This is the essay I'm thinking of using for my Common App essay; I wanted to write about this because it's a side of me that my application otherwise doesn't show, but if you think it may not be appropriate or I should do something else, please feel free to say so. It's about 650 words, so (maybe) on the short side, but I think if it conveys the message then length doesn't matter...
Skiing, to me, is release. Skiing is gentle, it is calming, and it is methodical. This unthinking, natural freedom lets my mind go on autopilot and become free; free to think, free to ponder, and free to dream. Skiing helps me clear my thoughts and sort through my life. Yet this is not the same experience that everyone has while skiing; it is so different to so many people. There is a wonderful independence that accompanies skiing- there is no set way, no defined rules, merely lines in the sand that may be washed away or blurred by anyone, at any time. However, this wondrous aspect of skiing is often unnoticed, or worse, feared, by most newcomers to the sport. They want order and structure; they fear this independence because they doubt their own abilities. This fear mainly stems from a fear of falling, yet falling can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of skiing; the feeling of drifting down into a puff of snow, like a weighted cloud sinks through the air, is arguably the most unique experience one can have while skiing. Yet for me the wonders of skiing- the inner reflection, the autonomy, and the feeling of indestructibility, are not enough to enjoy by myself. I try, as much as I can, to share the experience with as many people as I can.
This desire led me to become a ski instructor. To teach skiing, one must pass a weeklong course that evaluates both skiing ability and teaching prowess. Passing that course earns you a certification as a Level 1 CSIA instructor. Since then, I have taken my Level 2 certification (there are 4 possible levels, but very few people attain higher than 2) and have become certified to teach ski racing as well. Each course is 5 days long and typically takes place over either Christmas break or March break; they are a heavy time commitment. However, I find they are worth the time and effort because they make me a better teacher and help me help others learn the wonders of skiing.
I teach at XXXX (I normally have the name in here, but took it out for security purposes on this site), and I am responsible for children between the ages of 4 and 6. Although many other instructors avoid this age group because kids this age are "slow" skiers, I love teaching these children. At this stage of their skiing I can see the effect I have on them from day to day; with the right coaching, their skiing can improve astronomically, and I love being able to tangibly see the positive effect I have on them. Also, I work well with kids; I have two 5 year old cousins who adore me, and the feelings of the children I teach are similar. I am always helpful and patient; I once had an adult, sitting near my group during break, comment on how kind I was with the kids. This comment really struck a note with me- she was not related to me or any of the kids I was teaching, but she felt it necessary to comment on my conduct; I cannot express how moved I was by that. I teach because I love the kids, and because I love the sport.
I realize that this essay may not fall perfectly into one of your suggested categories, but I feel that what I have written truly exemplifies why I do something that I love, and I believe that that in itself is worth something- I do not curtail myself to fit any mold. This passion, to me, brings on a feeling similar to drinking a favourite hot beverage or laying in the sun- it warms me and makes me content. I take pride in my teaching, and hope to improve other's lives as much as they improve mine.
Thanks for reading it, and I'd appreciate any comments.
I suggest that you make the 1st paragraph more convincing, it isn't as exciting as it could've been! It doesn't to arouse interest in the reader.
assing that course earns you a certification as a Level 1 CSIA instructor. Since then, I have taken my Level 2 certification (there are 4 possible levels, but very few people attain higher than 2) and have become certified to teach ski racing as well.
I think that you should cut something out, or make a more vivid description, don't think that the AO will be very interested, parentheses are also not recommended in essay writing.
And try to vary sentence structure in the last two paragraphs.