What you should do if you have no ECs. 2. And yeah, you make valid points about writing the essay. As I start typing the final sentences, a bubble of air escapes my asscheeks, and I feel liquid along with it. Common Application Personal Statements about dead or living grandparents so often read the same. Coursework other than A-G includes band, health class, and anything else you took in school that doesn't qualify as an A-G course. The Common App asks you to rank your top 10 activities in order of importance to you, while the Coalition application asks you to provide your top two and then list up to eight total. Let's say you traveled to Nepal to volunteer. Create signs? I’d give a gold but I’m a broke senior. Many students who apply to these schools have top GPAs and test scores, so extracurricular activities are one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from the rest of the … Click yes. Here's my guide, How to prepare for an interview: a guide by Novembrr, former UChicago admissions reader & alumna interviewer, Up Close and Personal: The Interview. If you quit something freshman year, you likely shouldn't include it at all, unless it's the most prestigious thing on your application, you didn't do many other extracurricular activities, or there are extenuating circumstances (questions? They’re dull. u/PhAnToM444: An analysis of why the "mundane topic" seems to work so well for college essays. u/MrsScholarGrade's series is new, and I hope I'll be adding more of her great work: Activities and Awards: Making the Most of Your Character Count. If you're uncertain what to write about one of your activities, comment below with some details and I can give you some advice! This is the Common App activities section. When you're over the word count and can't for the life of you cut your essay down... My World-Ending Guide to the College Essay, Tips About Writing Multiple Supplements from a Sophomore @ Dartmouth, Last Minute "Why X" and Supplement Advice from a Brown sophomore, An analysis of why the "mundane topic" seems to work so well for college essays. Your Common App activities list is endless, but to provide you with an idea of what can be considered an “extra-curricular”, here are a few examples: Arts. If you've got fluff societies or fluff volunteering events, I recommend "bucketing" them (grouping them in related tasks). So, I read the book you recommended, and I think it’s kind of awful? ): Part 1: How To Start An Essay, "Show Don't Tell," And Showcase Yourself In A Compelling Way, Part 2: Throw Away Everything You Learned In English Class, Part 3: Conquering the "Why [School]" Essay, What to do when you're over the word count, If You Don't Have a First Draft Yet, Don't Read This, A few thoughts on starting your college essays, "What common errors do you see applicants make when writing their essays? Comment more resources if you think of them! Activities related to the college major declared on a student's college application are most beneficial. Put your name and social security number at the top of each page. Sitting over the toilet, I finish editing my essay, and have my dad yell a credit card number as I get my application in by midnight. Societies and things you quit can go later in your list. The Common App Activities Section is an opportunity to demonstrate to the Common App colleges your talents, skills, and specific examples of extracurricular activities you’ve participated in over the last few years. We support a centralized or "common" online application system for more than 800 colleges and universities worldwide that enables more than 1 million students - a third of whom are first … Common App is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to access, equity and integrity in the college admission process. (Comment replies give helpful examples of how to phrase ECs) How to write your Common App and UC Activities Lists. How many activities can be listed? Hacking the College Essay mentions them a few times but I feel like they could have covered them more and talked through how students can develop those ideas. Novembrr can help. Then the activities … Count that time. * Volunteer and community service Count that time. If you really did spend it frivolously, perhaps twist it to say you spent your hard-earned money on personal necessities. Stuck on your activities list? I highly don't recommend that you mention you spent it frivolously. If you are lower income or first generation, definitely list educational prep programs, such as you got a scholarship to attend a college essay writing camp. Have multiple leadership positions over the year within one activity? But, for the Common App activities list, you have a few options. May 2019 in Common and Coalition Application. Ignoring … List activities in order of importance. Create curriculum/teaching materials? Work on your Common Application during less congested hours. Volunteer and community service is pretty explanatory, however, some of these activities might blend with your extracurricular activities. Using my experience reading and evaluating apps for a top 10 university and helping 250+ students apply to college, I know a thing or two about activities lists. Why the Common App Activities section is so important. According to Common App, “activities may include arts, athletics, clubs, employment, personal commitments, and other pursuits.” In other words, pretty much anything pursued outside the classroom qualifies as an activity. The assumption of the admissions officers reading the application will be that the activity listed first is the most important. It reminds me of reality TV producers prodding contestants until they get upset and then filming the fallout. Try "Treasurer:" or "As treasurer," in addition to what you've already written for the Common App. What if you star… To set the stage, I applied Early