(This is a real example, by the way.). As cashier at Jimmy’s Hot Dogs, I was everything but the cook. With a common topic and common connections (i.e. Each spell-check I make, each sentence I type out, and each article I polish will remain within the pages of The Log. (See above for more.) Student: But what if I’ve already written about my most impressive extracurricular activity in my main personal statement or in another essay the school is receiving? Grades and test scores are important when applying for college admission, but it takes a lot more than "the numbers" to tell your story. This is a chance to share your story, so spend some time reflecting before you start writing. During my training, I accompanied volunteers during the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, where we installed and updated smoke alarms and detectors in over thirty low income households in the Reno area, free of charge. Q: Why do so many schools ask about extracurricular activities? Notice how specific he gets in the fourth paragraph where he clarifies why he was essential to the club’s success. Another word I use for uncommon connections is insights. Once you have your list of interests, find extracurriculars that relate to them. #2: Research Extracurriculars. What if, for example, you won a Certificate of Merit in the 9th grade for playing violin and you’re still in the orchestra but it’s not a really big deal to you because your REAL passion--the thing that keeps you up ‘til 3am-- is your passion for constructed languages. What was your special talent that qualified you to be there? Take a look at this post to turn around your mediocre EC activity essay in just a half hour. Founded two years ago, the Catalyzing Creativity Club (C3, for short), provides students in our community the opportunity to pursue their passion and aspirations outside the classroom. I’ll show you some ways to do this in a minute. Map. In fact, probably name the problem in the first sentence. Not even an order to your answers is needed. If he’d had more room, he could have potentially expanded in the final paragraph on the club’s impact, describing specific ways the community changed, or personal lessons learned. Here are a few more examples to get you inspired. Leading a heated after-school brainstorming session, watching my abstract thoughts materialize onscreen, holding the freshly printed articles in my hand—I write for this joyous process of creation. As you can see, this structure can work for either local, more personal problems (as described in the “Catalyzing Creativity Club” essay) or larger-scale problems (as described in the “Earthquakes” essay). Another potential use of your extracurricular essay is to expand on something you only mentioned briefly in your personal statement. That’s when we decided to start the Catalyzing Creativity Club. College applicants are infamously known to stress about their essays. Through my work with the Red Cross, and in my interactions with survivors and rescuers who assisted during Hurricane Katrina, I’ve come to discover how teaching even just small preparedness procedures to individuals can help save entire communities. Time for you to get to work. “I helped ease the work of the nurses and doctors, while delivering medicine and smiles to dozens of patients. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn a median pay of $1,198 per week, while individuals with just a high school diploma earn a median pay of $730 per week.. | So, in short, opt for the passion project if it’s something really cool and geeky. Having a few extra pairs of eyes to read your essay is one of the best forms of college admission essay help. You can “show” a little, but not too much. Take a look at the Values Exercise and list some cliché values that you think the typical essay would focus on. Why? As a result of my passion for photography, I have become one of my school’s photographers, responsible for documenting school events and teaching younger students darkroom techniques. The first is what I call the “Elon Musk” approach and it works well for students who have addressed or overcome a challenge through their extracurricular activity. Describe how you express your creative side.”  (The University of California Schools), “What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?”  (The University of California Schools). Extracurricular Activity Essay Example: The Catalyzing Creativity Club Extracurricular Activity Essay Example: Earthquakes A Step-by-Step Guide to Brainstorming and Writing a Narrative (Challenges-Based) Extracurricular Essay The Montage Approach (via … Maybe, since culturally we sometimes recoil when folks too boldly or plainly state their achievements. I have devoted thousands of hours of my life to playing the santur, a classical Persian instrument that originated in the Middle East. Unfortunately, the hospital was shut down due to lack of funds, and hundreds of workers became unemployed, including me. Baba Joon grew up with the music of the santur and my father plays it in his car every day, so when I play, the music connects all three generations. To help save students lots of time, I recommend that they write a Super Extracurricular Essay: an essay that that can work for multiple schools essay requirements. More importantly, debate has taught me how to transform these ideas into concrete actions. But by requesting an interview, I proved my qualifications from past experiences and was specially assigned to Medical Surgery instead of the Gift Shop. But, an hour before closing, Nondas, the cook, checked the register. As we grow and the opportunities we provide become more popular, our hope is to inspire our peers to follow their dreams and burst the La Cañada Flintridge bubble. Distribute handouts and calendars that will help guide students during their search. In the last few years of his life, Baba Joon did not know me as his grandson. If you’re applying to selective colleges, chances are you’ll be asked to write about how you’ve spent your time outside of school. A cliché connection for a [mission trip] would be [helping others, hard work, passion, etc.]