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psubballfan12 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: College application essay
    Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 1:39pm
So I'm beginning to write my college application essay and Im wondering if anyone who has typed one before has any pointers? I am typing it about snowboarding so maybe you can throw a few thoughts my way? This is obviously a very difficult thing to type haha. And for anyone who may be curious at all, I plan on applying to University of Colorado boulder, and University of Arizona. Help me out please haha
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 1:41pm
put words like steez in thereLOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 1:43pm
I don't think typing about snowboarding will help you get into a school for academics.  I wrote my personal statement on how my family came from nothing and didn't know a lick of English and yet we worked  hard to become upper middle class.  A story of inspiration will give you more brownie points then one about how you want to party hard and snowboard all day and night, just saying.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 1:45pm
yeah i was thinking the same for a little, but we had a speaker come in and talk to us and we were told you don't always need something dramatic because the people in the admissions office really want to know who you are and what you have a passion for.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 1:51pm
I agree with Angry, if its just about snowboarding no kudo points to you and youll be overlooked. To bring snowboarding into your essay say you want to become an entrepreneur and open up a snowboard shop.. It will get the point across that you have a passion for snowboarding, and that you aren't some kid who just wants to ride and party.

Or something of that nature.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 1:52pm
I think when they say passion, they meant what you want to do in the future.  For instance, if you wanted to major in engineering, you would say something like you have a passion for snowboarding so you want to come up with new snowboard tech to enhance the sport or something, which gives the admissions a better sense of who you are.  A ski bum with a drive to enhance the sport that you love, rather than a ski bum that is just a ski bum.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 1:55pm
you could write about how snowboarding made you more confident in different aspects of your life like making friends, or how your snowboarding progressed from all the hard work and practice you put into it.  Link that with how it translated into your school work and grades.  Those are just some suggestions but you definitely have to make it sound inspirational and somehow explain how its effected your life in a positive way.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 1:55pm
yeah we were actually told that we shouldn't put much like that in there though...they apparently want us to write about something that changed our life or at least influenced. I'm pretty sure snowboarding is something I could write a lot for..
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 2:00pm
After visiting countless colleges and scouting out my future, most of the colleges basically tell me the same thing. aside from your personal academics and such, they want to know the type of person you are, so obviously, an event or moment that shaped or changed your life or your character can communicate this. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 2:08pm
do some searching online for previously used (*successfully*) letters as guidance.  be sure not to overstep the guidance line and plagiarize.  remember, if you could find something through a simple google search, then so can the folks you're submitting to.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 2:15pm
dude, bad topic..normally they'll give you things to type your essay about..if not then pick a topic that will generate an interesting/easier writing for you ie: family related/or friend..cheesy subject but easier..like why is this person a major influence to you etc. good luck.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 2:20pm
see i find it a good topic and im pretty firm on that. I'll let the guidence office tell me what they think once im done...But I had a friend who wrote about how dressing differently made him different...and he got into Boston college haha.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 2:24pm
I definitely don't see a very strong essay coming through snowboarding unless it has caused some kind of hardship to you that you've had to work through.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 2:28pm
its more along the lines of how it changed my personality and work ethic
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 2:31pm
personal experience, learning out comes and how you manage to overcome it and how it made you a better person. I think they just want to see struggle and how much of a hard worker you with determination. Only thing with snowboarding you can talk abuot is having a major accident or being involved with a avalanche and the ordeals you have to go thru, that would make a interesting essay
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 2:31pm
Think snowboardings a cool topic to write about, just make sure you relate it to something tangible, like how it's helped you mature, come to appreciate things more, etcetc
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 2:45pm
If snowboarding is your passion and it's motivation, then you can write about it. Don't forget that personal essay is to be as persuasive as possible, so they don't want to read a story without a lesson (so don't just list things). I wrote about my experiences volunteering and how that affected me.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 3:07pm
Are you writing a pretty open-ended 'personal statement' type essay?  Though you can work your passion for snowboarding in there somehow, I personally wouldn't suggest making snowboarding the main subject of the essay (unless you have some great story about getting injured while snowboarding and the whole experience inspired you to become a doctor, or being a snowboard instructor helped you realize your passion for teaching, or something like that).  The admissions committee wants to see that you are a mature, well-rounded, and motivated individual that is going to succeed academically in their program and also be an asset to their community.  If you can convey all that and more in an essay about snowboarding, then great :).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 3:10pm
well technically yes it is about snowboarding, but there is a large amount of symbolism. For example I am relating the mountain to my life. We will see how that goes though.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 3:13pm
some of these folks make a really good point, which is to differentiate between writing about something you are passionate about vs. writing about something you are passionate about that actually conveys some kind of relavant life experience that will really speak to a reviewer.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 3:13pm
On my college essay I wrote about all the sports I played in high school.  It was pretty lame, but I got accepted.  You could mention snowboarding and how its a passion of yours but don't be to one dimensional.  Incorperate how you overcame adversity, or acheived greatest with the odds stacked up against you.  Lie if you have to.
Other than that just use some big words, and make sure the essay flows.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 10:22pm
Just stick to the essay format you learned in school. If you follow that with correct grammar and spelling then you should be fine.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 10:26pm
Also go ask your teachers for help and advice. If they're good teachers, they should be happy to help.