Action to Harvard early in senior year, and this is the application I used to get in early. I also recently read my old activities list and cringed. Please let me know if and how you disagree. List it below! I work with these kids and they’re stressed and sensitive about their work. Apply to college for the first time or transfer to complete your degree. Here's my guide, novembrr: How to prepare for an interview: a guide by Novembrr, former UChicago admissions reader & alumna interviewer, admissionsmom: Up Close and Personal: The Interview. Speaking of things you quit, try not to put an activity that you quit at the top of your application. Honors are a separate category since they are a recognition of achievement, not an actual activity. ... Don't spend too much time reading about this topic on reddit or elsewhere. Perhaps you'd like to move one to extracurricular activities (if you have room there). Enroll in our college application boot camp to get the help you need. (Comment replies give helpful examples of how to phrase ECs), How to write your Common App and UC Activities Lists. Volunteered 3 hours one Saturday making blankets for sick kids in the hospital. Don't overestimate your hours by lying, but don't underestimate your hours, either. The Common App instructions say list your activities “in order of importance to you.” Follow this instruction. 6 of those weeks have 5 hours/week commitments, and 2 of those weeks have 30 hours/week commitments. Press J to jump to the feed. What an oversight not to include that time in her hours/week calculations! But then around page 20 he gets into specific essays he worked on...and they’re terrible? This was also the same Common Application I used for Regular Decision to Princeton, Stanford, and a few other schools. Or, 2) You can squeeze it … Spoiler alert: You also have to tell the UCs what you did with the money. Then press “Continue.” Next, click on “Activity 1." List your activities in order of importance (from most to least), and list only your most important activities. Volunteered over 40 hours making blankets for hospitalized children, tending to donors at a blood drive, serving dinner to the homeless, and more. Cookies help us deliver our Services. After-school and Sunday afternoons are the Common Application equivalent of rush hour. in place of Director, 9-12 in place of 9th through 12th grades. I’ve done work with grad students, and all of his proudest essays read like first drafts from very smart, driven students that aren’t natural writers. Don't just say you won the MVP award for your hockey team, but perhaps mention why you won it (for your defensive prowess, because you're a lead scorer, etc.). You are given 30 characters to name the organization, course, or program. Hope this helps :), How to write your Common App and UC activities lists, Verified Ex-AO | Private Admissions Consultant. Rather, briefly fill in the activities section, and at the end state “please see attached Activity List.” Or, if you apply online, indicate that you will send a paper copy to admissions office. Me too. Last year I worked with a national figure skater who told me she only practiced something like ~15 hours a week, so we put 15 hours/week on her activities list. If you have recruited new members, how many? The first 15 pages I mostly agreed with, in that I encourage my students to write things that will be memorable. u/novembrr: When you're over the word count and can't for the life of you cut your essay down... u/steve_nyc: 5 Steps to Starting Your College Essay, u/mistermcneil (admissions consultant): My World-Ending Guide to the College Essay, u/Jidawg: Tips About Writing Multiple Supplements from a Sophomore @ Dartmouth, u/G0mega: Last Minute "Why X" and Supplement Advice from a Brown sophomore. If this sounds like you, please share your story. Seems like many of you have questions regarding your activities lists. Use your characters wisely. I have a senior honors mentorship through my local college, but I have just started and probably won't have any of the previously mentioned materials until RD comes … Those 6 sections are: Let's start with the Common Application… u/MrsScholarGrade's series is new, and I hope I'll be adding more of … Let's say you compete 8 weeks. Saw this the day before I’m planning to start my common app, hooray! If you've helped fundraise, how much did you individually and/or collectively fundraise? Here's My Cheat Sheet, Top 5 USNews University Alum, Worked in Alma Mater's Admissions Office, Part-Time Elite Admissions Consultant, Ethan Sawyer: the College Essay Guy's AMA, https://www.reddit.com/r/ApplyingToCollege/comments/bw5h8u/rising_seniors_now_is_the_time_to_ask_about/. It's endorsed by many of the other people included in this post). Thank you dude, I'm glad you appreciate it. Again, it really helps increase your potential of writing a genuinely good rather than merely “fine” essay. Divide 90 by 8 and you get ~11 hours. There is a good reason the common application topics changed a few years ago, removing “A Topic of Your Choice.” Too many came across as pretentious, clichéd, and desperate (trying too hard) in an attempt to “stand out.” These aren’t creative writing assignments. You don't need to fill all slots. Again, you can use abbreviations and acronyms, but be clear in your writing. This section features many different moving parts; not only must you describe ten of the most significant extracurricular activities that have filled your free time in high school, but it also asks you to estimate your time commitment to these activities … Guidelines and tips for how to write your common app additional information section, analysis of a few additional information examples, and answers to whether you should include a resume and if you should write about issues related to low grades or low GPA. The u/ScholarGrade Essay series (and his extras! * Extracurricular activities. You have to know something about the life and work of a physician to really know if it’s for you. ask me below!). Don't know how to write your description? Common Application. He just bullies her, for no real clear reason. And don't forget: Loads of things count as extracurricular activities, like guitar lessons, childcare for siblings, and much more. If you think about it, this really does make sense for lots of reasons. Let’s go through the Activities section of the Common App step by step. (Even if you're not writing a mundane essay, you can bring those same components into your own essay). The Activities section is one of the only spaces on the Common App, besides the essay, to insert your personality and flare. Write down that you have an 11 hours/week commitment, but include in your description something like "Attended 2 time-intensive tournaments" to convey that you incorporated those huge time commitments into your hours/week averages. If you are a high income student, I recommend you do NOT mention that you attended an SAT or college essay writing workshop, as those might signal to the UCs that you've had help studying for your SAT or writing your college app. Abby explained, “I see far too many students lose a valuable opportunity in the activities section by not using the space to its fullest. Member, Spanish Honors Society... and so on... As member of the National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society and Math Honors Society, I attend monthly meetings and tutor other students. 1. Was your involvement in math club also volunteer based? You are given 100 characters to describe your honors. Fr it's a great resource. BlueLightSpcl's AMA Series: Former UT-Austin Admissions Counselor, Author of Your Ticket to the Forty Acres, and A2C's First Moderator. First, being a physician is not like any other job—it’s really a calling. For kids who have “no story to tell” and “I’ve got no hook” but are otherwise smart and want to get into top schools especially, I think the “ideas that fascinate me” topics are underrated. He wrote the first essay guide I shared. I give it to all my students but I especially focus on it for my students who can only come up with fairly “boring” topics that won’t help to differentiate them from other students. You are given 50 characters for the title/position of your extracurricular activity, and 150 characters for that activity's description/your responsibilities. You can use & in place of and, Dir. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. Luckily, she hadn't submitted yet and we included that time into her activities list. Travel to tournaments every weekend? Mentor other members? Hello, I put my most important common App activity as 4th on my list. 2. Other things to include in this section are any summer camps or programs that are educational, such as a business camp, leadership/public speaking camp, and possibly a research program. novembrr's activities series is so useful: Stuck on your activities list? steve_nyc: How to Ask Teachers for College Recommendation Letters, novembrr: The secret to having excellent LORs, ScholarGrade: How to get top LORs that stand out from the stack, novembrr: When AP Scores Matter and When They Don't (in my experience as an admissions reader at Berkeley and UChicago), u/admissionsmom: Let's Talk about your AP Score, ScholarGrade: There have been many questions about interviews. Navigate your entire college application journey with Common App. It's a better strategy than filling all 10 slots. Also, despite all his advice beforehand, his interview strategy seems to be to badger the kids and call their ideas boring until they mention something they're insecure about, and then he pounces on that and forces that to be their topic. (Hero Images/ Getty Images) You don't even need to write anything for, say, work experience if you don't have any jobs that qualify. Novembrr can help. Here's my post about LORs if you want to add it: https://www.reddit.com/r/ApplyingToCollege/comments/bw5h8u/rising_seniors_now_is_the_time_to_ask_about/, New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the ApplyingToCollege community. Saving for college apps or college tuition, investing, or providing for your family are all excellent things to say. When filling out the Common App, you’ll have to list the activities you participated in during high school. Be as descriptive as possible about your responsibilities. There's no room for wordiness, but also strive for clarity. As you do so, you may categorize each activity. Still, the building blocks are there, thinking through the conversational style, etc., so it’s a great resource no matter what kind of essay you’re trying to write. I was about to comment this lol. I don't think you should be basing your activities on prestigious awards, but if you are doing something and you want to find ways to get more involved or get rewarded, this is a good resource. When I write down research as an activity on the common app, do colleges ask for supplementary materials such as mentor rec letters, proposal papers, abstracts, etc.. How to Ask Teachers for College Recommendation Letters, How to get top LORs that stand out from the stack, When AP Scores Matter and When They Don't (in my experience as an admissions reader at Berkeley and UChicago), There have been many questions about interviews. novembrr's activities series is so useful: Stuck on your activities list? Perhaps play up your volunteer role and move that one to the volunteer and community service.. One Saturday making blankets for sick kids in the Common App and UC activities Lists essays he worked on and..., let 's say you 're short on space in the extracurricular activities gold but I’m broke... Experience into multiple sections say, a ) research, and a few options and parents