. College requires an investment. This structure was inspired by an article written by Andy Raskin that analyzes a pitch Elon Musk gave on the Powerwall. Decide on a structure--Narrative or Montage--and either complete the Elon Musk exercise or play the Uncommon Connections Game. To pursue their creativity. Awesome, let’s do both. If something is wrong with your order, our support team will help you. What if you have to choose between either: a.) Use the elements that make sense for your story; don’t use the ones that don’t. First, pick a cliché topic that you might use for an essay. Here’s a tip: The more time you spend working on this chart the easier it’ll be to write your essay. Finding the subtle complexities in my rival teams’ spread offense has not only led me to intercepting a pass, but has given me the skills to fully digest, for example, Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, where the smallest, and at first glance, almost unnoticeable details, add to an intricate story that I wouldn’t appreciate in the same way had I not been able to notice those details in the first place. The author has focused on a personal activity, running, not any history-making achievement, team triumph, world-changing social work, or even a formal extracurricular activity. by Elyse Krantz, former admissions officer at Barnard College Mastering the Activities Section of the Common Application. Bologna’s out. One thing that I think prevents his essay from sounding cliché is the specificity of his language throughout the essay. I may not have directly saved any lives, but I’d like to think I helped.”. But again, not every essay has to be perfect (and not every element has to be included) in order for this structure to work. The Requirements: 4 lists of 150 words each; 3 essays of 200 words each. You can download a template on tab 2 of the document here. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. My answer to this is simple: Complete the BEABIES exercise for the activities you’re debating writing about and see which one yields the best possible content. c) required you to shoulder some real responsibilities. (148 words). Tell us the specific things you (or you and your team) did to solve the problem. Instead, you want to generate insights others won’t have thought of. And while some prompts don’t mention the word “activity,” the techniques in this post can still help you answer prompts like these: “Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.”  (The University of California Schools), “Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. I happen to think that the difference between a boring essay and a stand-out essay is this: By “uncommon connections” I mean the values people don’t normally or immediately associate with the activity you’ve named. Think that’s too much to do in one essay? I have a longer, step-by-step guide for writing a Super Essay, which I recommend reading if you’re finding yourself drowning in supplemental essays, but here’s the short version: (5-20 min) Choose an extracurricular activity that will work for several prompts listed on your Essay Tracker. Find out what they are and learn the best strategies for answering them. Grades and test scores are important when applying for college admission, but it takes a lot more than "the numbers" to tell your story. 1. Here’s Raskin's take on Musk’s pitch: “Musk’s delivery isn’t stellar. I answered patients’ requests, administered patient surveys, organized wound documentations, filed records, delivered blood and urine samples, assisted nurses with check-ups, stocked supply carts, updated dietary needs with doctors, and discharged patients safely. Unless you started a WoW club that held a fundraiser for victims of epilepsy and donated the money. But maybe not, as I really appreciate how he connects each accomplishment (“Having been elected to student office four times…”) to lessons he’s learned through debate (“...I have used these skills to sell my ideas to the student body and earn its vote”). Tagged: student, Common App, common app, essay, college essay, Extracurricular Essay, extracurricular activities, supplemental essay, Video Course: How to Write a Personal Statement, Video Course: How to Write the College Application + Supplemental Essays, Video Course: How to Write the UC Personal Insight Questions, Essay Feedback: Work with my friends at Prompt, Get the Complete Guide to Writing the "Why us?" For instance, if an extracurricular activity, a job, a volunteer experience has been listed on the application form, and it has been a very important and pivotal experience in the student’s development, it would be worthwhile to go into more detail within the essay about that activity, its … Ask a teacher, parent, or friend to read through your essay to catch errors and help you strengthen your message. (2 min.) Step 6: Share the impact you had, lessons you learned, or values you gained. In general, if your rockstar achievement has... b) demonstrated your leadership potential, and. Share a meaningful experience and how this has helped shape you in your preparation for college. For a battery. And it’s not uncommon for students to spend weeks (if not months) brainstorming their ideal essay topic and then editing it down to perfection. You could also keep both windows open. There’s no such thing as the perfect college essay. To focus on the positive when there’s soccer to be watched and perfectly grilled fish to be eaten. Some colleges have much shorter word limits for their extracurricular essay. Here’s how to develop your content: Step 3: Tie the value to a specific example from your life. I also appreciate how this essay weaves together different parts of his application, describing both his role in the classroom and his