Just don't pester them. So write a draft, get you own ideas on paper. Then ask for advice and pointers.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 11:28pm

good advices so far, just remember to focus on the content and not the structure or format or grammar of the essay.  it may be called an essay, but like some ppl already said...they just want to know you better.  so dig deep and look for something about u that separates you from everyone else.

 
good luck man, wether you get accepted to your first or last choice, college experience is all up to you
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 11:34pm
i got into every single UC (university of california) and chose UCI
disclaimers.... i had a 3.9 GPA... 33 on ACT (about a 2130 on the SAT).. over 500 hours of community service at the local hospital. varsity tennis 4 years. wind ensemble 2 years. 
AP Physics 3
AP US History 4
AP English (both of them) 3
AP Calc BC 3

kk.. that's pure acadamia.
my essays.. i actually wrote about music and how passionate i was about it. the other one was about family (same as angrymidget.. came from nothing no english).  
music was a tough one because everyone writes about music (or insert favorite hobby here). it's hard to sound sincere when everyone "loves" what they do. you have to really make it personal and talk about how it changed you or makes you who you are.. not only that, but how does snowboarding make you an asset to the college you're going to. how has it made you mature into a being that either of those universities would be proud to call you an alum. 
if snowboarding has legitimately taught you some very valuable life lessons (that also answer the question they ask in the essay), by all means go for it. HOWEVER if you're trying to make snowboarding fit into the question, i'd suggest finding another topic to write about. they can tell if your essay is fake or heartfelt.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/19/2010 at 11:46pm
exactly! i'm not sure how an essay about snowboarding might help you out.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 12:21am
Dude, i would strongly advise against snowboarding :) I know its probably the angle youve figured, but put yourself in the position of an admissions tutor. You're applying for a university at one of the big snowboarding areas of the US. If you were them, whats the first thing going through your mind?

"I doubt this guy gives a crap about the course or the university, he probably just wants to ride and he thinks we're his ticket".

Id probably drop you for people that really want to be on the course and could convey to me that they might actually benefit from it in truth :)
Im not saying this to be a dick, but to help you not making a bit of a possible mistake :)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 12:53am
Although snowboarding has a lot to do with us, it isn't necessarily the best topic. You should re-pick a topic that has cliche characteristics. Maybe a story about a life revelation or some crazy incident in your life that made you more motivated. Things like this is never a bad thing when promoting yourself. The biggest thing to do after picking a story is trying to subliminally express how different you are from others. Keep in mind that everyone else is probably trying to make themselves look different too--so add in that special jazz you got.

Not to let you down or anything--either way, the fact is that the readers that review your paper have probably heard it all.

FOR SURE YOU NEED TO HAVE PROPER GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION! FLUIDITY IS KEY! I'm guessing vocabulary wouldn't hurt either.

