasons thinking it would make him go away. He told me he still was not convinced, so I was like whatever. Again, I really just wanted to drink beer with my friends.

        That dude followed me all night and expected me to try make him vegan. Doesn't matter what I said, and all the reasons that for me are obviously good enough to be vegan. He'd be just like "No, that doesn't convince me, therefore your argument and how you life is stupid."

        Didn't matter how often I told him that I honestly don't care; 5 minutes later he would come up to me again "I'm still not vegan, so veganism is stupid, all your arguments were stupid, now give me a good reason to become vegan!" At one point, I was literally yelling at him that I don't give a single flying f about what he eats and why, that it's in no way my responsibility to "turn somebody vegan" and in no way his business what I eat.

        Honestly, for that dude, I would have bought a whole ham, just to shove it up his stupid annoying face.

        - onlytruebertos

        Monty Python

        In college my roommate and I argued about a line in Monty Python & the Holy Grail. The scene with the Black Knight where the line "Alright, we'll call it a draw" is uttered. We argued about who said that line, whether it was King Arthur or the Black Knight.

        It went on for hours longer than it should have because I was stubborn and refused to admit I was wrong.

        - Skrivus

        Albert or Arnold

        Giphy

        Whether Albert Einstein or Arnold Schwarzenegger would be more useful to have around during a Zombie apocalypse. How on earth would Albert Einstein come in handy!?

        - Gerrard1995

        Below Sea Level

        I live on an island and when you go upland and you look out the sea looks like it's higher than or on the same level as the land. It's just a weird perspective thing because of the horizon. One day some kid says that it's because the island is under sea level.


        I'm like wtf bro all of us would be with the fishes. He argues that no that's not true and if I just go upland I'll see. We then spend a good 5 minutes of my time arguing about it until I decided to leave this kid in his stupidity. He even said we shouldn't believe everything adults tell us and sometimes we need to think for ourselves.

        This kid was older than me and was going to a good school. Lost my respect for him ever since then.

        - -justforclout-

        Tomash

        Someone tried to fight with me over how to spell my name.

        Now, my name is in a lot of languages with slightly different spellings. I would have accepted any of those spellings, but this one was just... Not even close. It didn't make any logical sense.


        An analogous example is if my name was Thomas and someone was insisting it was spelled Tomash. And not just the name Thomas in general, but that me specifically, on my birth certificate, was named Tomash. I know how to spell my own name.

        I swear to god, it went on for like an hour.

        - TK-DuVeraun

        Whales Are Mammals

        I was in an online chat room one day, and we were talking about whales. I commented on how whales are mammals and the next thing you know, someone was arguing with me and trying to convince me that a whale was a fish.

        - kawaii_psycho451

        Microwaves

        Stupid microwaves. Having a man child talk down to me about how microwaves work only for him to google it and prove me right. He slept on the sofa that night.

        - sun_phobic

        Shower Schedule

        My friend keeps telling me that the norm is that a person should shower once a week. This has been going on for years. I'm almost convinced he's trolling me.

        - LibrarianGovernment

        No Balloons For Grandma

        My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky.

        He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space. Releasing balloons is terrible for the environment and kills/harms so much wildlife.

        He got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.

        - Dskee02

        Spontaneous Dolphin Existence

        Giphy

        How dolphins reproduced. It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence. The argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures.

        Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day.

        - thebeststory

        Male Chickens

        I repeatedly had the argument with a friend over whether roosters were chickens. She was convinced that only the females were chickens (hens). We were 18 at the time.

        - bee_zah

        Lightning McQueen

        Me and my friend were drinking underage, we ended up in an argument of whether lightning McQueen's eyes were blue or green. Somehow throughout the whole thing both of us never thought to straight up google a picture.

        - 23071115

        But ... Ice Floats

        Waiter/Host here.

        Woman wanted ice on the bottom of her drink.

        Now read that sentence again and try to imagine arguing with that particular brand of stupid.

        - FarWoods

        Time Zones Exist

        Coworker claimed that it was the same time of day and the same season on the whole globe. Had to get 4 coworkers to confirm to him that time zones do in fact exist.

        - JustARegularToaster

        Colorblind

        My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.

        "Hey could you hand me that red _____?"

        "that's orange"

        "no, it's red"

        "orange"

        "YOU CANT EVEN KNOW"

        It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.

