College graduate shares SpongeBob essay that got her into USC and UCLA

When it comes to applying to colleges, there are few tasks more daunting than writing admissions essays and this TikToker may have crafted the most creative one yet.

Kalissa Persaud (@kalissapersaud), a TikToker with 36,400 followers and 6.7 million likes, recently took to the digital platform to share her essay that earned her acceptances at two competitive colleges.

“OK, this is the SpongeBob essay that got me into USC and UCLA.”

She begins by outlining the estimated number of times she’s watched the hit Nickelodeon series.

“If I had to estimate, I’d say I’ve watched every episode of SpongeBob SquarePants at least eight times. I’ve watched The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie more than a hundred times.”

Kalissa then explains the impact the Bikini Bottom resident has had on her life.

“I speak candidly when I say SpongeBob is my hero.”

She continues, “Hearing chuckles and seeing contorted faces when I declare this is inevitable, but nonetheless, I say it with the utmost confidence and candor every time. And why shouldn’t I? I’ve devoted 13 years of my life to this sponge.”

At just 4 years old, Kalissa reveals she would run into her apartment and “beg my grandma to let me watch SpongeBob instead of her melodramatic Bollywood movies.”

She then acknowledges that while the animated television show is absurd, it brought her great comfort growing up.

“Being myself has never been an issue for me, but believing in myself was, especially in my first year of high school,” she admits.

“I was stuck in a rut. I felt mediocre all the time. Whenever I thought of any scenario, my mind made a list of every little thing that could go wrong even if it was completely irrational.”

Luckily, thanks to the SpongeBob SquarePants episode in which the titular character serves a ridiculous amount of customers on his first day as a fry cook, Kalissa had a crucial realization.

“If SpongeBob could serve a thousand anchovies on his first day, I could definitely try and gain some lost confidence back.”

After acknowledging that SpongeBob may be responsible for her passion for acting, Kalissa concluded her unique essay with a quote from the iconic, optimistic sponge himself.

“In the words of Mr. SquarePants himself, ‘I’m ready!'”

Kalissa left a disclaimer in the comments, noting that she graduated from college “like two weeks ago” and had written this essay when she was 17.


With 7.1 million views, 1.3 million likes and over 8950 comments, Kalissa’s essay has earned immense praise for its heartfelt message.

“Your writing??? Impeccable. And I love how proud you are at the end aahhhh,” gushed @yahvim.

“The transition from SpongeBob to high school was smooth asl,” commended @mikarasc.

“You’re so iconic,” wrote @vilcreates.

Dan Povenmire, an animator who worked on SpongeBob Squarepants during its run, also commented on the video.

“I so wish Steve Hillenberg was still with us. I would have sent him this and he would have been proud,” he wrote, in reference to the late SpongeBob creator.

As far as creative college admissions essays go, this is definitely one deserving of major praise.

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