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"Music and sport..." - My common application essay...

poisonivy 14 / 102  
Dec 26, 2009   #1
Hey guys, this is my common application essay. I would be really grateful if you could suggest me any revisions and also a title for this essay (since i think it doesn't fall in any of the given topics) Thank you! :)

Modestly speaking, I am blessed with many good qualities. I can solve Olympiad level math problems and can prepare the best spaghetti alla arrabiata in the world. I can do up to 20 push-ups, and I take care of my grandma when she is alone. I am able to tie my shoelaces in a unique way and I always get to sleep with a book, possibly "The alchemist" or one of Remarque's novels, lying on my chest. I am capable to hold a passionate discussion with my dad about the world's problems. I have once published a book with narrations and I am in love with foreign languages. I am not the tidiest person, but when I do decide to clean up the house, it gets all spotless and sparkly.

For one thing I feel sorry. I can not sing. I would love to be able to produce tender, heart-melting, passionate, powerful sounds from my larynx. I feel music is inside me, just probably too inside to ever be able to pop up. Though, I do not surrender. I have discovered that something becomes really impossible only when you cease trying to make it possible.

My memory doesn't let me down when it comes to evidence. Volleyball. Once I was just a figure to fill up a position, static. First I thought that simply I wasn't cut for volleyball: one can't possibly be good at anything, right?... Though, deep inside I felt passionate for that 270 g ball with white, blue, and yellow stripes that would take off from a wonderful set and beat the center of the field. I would love the smiles, the enthusiasm, the team gathering, the shout "Ace" that would come from their hearts and echo in my ears. I wanted to be a part of it, I really wanted...

"What in the world was I thinking?!" - That's what crossed my mind when I saw myself in the middle of the field, with balls thrown from every direction: a nightmare. The very first day of training I hurt my finger, and the next day it became like a round, violet sausage. My sane, critical thinking was telling me to quit. With all due respect, I decided not to listen to it.

Sweat. Twisted ankle. Aching muscles. Exhausted among pull ups and dips, core stability exercises and power push-ups ... Still strong head. There had to pass a few, not particularly easy months for me to notice some changes. Today, two years later, I still stand there, in the center, under a rain of angry balls. The difference? I know how to handle them. Some will come past me nevertheless: I still have much to learn, much to improve. Still, I am excited at the thought that, day by day, I am pushing the limits of what I once thought I could or couldn't do.

Some may think that music doesn't have much to do with this experience, since it is an innate talent and not something to achieve by hard work. Though, I believe that even this does have a solution, a way. If the vocal chords in my larynx aren't particularly well suited to emit a melodic tune, skilled fingers and a music loving heart will do. I am always thrilled when I hold in my hands a guitar and feel its breathtaking sounds overwhelm me. My melodies are far from perfect, but that doesn't even matter to me. I am happy to have found a way to express my amateurish, yes, but nonetheless deep passion for music.

Music and sport... So different, yet there is one thing that makes them synonyms to me. Love. With it in my heart, I will defy gravity, I will push the envelope, I will find a way.
xtremewishes 1 / 4  
Dec 26, 2009   #2
this seems good, with your inclusion of different types of imagery and specific examples...could you include the prompt so i know exactly what to look for? thanks! :]
OP poisonivy 14 / 102  
Dec 26, 2009   #3
Hey xtremewishes, thanks for reading. Well, it is a common application essay and i have chosen "essay of your choice". I think the key word of this essay is passion but i cannot figure a good title...
cgnolan 1 / 5  
Dec 26, 2009   #4
At first read, I was unsure what your essay was about - singing or volleyball? Even when you brought them together with "love", the connection was not very clear because it was made with cliches ("defy gravity", "push the envelope"). Also, the listing of your many talents may not be very attractive to the college reader; they are looking for essays, not resumes. Maybe you could cut it with some more humor, like the line about shoelaces.
OP poisonivy 14 / 102  
Dec 26, 2009   #5
I guess im going to cut that line about foreign languages in the introduction and try to rephrase the ending.
my problem is, does the body of the essay look messy because of the fact that I have mixed volley with singing? I just thought the ideas flowed...should i cut any of them (volley or singing) out or is there any other way i could solve this?...
OP poisonivy 14 / 102  
Dec 26, 2009   #6
Please guys any suggestions! ill help you with yours :)
hern255 13 / 48  
Dec 26, 2009   #7
Hi poisonivy!
Yes!! I think you should take out one of them (either singing or volleyball) and focus in the activity you chose!
Also I am with cgnola about listing your many talents, eventough you say "modestly speaking", I don't think listing your many qualities is the best way to start!

But don't worry, I do perceive your passion about volleyball and singing, and I think it is enough to write a whole essay about either of them!