        - droneb2hive

        Andre 2000?

        Giphy

        I'm late, but I saw this question and instantly remembered that I was booted from a Facebook group because I called someone out on a lie that was not only bull, but extremely pointless. She was friends with the moderator and they made the case that my argument over such a little lie was more of a problem than the lie itself (though they didn't refer to it as a lie.)


        The woman said that she used to babysit for Andre 3000 and that his name was Andre 2000 - but he changed it after the year 2000 had passed. This was so easily disproven it was ridiculous. Their debut album came out in 1994 and he was already going by Andre 3000 at that time.

        The argument wasn't a huge long drawn out thing, but the fact that either of us were on Facebook at separate times meant that the responses were over a long period of time so this argument lasted a few days.

        It was stupid.

        - P1ST0L_Wh1PP3D

        Stars Like Our Sun

        I was arguing with my grandpa about stars he didn't believe that there are other stars like our sun. Basically he thought there is only the sun, the moon and the earth.

        fox_boi2

        Richard Nixon

        I have a degree in history. I mostly focused on nationalism. Wrote a 50 page paper on it and Richard Nixon with around 50 100 sources. Looked at micro film for hours on end. Part of the paper focused on how Nixon being chair of the house committee of Unamerican Activities was used as a powerful weapon to use against political enemies. It also inspired Joe McCarthy. Have had people tell me I was wrong and Nixon was never elected to a position besides the president and Joe McCarthy came before Nixon. I stopped trying to talk history to people.


        I also know quite a bit about the history of the Balkans its amazing how many Serbs refuse to believe Tito did anything wrong.

        Wrote 100 page paper on nationalism in Israel. Its frustrating to talk about because for some reason a lot of people think Palestinian firing rockets randomly into Israel is ok but if Israel retaliates the people get up in arms over a targeted air strike that kills 3 people.

        grumblecakes1

        Balloon to Heaven

        My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky. He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space.

        And he got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.

        Dskee02

        Binder Clips

        I got into an argument with a co-worker over how we were attaching two pages of a letter together: small binder clips or paper clips.

        He felt that paper clips would leave a "dent" in the paper when removed, but binder clips won't. He refused to staple them together. I felt that binder clips would also leave a "dent", so we might as well just use the paper clips.

        It ended with him saying: "Do what you want [me], I don't care!" and storming off.

        justantherredditgirl

        Jewish

        Once got accused of faking being Jewish. Why? I have no clue. We argued over the course of a month, any time I'd bring it up and she heard about it, she'd begin going after me for "faking it".

        My mother's side is ethnically Jewish. Grandparents were practicing.

        Aslkurloz

        Nutella

        Giphy

        3 friends and I once got into an argument about how to pronounce Nutella. It lasted for about 3-4 months. It was hilarious how serious we took it, it'd get heated but never for real serious.

        I think someone even called the company that made it to check, or that may have been for the Cheetos company. We were really bored in high school.

        vault_tec_redditor

        Lingerie Boxes

        Late to the party, but there it is.

        I'm a manager at a small store. We're only 4 working there, so my team and I grew very close and we joke around a lot. Once during a slow shift, my employee and I had an argument because we were looking at the lingerie boxes, and I thought that two specific boxes had the same woman on it, but she was 100% positive they weren't the same person.

        Looking back, I don't know why it was such a big deal to us at the time, but we even called another employee who lives across the street to come and tell us what the heck was up with that. Turns out I was right, and she was pretty salty about it. It was a great night.

        Meh75

        Wicked Witch of the West

        I almost got into an argument with an old girlfriend over Glinda the good witch from Oz. She insisted that Glinda was manipulating Dorothy to assassinate the Wicked Witch of the West and convince the Wizard to leave to create a political void she could fill.

        I conceded the issue when I heard the whole premise because I thought it was too damn stupid to get worked up over.

        weirdatwork2017

        Keep Your Hands to Yourself

        Just the other day I legit got in an argument with my co-workers on why I don't like my butt being grabbed by anyone (I'm a guy). Seriously.

        They went on about "I don't mind it. Mike and I do it all the time and we don't care." Yeah, that's nice dude, but I'm not you, and there's something called "Keep your hands to yourself" (which was taught to a good portion of us growing up). Just like how Karen wouldn't like it if I touched her boobs or her grabbing your crotch or frankly ANY area you wouldn't like being grabbed, keep away. In general, you should not be touching me in any areas after I've told you not to several times before.

