I am applying as a transfer student to the College of William and Mary, and this is my essay for the short answer on the Common App. The prompt is this: "Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below (1000 character maximum)". I volunteered at a therapeutic horseback facility, so I decided to write about that.
As I enter the horse stable, the sounds of swishing tails and plodding hooves mix with children's laughter. But this is no ordinary stable. It is a horseback riding center whose goal is to provide therapy and enrichment for those with special needs.
While volunteering as a side walker who ensures that the riders remain secure in the saddle, I not only learned the value of helping others, but also the importance of finding joy in seemingly ordinary things. The most rewarding part of my work was seeing the sheer joy on the riders' faces after simply getting the horse to trot or receiving praise from the instructor.
As the lesson draws to a close and the students dismount, I lead a weary horse back to its stall. Although I have completed my duty for the week, the principals that I learned from this experience will remain.
Through volunteering, I realized that sometimes things that may seem inconsequential can teach life's greatest lessons. And sometimes, healers have hooves and a tail.
What do you think? I'm afraid that the ending might be a little bit corny, but I tried to tie it all together. Do you have any advice for revising this? Also, I believe it is exactly 1,001 characters. Is that a big problem?
I think the sentence "But this is no ordinary stable" is too informal. Maybe say something like, "It is a horseback riding center which allow special opportunities for those with special needs to seek out therapeutic and enriching experiences." I would say "Although my time reaches its end for the day, the principles that I have learned from the experience will remain with me." "Through volunteering I have realized..."