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School Newspaper/Drama Club: COMMONAPP: Describe an activity (150 words or less)

dooleh 3 / 14  
Oct 23, 2010   #1
This is my first time posting on this forum, so please bear with me if I make silly mistakes!

This is for the CommonApp application, where they ask "Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below (150 words or fewer)".

I don't know whether to choose the school Newspaper (I will be pursuing journalism in my future) or Drama club (I have been an avid participant in my HS program).


The publication process, especially within my school's own newspaper, is one of extremes in terms of workload and in stress. As an assistant editor for the school paper, I find that working for the school paper is very accomplishing. I've written several articles of writing, including ediorials, for the paper and they have been published and read with high regard. The paper gives me a voice in what the students read and are aware of, especially on new issues that are not familiar to most of the student body! Although this is my first year working with the school paper, I feel extremely priveledged to share my ideas and thoughts for the improvement of our publication. I feel extremely proud of my work, and I feel that more students should be given the opportunnity to have such a large influece on the school.

Drama Club:

"Don't Act. Be." A quote I embody from one of the activity I have been blessed to be a part of: the Drama Club. Theatre has been a grand part of my life for four years. I started from an understudy for our fall play my Freshmen year to acquiring a major supporting role in the musical my Junior year. I have been exposed to many kinds of problems and issues that require support and communication from the rest of the cast. In every cast I have been a member of, I have improved my performing talents as well as finding my confidence in everyday life. Four years ago, I was unable to speak my mind, as I feared being rejected and ignored. However, I have changed so drastically that I successfully co-student-directed the fall play my Junior year. These values and lessons will help throughout my entire life.

Which one seems better?
dennis730 1 / 7  
Oct 23, 2010   #2
I think the Drama Club essay is written much better because it shows development and growth. However, because you want to pursue journalism in college, I would recommend editing the Newspaper one. Reading through it, the ending feels abrupt. It does not really talk about how your experience on a school paper will help you when studying journalism in college. Perhaps talk about areas that need to be developed as you work on a college newspaper.
OP dooleh 3 / 14  
Oct 23, 2010   #3
Thank you! I will try to improve on the newspaper one, but I am still deciding whether I should go ahead and use the Drama one, in order to relate that club to college. I will most likely mention Journalism in my personal essay.
dennis730 1 / 7  
Oct 23, 2010   #4
If you are going to mention Journalism in your personal essay I think you should use the Drama one. A 150 word short essay is not nearly enough room to talk about what you basically what to do with the rest of your life. By sending the Drama one, it shows not only a range of interests but also that you are genuinely invested in both of them.
OP dooleh 3 / 14  
Oct 23, 2010   #5
All right! Thank you for the advice. I want to make the best decisions here, and you have helped me a lot!

Thank you again!
Chocogrease 2 / 3  
Oct 23, 2010   #6
Does your common app essay focus on one of the two activities? If so, you're better off choosing the other topic so that you can avoid focusing on one aspect of yourself. Despite that, however, I really enjoy the "drama club" one because you talked more about how drama has positively impacted you over the past few years.
OP dooleh 3 / 14  
Oct 23, 2010   #7
What are you referring to as the "other topic"? Do you mean Journalism (school paper?)
alexla 7 / 17  
Oct 23, 2010   #8
Well, Journalism seems more like a passion for you so I'd put that somewhere else important unless this is the only place you're doing it :p. Anyway, I'd go with Drama Club. It's better b/c it shows progress and impact. Best of luck!
OP dooleh 3 / 14  
Nov 18, 2010   #9
Here is the revised version of this essay:

(149 words)

Theatre has given me lessons and values that will help throughout my entire life. I have changed so drastically from my experiences. In the past, I feared being rejected and ignored, so I never spoke my mind. However, in every play I performed in high school, I improved my skills in mmmm as well as becoming more confident in my life. Theatre has taught me, through practice, to handle many issues and problems that arise between fellow actors with communication and patience. I have bloomed from being a timid freshman understudy to an expressive, strong and talented lead actress. Theatre has been a grand part of my life and I am blessed to have been a participant in this wonderful program. Through my four years of learning through the lens of theatre and drama, I have learned that life, like acting, does not resort to acting, but being.

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