        So unless you're sleeping me or dating me, keep your damn hands off my toosh.

        Frisby2007

        Telekinesis

        My best friend and I argued over whether or not telekinesis was possible. Her argument was that humans don't yet know what the human brain at 100% usage was capable of, and that telekinesis was inside the possibilities.

        I said the brain does use 100%, just at different times.

        We didn't speak to each other for four days.

        dude_bizarro

        Ghosts

        How dolphins reproduced and whether or not ghost existed (back to back with the same person). It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence (the argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures).


        How it shifted to the existence of ghosts is a solid and reasonable question to ask (I don't remember why). I had to then proceed to tell her that ghost hunting TV shows do not constitute as undeniable evidence.

        Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day. This was in high school SO... hopefully she was kidding.

        thebeststory

        Dogs and Chocolate

        Giphy

        I told this stupid woman that chocolate is toxic to dogs. She went on to tell me how a little bit will just make them hyper and then they will calm down. I told her to google it. Her and her bf shut right up. Now they have a kid. Good luck, Jeremy and Andrea. morons.

        I should also add that this argument started because Jeremy was giving his tiny dog chocolate and I told him it was toxic.

        KlutzyHedgehog

        Is water wet?

        My roommate and I have a recurring argument over whether or not water is wet l, and whether or not a person is considered wet underwater.

        For the record, it is no to both questions.

        SFCopperhead

        Mission Trip

        A kid a church telling me about the mission trip I went on. Not only was I not on that trip, but I had never been on any mission trip. We were good friends, so it's not like he would've mistaken someone else for me.

        He insisted I was there as if an entire week long trip would just fall out of my memory. He even had stories of things we'd done together. I'm not sure if he thought I was lying, joking, stupid, or crazy, but I was pretty sure he was some combination thereof.

        SirRogers

        Dragon Tales

        One time I got into a shouting match with my mom and little brother in the car. The issue? The names of the two-headed dragon from the PBS kids afternoon show Dragon Tales. I swore it was Zack and Macie.

        It was actually Zak and Wheezie. I don't even remember why we were yelling about it.

        MistalQueensglaive

        Green Or Yellow?

        When I was about 15 or so my mother and I spent about 20-30 minutes arguing about the color of a shirt. We agreed it was blue/green, but to me it was just a shade more blue, while to her it was just a bit more green.

        Turns out, your eyeballs yellow as you age and hers were 24 years yellower than mine, so I think that skewed her color vision.

        BugsRatty

        Stars In Their Multitude

        Giphy

        I once got in an argument over whether or not a line from the song "Stars" in Les Mis says "...but mine is the way of the lord" or "mine is the way of the law".

        I didn't even really care what he thought but he was so adamant and cocky that it got me heated. By the end of it we were shouting at each other and I had to apologize, which I think is what he wanted the whole time.

        theedjman

        Colorblind

        My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.

        "Hey could you hand me that red _____?" "that's orange" "no, it's red" "orange" "YOU CANT EVEN KNOW".

        It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.

        droneb2hive

        Hot Water

        About five years ago, my girlfriend (now wife) once had a very intense argument about whether or not hot water cleaned things better than cold water.

        She genuinely believed that water temperature didn't matter. This is someone who has not one, but two masters degrees.

        We argued for something like 2 hours, and we seriously almost broke up over the whole thing.

        moniker5000

        Biology Class

        I had an argument with a girl IN THE MIDDLE OF A BIOLOGY CLASS in high school about how humans are not mammals. She thought a human was a human and we are not mammals because "mammals are animals and humans are not animals"

        I tried explaining to her the difference between reptiles and mammals and how humans fall under the mammal category to try and educate her... but she just wouldn't listen.

        I still have no idea why the BIOLOGY teacher did not get involved...

        10d4plus8

        Solid Or Liquid?

        Some classmates and I got into a heated debate as to whether or not the human body could count as a soup, salad, or sandwich. The teacher got mad at us, but hey! All we were doing was watching a movie.

        For the record, my logic lays with soup- Liquid contained within a solid, at a hot temperature.

        ScreamingPotoo