Opinion: Game of Questions Can Aid With College Essay Writing


Photo by A. Sharma

With more than three million fans on Instagram, the simple, quarantine-era, relationship-strengthening game “We’re Not Really Strangers” may have a new purpose for high school students: an aid for college essays.

The game? A 150 deck card game which allows a deeper investigation into values, memories, experiences, and beliefs. Easy to play with one or more close friends the game poses a series of questions and activities to get to learn more about yourself and one another. 

Questions such as “What are you more afraid of, failure or success? And why?” helps begin to think about some of their aspirations, fears and values as they proceed through the admissions process. Questions such as “If you have, when was the moment you realized you weren’t invincible?” helps jog memories of a challenge or shift in mindset and goals. 

Similarly, the question, “How can you become a better person?” forces players to confront their shortcomings. The question, “Do you think the image you have of yourself matches the image people see you as?” asks players to evaluate personality from a different perspective, potentially from the viewpoint of a potential college admissions counselor.

However, not all the questions are that intimate or difficult to understand. Questions asking you to suggest songs for one another, or illustrate a similarity in the group, or describe each other’s first impressions of one another serves a similar point of bringing out instinctive thoughts, judgements, or unique perspectives. 

This simple, easily structured game is an incredible way to get to know one another, suggest tips, and brainstorm ideas for describing values, experiences, memories and personality in a more fun way. Look out Common App, and college admissions, we’re not really strangers.