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High School Senior Accepted to Yale After Writing Essay About Her ‘Love’ of Papa John’s Pizza: ‘It Smells Like Celebration’

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Carolina Williams
Carolina Williams

When high school senior Carolina Williams from Brentwood, Tennessee, had to write a short essay on her college application to Yale University about what she loves to do, she jotted down the first thing that came to mind — ordering Papa John’s Pizza.

“As soon as I saw the prompt that said, ‘Write about what you love to do,’ that was the literally the first thing that came to mind because I just love to order pizza so much,” Williams, 18, told AL.com.

The articulate 200-word essay caught the Ivy League school’s attention.

“Accepting those warm cardboard boxes at my front door is second nature to me, 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,” part of the essay reads.

Carolina Williams

Along with her acceptance later, the admissions officer wrote a personal note to Williams, who also had a high GPA while taking rigorous courses, ranking in the top 10 of her graduating class at Ravenwood High School, according to The Tennessean.

“As a fellow lover of pizza, I laughed out loud (then ordered pizza) after reading your application. Yale would be lucky to have you,” part of it read.

Carolina Williams

It comes as no surprise that Williams wanted to celebrate her acceptance doing what makes her the happiest — ordering a cheese pizza from Papa John’s.

But Williams — who is the first in her family to go to college — has turned down Yale’s offer and has instead decided to go to Auburn University in Alabama to major in business.

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“As soon as I came to Auburn, I loved it immediately. I loved how friendly everyone was there. Everyone had so much school spirit. They’re so passionate about Auburn itself. I’ve never met a person who went to Auburn that didn’t like it there and I thought that spoke a lot,” she told AL.com.

And the food options (and they fact that they offered her a couple scholarships) might have sweetened the deal!

“That’s why I’m so excited about Auburn,,” she said, “because they have a Papa Johns and a Chick-fil-A on campus.”