Most college applications require an essay from all students, but many colleges request additional essays — some required, some optional — in their supplemental applications.

It sounds simple enough until you realize that some of these questions come straight out of left field. The key for you is to take these seemingly unserious questions seriously. Why? To give the school what it really wants: to get to know you better.

Yes, believe it or not, that’s all colleges are really aiming at with these questions. They’re not trying to trick you; they just want to give you an opportunity to show who you really are outside of grades, test scores and recommendation letters. In a perfect world, they would sit down with each and every applicant, but that is rarely realistic. Think of any supplemental essay questions, whether short- or long-form, as a stand-in for that meeting and an opportunity to let your unique qualities stand out.

“Admission officers want to hear a student’s genuine voice and to learn the things that are ‘below the surface,’” says Laura George, an admissions counselor and essay development coach. Students should focus on showing readers who they are at this moment in their life.

It’s advice Carolina Williams seemed to follow when she answered Yale University’s short-answer “What do you love to do?” prompt with 200 words about ordering pizza. The headline-making essay not only earned her an acceptance letter to Yale but also a handwritten letter from the admissions officer praising her essay. “I wrote about how I love to order pizza because I truly do,” she says. “It was the first thing that came to my mind when I read the prompt.”

Below are six of the most out-there essay prompts from 2017. Channel Williams’ experience as you read through and ask yourself this: what’s the first idea that comes to mind?

The late New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham once said “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you could do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization.” Tell us about your “armor.”

This University of Chicago question might seem like it’s tailor-made for fashion-lovers, but you can go a lot deeper than clothes and discuss your psychological armor or how you present yourself to the world. It’s a great question because it sets you up to write something original and personal.

What do you do? Why do you do it?

Lafayette College may have made this question vague, but it’s really as simple as thinking about what motivates you. You could explore why you commit to the grueling schedule of a varsity sport or why you consider five straight hours of YouTube to be the ultimate unwind — no answer is wrong as long as you back it up with the why.

You have a popular podcast. What’s the title? What’s the topic?

This short-answer question from Wake Forest University is a great place to demonstrate your non-academic interests. It’s also ideal for students who want to show off their creativity without having to write more than one paragraph.

What’s your favorite word, and why?

Proud of your vocab? This question from the University of Virginia is for you. Make a list of your favorite words and think about why you like each one — it could be anything from its sound to its origin to a meaning that is very specific to you.

Twenty years ago, the world met Harry Potter and his companions. One of the more memorable lines from the J.K. Rowling series was spoken by Albus Dumbledore: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” What ideas or experiences bring you joy?

There is no doubt Dartmouth College is trying to relate to a generation that grew up on Harry Potter, but you can answer this question whether or not you know the difference between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. If you can identify what makes you happy and why, you’ve got this.

What is one thing that you know for a fact? Why are you certain?

Don’t be thrown off by a question like one this from Notre Dame University. Sure, you could wax on about stone-cold facts (yes, 2+2=4), but this question is open enough that you could talk about a belief in yourself or a feeling you absolutely know to be true.

Ultimately, whatever essay you end up writing should reveal your personality. As Williams proved with her pizza essay, it can be as simple as writing about something you love.