GOOD LUCK!

p.s. I'm an engineer and I work with numbers =) so don't take my word for it
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 2:46am
I'd only talk about snowboarding if you maybe learned/gained something from it.  If you just "love" snowboarding, I don't think they'll really care, and move onto the next essay.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 4:33am
I agree with twoscoops, maybe you have gained confidence and team building. Or how it has helped you meet others and how you work hard at it? Idk something like that, or just disregard snowboarding and talk about your school skills
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 4:56am
Theres gonna have to be heaps of referencing to the Topic, in relation to the university and you wanting to get in. 
Personally id just go with why you want to do the particular course, why you want that uni and what it may do for your future. (Yes i did read what you said before, about what the speaker said).
Its just a safer route to take, if you really want to get into uni.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 5:05am
I didn't really read most of the comments because most of them were shear quick-witted comments that didn't really provide good advice.

The best advice I can give you, from somone who has applied to many opportunities requiring essays and reviewed many applications submitted with essays is be genuine and concise.

It honestly doesn't matter what you write about as long as you can convey what you're trying to say effectively, which is what they typically like to see. The content is nice of course and can help, but honestly, they are going to see the same type of generic essay write up from hundreds of applicants.

For college admission essays, they like to know, or like to think, you'll be contributing or adding something to the university by your diversity, which is a huge "buzz" word these days.

Good luck.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 5:07am
Originally posted by stroupaloop

I didn't really read most of the comments because most of them were shear quick-witted comments that didn't really provide good advice.

The best advice I can give you, from somone who has applied to many opportunities requiring essays and reviewed many applications submitted with essays is be genuine and concise.

It honestly doesn't matter what you write about as long as you can convey what you're trying to say effectively, which is what they typically like to see. The content is nice of course and can help, but honestly, they are going to see the same type of generic essay write up from hundreds of applicants.

For college admission essays, they like to know, or like to think, you'll be contributing or adding something to the university by your diversity, which is a huge "buzz" word these days.

Good luck.


TBH, my friend got into U of VA by writing about the word "DUDE" in his admission essay. As I stated before, it doesn't matter what you write about, but how effective and able to convey your thoughts.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 6:20am
Stroupaloop has it right.  It's all about branding and reputation.  The school wants to get students who will "add" to the community so they can attract "better"/more students/employers/research grants/etc.  It is ALL marketing.

And, all those who say snowboarding is not a good topic, i think you are wrong.  It doesn't matter what the topic is... it all depends on how you write it.  Most of you are suggesting the OP write about something that affected/changed the OP's life.  Snowboarding could have impacted the OP's life.  A few already provided some suggestions.

Also keep in mind that if you are 17/18 years old, you most likely don't have any life changing experiences that most people would consider "life changing".  Most teens haven't been married, no kids, live at home, limited travel, limited work experience... clearly not many teens have anything worthy of putting on paper.  It is better to write something you are passionate about in a way that is interesting.  Show them how creative you can be and that you can write.  Show them your interest in the school (do some research about it) and the program you are applying to.  Show them how your experiences and passion can benefit the school community (students, faculty, etc.).  The key is to show them you've been able to reflect (internally) and come to some conclusions about your life and how to use that to make your next step and grow.

Finally, you don't have to worry much about the essay unless you have low GPA and low SAT score.  And depending on how low your GPA/SAT score is, they may not even read your essay.  

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 6:58am
Oh wow snowboarding sounds like a great topic. There are so many ways you could relate that to positive personality traits or work habits. If you know what you would like to major in_ you could work that in too
Philisophy=Quiet moments with just you and the mountain
Geology=Love of the outdoors
Physics=The mechanics of the snow_body and board

lol Really the sky is the limit! You channeling that through some topic would do good to show adaptability. If the topic is rare or unorthodox it could be interpreted as you not being afraid to think outside the box. The way you put your thoughts together in the paper(how well they flow/if they are complete) and the punctuation are obviously important. Throw a semicolon or two in there; they love that! Have fun_be true_and keep shreddin
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 7:08am
Just out of curiosity, do you know what major you'll be applying for?

