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"volleyball as a part of my life in college" - UIUC Extracurricular Essay


Leipharm 1 / -  
Aug 19, 2010   #1
Hello, I'm trying to polish the following essay to its required word count; I'm more or less 100 words over so any help is appreciated! Also, any content/fluidity issues addressed would be gladly taken as well. Thanks!

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 is without question that my parents have done a thorough job in getting me engaged with a myriad of extracurricular activities. Through my childhood years, I have dabbled in karate, competed in soccer, and even became lifelong friends with the piano. Among the many sports teams and piano recitals, volleyball is the activity that I feel most connected to. The sense of community that I was exposed to in club volleyball led me to continue playing collegiately. By keeping volleyball as a part of my life in college, I have not only embraced an activity that my father loves, but also benefitted from the discipline and teamwork required to play it by having it impact my life outside of the game.

I was first exposed to volleyball at the age of four; my mother always brought me along to watch my father's adult league tournaments. His passion for the game was what initially sparked my interest. It was also because of him that I developed into a respectable volleyball player at the age of twelve, enabling me to make the Sports Performance Volleyball Club, an aggressive program that competes at the national level.

The club's commitment level was high as it requires the majority of the participant's time, yet I continued doing it for many reasons. The effort demanded from such a competitive organization and my refusal to be a quitter created the character building environment that has toughened me mentally and physically.

Every year, the club would compete at the Junior Olympic National Tournament, the biggest tournament of the year. Besides an assessment of our skill, the tournament is also the ultimate test of the teamwork and perseverance we have developed throughout the season and years past.

Similar to Sports Performance, my college team also participates in many competitions as well as a final national tournament. Travelling to many various states to compete connects me with other players; it also tests my ability to balance activities and schoolwork.

The sensation when a group works hard together to achieve one goal and to play a sport that my father has loved are just the reasons why I decided to bring volleyball into my college life. The leadership, teamwork, and discipline involved in this game are all indirectly utilized in my life.

keeny77 2 / 8  
Aug 20, 2010   #2
Leipharm--

Very well written essay.
Although you have an excellent groundwork and awesome material-- you have a passion for volleyball, and are obviously succcesful-- I would rework the structure to grab the reader.

You could open the essay talking about your dad. An example...

"From the sidelines of the tournament, I watched my dad spring into the air and spike the volleyball over the net. As his adult league teammates gathered around for congratulatory high-fives, my eyes remained fixed on my father's sweaty face and triumphant smile. Alhough I was only four years old, volleyball had already left a profound impression upon me.

Then, describe your own journey...

Through my childhood years, I dabbled in karate, competed in soccer, and even became lifelong friends with the piano.

"However, my dad's passion for volleyball inspired my own passion for the sport. It was because of him that I developed into a respectable volleyball player at the age of twelve, enabling me to make the Sports Performance Volleyball Club, an aggressive program that competes at the national level..."

So basically... hook to grab attention, then explain your own journey.

Every year, the club would compete at the Junior Olympic National Tournament, the biggest tournament of the year. Besides an assessment of our skill, the tournament is also the ultimate test of the teamwork and perseverance we have developed throughout the season and years past.

This is great, but if your team had any great successes-- defeating a key rival, etc.-- I'd mention that.

The sensation when a group works hard together to achieve one goal and to play a sport that my father has loved are just the reasons why I decided to bring volleyball into my college life. The leadership, teamwork, and discipline involved in this game are all indirectly utilized in my life.

Also very good... reconsider the "indirectly used in my life" portion.

"The leadership, teamwork, and discipline involved in volleyball inspire me to succeed both on and off the court".


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