Early admissions applications are due next month so high school seniors all over the country are writing their college essays. My niece is working on hers and that got me thinking about the college essay I wrote 33 years ago. / Mine was a puffed up version of winning a cross-country race. The essay highlighted my most prominent personality trait — my ego. The good news: It charmed the admissions officers at the University of Pennsylvania. The bad news: It was full of shit.