If you want us to read it (or me), you can definitely send it along. I'm in the process of writing I wrote about music for college, and how my experiences built character and leadership, but honestly, if you do something like snowboarding, you'll definitely stick out from the crowd - you just have to spin it in a way that will show off your strengths.

Gamma has it right, and you can use it to set up your essay with a hot hook. Develop it with some story of how you overcame your fear of jumping or something and make a comparison to your own boldness in real life. Or if you've ever done any work on your snowboard, you can talk about how it sparked your interest in physics or engineering, as gamma said.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 7:23am
If it is a generic essay question.  I say go for it!!!  You know how many applications they get?  and how many essays they probably skim over about family and schooling and how they got the best grades and how they did all their after school activities and clubs?  I don't know either but the answer is enough to stop being able to differentiate one from another.  Writting about snowboarding might make you stand out in an pile of tens of thousands of applications.  Just remember what other people have said.  Make it about why you are passionate about snowboarding and why that passion has created solid values in your life.
 
And again as other people have mentioned the essay isn't going to matter much if you have good test scores, good grades, and overall academics.
 
For those of you that have already done the whole college essay thing.  What is the most interesting essay question/topic you have seen?  I'm 5 years out of college now and I still remember one that was fun to write.  The essay topic was something like write page 324 of your autobiography if you were writting it today.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 7:28am
try harder
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 8:00am
even if its just a general topic, l woudlnt' recommend snowboarding. you shoudl go for a more academic approach. if anything, snowbaord just shows how much "fun" you enjoy than school
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 8:04am
I agree that snowboarding may not be the best topic unless, you can weave in some sort of hard learned lesson. Even then its too difficult. I'm going to be writing app essays this year too so I'm also looking for ideas.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 11:28am
I seriously think any topic is fine...

My friend's brother wrote about chapstick and got into Brown. Not bad at all...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 11:32am
Originally posted by pibimbap

I seriously think any topic is fine...

My friend's brother wrote about chapstick and got into Brown. Not bad at all...


I agree, as stated before, topic doesn't matter, delivery does.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 11:35am
Why not write about snowboarding? If your passionate about it or something else that your passionate about. If not a passion write something that happened to you that was meaningful. 

If you write an essay that you have no interest in it's not gonna have any impact. It's gonna be bland and you will not be distinguishable. Write about why you like it and how you got started etc.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 12:35pm
Don't make any grammatical errors. Proofread, revise, proofread, revise, etc.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 1:10pm
You can definitely write about snowboarding...people write about tennis, basketball, football all the time and how it helped them mature and learn basic things in life.

Definitely proofread, over and over. And have a few people read it also.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 1:50pm
Thinking outside of the box is definitely a good thing for a college entrance essay. However, if you're going to write about boarding, I would definitely take on a "work hard, play hard" kind of tone with it. Sadly, a lot of people do associate boarders with the party animal slacker crowd... just sayin'. What cool things have you done with boarding? How has it enriched your life in a positive way? Like others have said, has it helped you overcome any adversity? Oh, and which colleges are you writing this for? You should think about your audience too.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2010 at 2:41pm
Don't see how talking about snowboarding is going to get you into a college. Maybe pick a more appropriate topic, though what course are you looking to get into?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/21/2010 at 10:44am
Yeah im going to try majoring in either business, architectural engineering, or architecture in general. I can post my essay in a little (its on my other computer). just keep in mind it will be a rough draft so sentences will eventually be restructured. But I personally find it pretty good for being a rough draft. As I'm sure you'll probably see I have a little bit of repetition in the 2nd paragraph....Maybe you'll disagree idk...
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BrettSeeley View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/21/2010 at 11:59am
if you write about obstacles that you have overcome, fears conquered, putting yourself into a new and uncertain environment to help others, and also something that makes you different than others. Write about you and something that defines you. like motivation, perserverence or something that can relate to those things.... good luck
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bigtom View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/21/2010 at 1:00pm
hey im writing my college essay as well, im wonder what you are wanting to major in, also i wouldnt write about snowboarding unless it has really changed your life, if so how? :p you can answers all your questions by yourself
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