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'in the middle of a war zone' - Common App extra curricular essay


glamazing 4 / 11  
Dec 26, 2011   #1
Hi, I'm trying to see if this works as an extra curricular essay although it's a bit of a different approach. Any comments are really appreciated and I value your opinions! Many many thanks in advance.

I am in the middle of a war zone. The air is thick with cries of battle and the enemy surrounds me from all four sides, their expressions unforgiving. Suddenly, they all turn to face me. I realize I have been selected as the next victim. I tremble as the missile is launched in my direction, and instinctively bring my hands up over my face to defend myself. I manage only just to avoid it-I hear a thump as the basketball falls to the ground.

I cannot handle a basketball to save my life. And yet, during the Inter House Basketball Tournament at my school, I found myself taking part; simply due to the reason that our House would not have enough people otherwise. This memory is not one of victory. In fact, we had placed last, with me having falling flat on the ground more than once in the middle of the game. But we hadn't been in it to win it. Our participation had been enough, and as I recall our expressions of laughter, none of us upset about our loss, it makes me realize that sometimes, it's not about winning; sometimes it's about being a team player and taking one for the team; sometimes, it's about molding your own happiness.
articuno 1 / 16  
Dec 26, 2011   #2
I'll focus on content in this critique.

I would have to say that the warzone description of your experience playing basketball doesn't fit very well with the "expressions of laughter" that you talk about later. So that's a key thing to take a look at.

Another is that, the content may reflect a negative aspect in terms of achievement; a lot of colleges like ambitious kids and I know that they like diverse people as well, but they truly do want people that want to succeed. In this piece, you talk about a sport that you've had little achievement in and that a loss here is no big deal -- it would be a more profound story if it had been something you're accomplished in and then failure didn't strike you down. Get what I mean?

Still have about a week to think about it so best of luck! ^^

If you could, please take a look at the two essays in my signature; be thorough if you'd like to be, thanks!
Noobzilla 3 / 22  
Dec 26, 2011   #3
haha...awesome...
save a few characters if you want to

cries of battle

> battle cries,

I have been selected as the [quote=glamazing]me. I realize I have been selected as the next victim.

> face me as if i were their next prey....in reaction to the user above, id suggest you show your 'fighting' nature...tell them that even though you fell frequently, you did not loose hope!..and that is an imporatant lesson in life...

PLease critique my main common app essay
oreoreal 1 / 1  
Dec 26, 2011   #4
Your first paragraph is a bit depressing. If it's a football essay, i would suggest using the "War zone" idea you used here. To me Basketball is somewhat, more like survival in a jungle, or cheetahs fighting for food in the grasslands. It depends if you still want to add a creative intro. I enjoy reading it, it really expresses on how proud you were as a team that day. Hope I helped. Thanks for criticizing my essay. :)

My rating is an 8 ;D
deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 26, 2011   #5
If you apply for a really competitive school you should not use this.
For an average school the approach is o.k., if your scores are good enough.
Maybe you should make the lesson learned part longer or stronger, and you should
somehow say that "of course there are areas where giving everything I've got and being the best
is most natural for me", or something like that.


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