Just focus!!
I was given this advice, I think it might be useful to you now:
"Here is where your writing becomes excellent: one essay = one big idea, expressed in the first and last paragraphs, and supported by sub-ideas in the middle paragraphs."

Btw, I love solving olympiad math problems and volleyball too! :D

Good luck! :)

I will really appreciate if you take a look at my essay and tell me what do you think! Thank you!
OP poisonivy 14 / 102  
Dec 27, 2009   #8
Thank you Emily for all the revising, it must have taken a lot of time :)
Actually, my intention was to make the first paragraph a bit funny and self-ironic, that's why i have said the first sentence and continued to mix some achievements with some not-really-achievements but who are part of who i am. The idea of sounding pretentious or giving a resume is the last one I would want to get through. I'll definitely remove the whole sentence "I have once published a book with narrations and I am in love with foreign languages." because I want to make the first paragraph sound more laid-back. What do you think?

The final paragraph is definitely to be improved.
Also, the problem about removing the music part is that I cannot think of a good transition to link the introduction to volleyball only. Any suggestions?

Thank you again a lot. You have been so helpful! :)
longyue 1 / 17  
Dec 27, 2009   #9
At first glance at your essay, I am really interested in your content, since I am also a crazy fan of both music and sports. However, the link you build between music and sports is honestly unnecessary. You may want to express that it is our love and passioin for something rather than the exsiting achievement that define what we truly are. If such is the case, then you should link two events such as your aptness in math and innate disability in singing (or vollyball). By this contradiction, you then could say how your passion for singing continually push forward the limits that originally math gives you. Elaborate in events.Do not sum up your achievement.

Just my ideas. take whatever you want,
mjellma 6 / 26  
Dec 27, 2009   #10
Anada it would be very helpfull if you posted the newest version of you essay, since I can see that many have adjused some minor mistakes. Plz post the one you are now working with and then I'll help you polish it.
OP poisonivy 14 / 102  
Dec 27, 2009   #11
Ah if only I could do something about this essay! I do not know how to handle it yet, since I will have to revolutionize its content and I have no idea of how to do that! As soon as I have an idea of what to do with it, I'll post the new version...
mjellma 6 / 26  
Dec 27, 2009   #12
For one thing I feel sorry. I can not sing.
There is one thing I do feel sorry about; its my inability to sing.

Just start slowly, since overall the idea is great all you need to do is polish it and voala a great essay will remain. Ill help you as mush as I can.

I feel music is inside me, just probably too inside to ever be able to pop up.
...probably too submerged to ever reach the surface.

But I refuse to surrender.(use this it sounds really good) I have discovered that something becomes truly impossible only when you cease trying to make it possible.

I wanted to be a part of it, I really wanted ...
I really did...
OP poisonivy 14 / 102  
Dec 27, 2009   #13
Thanks for trying to help me. I really appreciate it :)
The problem is that I apparently have to choose between music and volley and if I choose volley (because I have more to write about) I dont know how I can link it to the first paragraph and to the rest... So you see, my problem is not grammar expressions, but content... I guess I'll try to figure this out - well, I have to! :P
mjellma 6 / 26  
Dec 27, 2009   #14
I know this might sound strange but I dont think you should choose between the too. Just make sure that the deeper connection is established.Dont just say love and then end the essay. Elaborate how you think that hard work is allways rewarded, as in your volleyball example, and reverse the lines where you mention that you play the guitar since that you is too much... if you want to connect sports with music do it in a parallel way, as in volleyball with singing, not volleyball with singing, playing the guitaar and the flute.

Pick your battles, and dont forget this has to be like over 500 words, most people go up to 600. What I mean is you can mention your success in volleybol as proof that you can do anything you choose, even singing, which you suck at(euphorise it) make it sound good, and stick by those point.

Anyway, it is just a suggestion. :D
OP poisonivy 14 / 102  
Dec 27, 2009   #15
I agree that the conclusion must be stronger and must emphasize the connection between the 2 subjects.
Just the problem was that if i say I suck at singing then what connection can i do between it and the hard work/volleyball?
mjellma 6 / 26  
Dec 27, 2009   #16
What I would suggest is that you say for example, you have been traning your voice(it sounds wierd but it really can be done). People who cant sing, can do traning on pianos to refine the sounds, even good singers do that. TRY sth of that sort. Otherwise ommit the singing and music, even though I really like the way you wrote, or the passion which you portrayed with music.
KW3EN 2 / 5  
Jan 4, 2010   #17
I agree with hern255...the list of qualities in the beginning is a bit "blah".. keep in mind that the people reading the essays are reading thousands of essays. Hook them in! Start with a story or something witty. =]

Also, you should focus on either the vollyball or the singing. I think you have more material here to use about singing. That way, you won't have to start near scratch if you rewrite.


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