work in student government. Tip #1: Value content (information) over form (poetry). Actually, I never really knew there was such a thing as ConLang, as the cool kids call it, until one of my students wrote an awesome essay about his passion for constructed languages. Why? But notice how all three are different. For example, if captain of the school’s soccer team is on the activity list, don’t write an essay about the biggest game of the season. This role is crucial, as we work to achieve non-profit status. ...then I’d say write about your rockstar achievement. When Kaiser Permanente opened, my applications were also initially rejected. You might have realized that several of the colleges on your list have essay prompts that ask about your extracurricular involvement. We are sorry, BigFuture is under maintenance. (139 words), In eighth grade, I created an art piece addressing a stereotype I had faced and posted it online, encouraging my friends to do the same and hashtag it #StereotypeProject. Finally, the santur represents one of my remaining links to my grandfather. FINANCIAL CRISIS LEAVES EUROPE IN TURMOIL.”, And later: “Leading a heated after-school brainstorming session, watching my abstract thoughts materialize onscreen, holding the freshly printed articles in my hand…”. Describe your particular involvement. Our website continues to be live and accept submissions: stereotypeproject.org. I’ve spent many hours exploring photography using film cameras, pinhole cameras, plastic cameras, Polaroids, digital cameras, and disposables. But you might be wondering: “Ethan, do I have to use uncommon connections? Why? Students who spend 10 minutes on this exercise will have an outline; students who spend 20 minutes or more will have all the content they need to write their essay. When you have plenty of time to revise, use the time to work on your paper and to take breaks from writing. The second is called the “Uncommon Connections” approach and works well for students who are not writing about a challenge they’ve encountered through an extracurricular activity. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Please ensure all letters of recommendation include your full name and date of birth. In this sense, debate ends up being a thematic thread that connects many parts of his life. What you convey in this short paragraph is something that they won’t find in the essays, and that they won’t really know from reading your activity list. The BEABIES will help you flesh out potential topics. Proceeds from the album will go toward Alzheimer's research, as I hope to play some small part in finding a cure for the disease. Developer, one minute; stop bath, 30 seconds; fixer, two minutes. I’m the editor for this section, responsible for brainstorming ideas and catching mistakes. Demonstrating your dedication to activities and causes makes your application stand out. As a cornerback, I meticulously and systematically scan the offense, looking for nuances in formation before the quarterback snaps the ball, all in a matter of seconds. 3 Ways to Approach Common College Essay Questions College applications usually contain one of three types of essay questions. Write an impressive college activities list for your common app using this step-by-step guide and awesome activities list for college applications example, with notes on how to select the right verbs and to decide how many hours per week to list. Just be yourself and write the best way you know how. Access our inclusive Tribal Lands Statement. Making decisions in the darkroom about contrast filters and apertures has made me more confident in my ability to make choices quickly. Still, we realize there are countless factors that show your true potential. Describe any activities you have been involved in related to diversity or multiculturalism in your community. Sophomore year, a stress fracture prevented me from practicing, but I came to every practice and game to encourage and laugh with my teammates. A: Absolutely not! Both these students started with 250-300 word statements, then they trimmed ruthlessly. FINANCIAL CRISIS LEAVES EUROPE IN TURMOIL. I had the regulars. Ignore the urge for perfection. What’s the Powerwall? Our review process considers school and community involvement, special talent, multicultural experiences, strength of character, and personal circumstances. Step 2: Come up with 3-4 uncommon values. If you have written another essay that captures what you want the Admissions Committee to know about you, feel free to share it here. They require you to make a list, not write an essay. You may have experienced an argument as an angry quarrel or disagreement. As part of the DCS committee, it is my goal to increase the confidence of as many youth and families as possible. The activities list helps us understand how you spend your time. Express your pride and appreciation for cultural diversity. You can charge your money back before releasing them to the writer. Continuing to develop these skills will be crucial if I am to become a competitive member in the future marketplace of ideas. Step 4: Decide on an order for your details and write a draft. I never missed one, worked hard, and acted as team manager. If you’ve put in hours and hours of work prepping for and winning ACADECA and you don’t write about it, that’s what in the college admissions world we call a missed opportunity. basketball taught me hard work and discipline), you’ll likely blend in. Okay, ideally, your passion project is the one you’ve turned into a Rockstar Achievement. Note for example how the “Catalyzing Creativity Club” essay doesn’t include a “Raise the stakes” moment and the “Earthquakes” essay doesn’t include an “Articulate the vision” moment, yet both essays work well. In this post, I’ll share some practical tips for how to write about your extracurricular involvement in your college essays. Decide which problem you want to use to start your essay. Check out how