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Volleyball: Extracurricular activities - Admissions Univ of Illinois Champaign-Urbana


dkim1993 1 / 3  
Oct 3, 2010   #1
Hey guys, this is the first draft of my college admissions essay to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Suggestions and comments would be greatly appreciated!

Essay Prompt: In an essay of 300 words or less, choose one extracurricular activity, work experience or community service project from the list you provided on the application and explain why you initially chose it, why you continued with it, and how you benefited from it.

It didn't appear clear to me that waking up at 5:30 on a cold, foggy September morning would be reasonable by any means for a sport that did not begin until early March. Yet, my crazy mind told my body to get out of bed in the still darkness three times a week for six straight months.

Volleyball, a physically and mentally rigorous sport, tests an athlete's patience and perseverance yet comes with great reward once success is achieved. This difficult sport became my passion when I was in junior high, and it still holds my commitment after five years. Despite the strenuous mornings and the tenacious output required for these pre-season A.M. conditionings, it helped our team develop into one of the stronger teams in the state and it continually strengthened my mental persistence.

The sport of volleyball can be played in two extremes - one setting can be with your closest friends where everyone enjoys their time and neither a win nor loss could ever hinder the joy of playing; the other setting can be during a school tournament championship game when the season and school pride are in jeopardy. Whether I play volleyball as a hobby or as a competitive drive, the benefit of having an activity to experience helps me persevere mentally, stay ambitious towards goals that I commit to, and budget my time with my rigorous academic schedule. When committed to an extracurricular activity, the balance between that and academics requires rigorous diligence and a sterling work ethic.

In the big picture, I view volleyball as the catalyst for my endeavor for excellence. I chose it initially as a mere hobby, I continued to do it because I found joy in it, but the benefits I took from it developed my person and gave me an appreciation towards the sport.
sweetsown 2 / 3  
Oct 5, 2010   #2
Yet, my crazy mind told my body to get out of bed in the still darkness three times a week for six straightconsecutive months. -- It just sounds better.

.. perseverance, but yet comes with great reward once success is achieved.

I chose it initially as a mere hobby and I continued to do it because I found joy in it. butT he benefits I gained from it developed my person and gave me an appreciation towards the sport.

Just a few suggestions. Hope it helped!

-- Sonia Arthur
mea505 - / 265  
Oct 5, 2010   #3
Daniel,

You did in your essay exactly what they wanted you to do -- and one does not see that too often. According to the prompt, In an essay of 300 words or less, choose one extracurricular activity, work experience or community service project from the list you provided on the application and explain why you initially chose it, why you continued with it, and how you benefited from it, which you described your sport or extra-curricular activity -- right down to the sweat that one endures during the sport. I commend you for an excellent essay. There is no doubt in my mind that the people reading this essay will see that you are serious about attending the college.

There was only one additional comment that had to be made concerning your essay, and it is a small issue:

Volleyball, a physically and mentally rigorous sport, tests an athlete's patience and perseverance yet comes with great rewards once success is achieved.

Otherwise, the essay is excellent! Good job.

--Mark :)
OP dkim1993 1 / 3  
Oct 7, 2010   #4
Thank you all so much for the input! I will definitely make the corrections!

-Dan =)
daisiekae 3 / 7  
Oct 8, 2010   #5
I feel like you thesaurus'ed this a little too much. Try using simpler words in some of your sentences, not all of them, but this many seems unnatural both for you to have written and to read.

As a reader, you get tripped up in the change in tone of the words rather than listening to what your essay has to say.

Rigorous is also used one too many times.

Otherwise, it's a great essay, you had a good voice in writing it, and I think it conveys what you were trying to. I didn't find any grammar issues that haven't been mentioned, so good job.

I also noticed that you used the word it a lot, and it gets pretty redundant throughout the whole thing.

Hope this helps
OP dkim1993 1 / 3  
Oct 9, 2010   #6
Thanks for the insight!

I actually noticed the redundancy of some of the words I used even before your post, so thats already taken care of. But thank you anyway, it's nice getting a look at it from a different perspective.


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