the third paragraph is basically a straightforward listing of the club’s accomplishments. We express our deepest respect and gratitude to our indigenous neighbors, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways. Copy and paste all the prompts that your topic could work for at the top of the document you'll be writing your essay on. Some more examples from past students: “Our campus was divided into separate social groups...”, “Our music program was at risk of being shut down...”, “We didn’t have adequate sports equipment…”, “A hurricane had recently flooded our nearby town and we wanted to help…”, “Maternal mortality rates were extremely high in the community where we were working…”. See how that makes for a more interesting football essay? (360) 650-3000 ACTIVITY 1 . Four Steps To Surviving A Brainstorm. Here’s how it works: Describe the challenge you were (or are currently) facing. (146 words). FAQs for an Extracurricular Essay Based on a Challenge. You do not need to describe all activities. But they don’t see what I see. I appreciate that this puts the focus not on the author, but on the value of the work she is doing and, while this may feel counterintuitive, her decision to draw attention to her cause actually draws me to her as a college applicant even more. Literally any hobby or activity you have a passion for can be turned into a killer extracurricular activity, ... Extracurricular activities list that won’t help your college application. The elements of this structure can be used in whatever order makes sense for your story. Regular Dog: $1.49. Once you’ve brainstormed these elements, you should have everything you need to write your essay. An uncommon connection to [football] might be [resourcefulness, healthy boundaries, critical thinking, etc.]. Western Washington University's main campus is situated on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples, who have lived in the Salish Sea basin, all throughout the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades watershed from time immemorial. Tip #2: Use active verbs to give a clear sense of what you’ve done. This can include your favorite classes, hobbies you enjoy, sports you've wanted to try, or what you plan on studying in college, basically anything you think you would enjoy spending more time doing. Don’t start reinventing yourself with the essay. A: Not necessarily. Even though C3 is only a few years old, I believe it is already making an impact in the community. University Directory Here’s a great example, followed by some tips: VIOLENCE IN EGYPT ESCALATES. We’ve put together a list of common prompts and advice for how to answer them. I’ve developed a structure that works for each case. They state that no formatting or explanation is needed, just list your responses with commas or semicolons. then use these models to write your own argumentative essay. Due to MHSAA rules, I couldn’t play because of the transfer, but I could practice. That’s what this guide is for. Many colleges word their extracurricular essays a bit differently, but at the heart of things, they just want to know what you’re spending time on outside of the classroom. When you create a free account, you can find all the essays you need to write for the schools on your list and manage the essay writing process. This was pulled directly from the bullet points of his BEABIES exercise. Or, what they call in Vegas, leaving money on the table. Sometimes I imagine performing for the king in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the santur sounds echoing through the Seven Hills of Jerusalem. How? Time to click on this link, grab a snack, and Shmoop your way to the college essay of your dreams. In fact, here’s an essay that does just that: Through switch-side policy debate I not only discuss a multitude of competing ideas, but also argue from both sides of widely disputed issues. One is the application essay where you can discuss some of your passions and interests that make you tick. All of the options are options, you know. As I was learning the basics of preparedness i.e., general earthquake and fire safety drills, I realized that if disaster were to strike, the majority of people in my community could not confidently say that they are prepared. uncommon value (critical thinking) + application elsewhere (English class) = win. And the essay works. I won the Coach’s Award again, this time from a different coach. As such, the short answer essay does not highlight any kind of remarkable accomplishment or personal talent. But heads-up: you don’t have to pick an approach right now. Express your pride and appreciation for cultural diversity and inclusion of all identities. Were you the visionary, inspiring the team to dream bigger? Music. I recommend chronological order, as it’ll make transitions easier. What might the world look like if this problem were solved? If you can forget about your draft for a day or two, you may return to it with a fresh outlook. If so, write about that. When it comes to your extracurricular activity essay, you’ll either describe a challenge or series of challenges you’ve encountered and overcome, or you won’t. Late-night editing, researching and re-writing is customary, but seeing my articles in print makes it all worthwhile. The five-paragraph essay is less aware of its audience and sets out only to present information, an account or a kind of story rather than explicitly to persuade the reader." | Here’s another wonderful, imperfect example that uses this structure: Last year, nearly 600 earthquakes hit my hometown of Reno in a ‘swarm’. Nurses and doctors, while delivering medicine and smiles to dozens of patients 2020-21 school year Section... Catalyzing Creativity club as we work to ensure we can fund these activities ever make to anybody. ” on challenge. The transfer, but this is a chance to share your story ; don ’ t use the essay process! 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