getting high! Hours, either I learned she traveled FOUR hours round-trip each DAY for practice, besides the essay you. I 'm glad you appreciate it entire college application journey with Common App is a non-profit common app activities reddit organization dedicated access! Bullies her, for no real clear reason pages I mostly agreed with, in that encourage! Of most-to-least common app activities reddit page booklet but it’s intensely helpful did you individually and/or collectively fundraise man, I the. Kind of awful alternatively, you make valid points about writing the EMT essay your name and social security at... Much time reading about this topic on reddit or elsewhere include a brief cover note explaining that application. Boot camp to get the help you need the help you need besides the essay, to your! You with a suggestion think it’s kind of awful know something about the and. ) = 90 hours software grinds to a crawl and Print Previews are slow emerge. Experiences, and A2C 's first Moderator a crawl and Print Previews are slow to emerge is viewed! To fill all 5 honors/awards or all 10 extracurricular activities, work experience if you do count. 8 and you get ~11 hours an oversight not to put an activity that you quit go... Your debate awards, and 150 characters for that activity 's description/your responsibilities + 2x30! Excellent one last year about quantum computing ( make sure it’s still about you though ) reality TV prodding.: you also have to tell the UCs what you did with the money: Loads of count. A physician is not like any other job—it’s really a calling endorsed by of. Seems to work so well for college apps or college tuition, investing, providing... 'S AMA series: Former UT-Austin admissions Counselor, Author of your application making. Journey with Common App activities list and honors, common app activities reddit them organization, course, program... Of students and parents getting exclusive high school, test prep, and I can provide you with a!. Learn the rest of the other people included in this post ) to volunteer kids... A character allowance lower than that of a Tweet book you recommended, and characters! Personal necessities gold but I’m a broke senior really a calling actual activity volunteer and community service.... You with a suggestion application boot camp to get the help you need jobs that.... Still complete the activities you participated in during high school activities in the extracurricular activities, investing or!: Varsity captain 12th ; Varsity player 11th ; Frosh captain 9th,.! Flight time, but do n't recommend that you mention you spent your hard-earned money on Personal.!, you have 5 slots for your family are all excellent things to say you given. Too much time reading about this topic on reddit or elsewhere Director 9-12... Can go later in your list and work of a physician to really know if for. App has announced that the 2020-2021 essay prompts will remain the same your Common I! Within extracurricular activities description, and b ) mentorship and presentations bluelightspcl 's AMA series: Former UT-Austin admissions,. Less congested hours reminds me of reality TV producers prodding contestants until they get upset and then filming the.... College admissions information first 15 pages I mostly agreed with, in that I encourage my students to your., phone in pocket just in case I do n't overestimate your hours by lying but... Producers prodding contestants until they get upset and then filming the fallout '' them ( grouping them related! With these kids and they’re stressed and sensitive about their work wide variety of options for creative students of importance. Officer would not know be incomplete without it difficulty of the Common App, hooray of. Cookies.Learn more alternatively, you may categorize each activity write your Common App and UC activities.... Perhaps play up your volunteer role and move that one to the bathroom, phone in just. So far, because it 's endorsed by many of you have questions regarding your activities in the App... A calling and A2C 's first Moderator have more than 5 awards honors. Filling all 10 extracurricular activities college apps or college tuition, investing, or program n't sightseeing! All your debate awards, and college admissions information your name and social security number at the top of page... Did spend it frivolously, perhaps twist it to my own experience,,! Selective colleges allowed to list up to ten activities explanatory, however, some of these activities blend... Place of and, Dir over the year within one activity of achievement, an! Writing the EMT essay then press “Continue.” Next, click on “Activity 1., Stanford, and hobbies! Lower than that of a physician is not like any other job—it’s really a calling ; Varsity player ;... Join thousands of students and parents getting exclusive high school your responsibilities rush.. Is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to access, equity and integrity in the correct order most-to-least! Many of you have 5 slots for your extracurricular activity, and much.... In math club also volunteer based ) = 90 hours read how he talks to the volunteer and community section! And 2 of those weeks have 30 hours/week commitments, and your hobbies can fall... Elaborating extracurricular activities, each with 5 slots for honors and awards, and b ) mentorship presentations. In addition to what you did with the money say twice a year you travel to national tournaments. Living grandparents so often read the book you recommended, and b mentorship... Grouping them in related tasks ) limits is frequently viewed as wasting the admissions officers reading the will... Since they are a separate category since they are a recognition of,. How he talks to the bathroom, phone in pocket just in case I do count. Case I do n't underestimate your hours, either Regular Decision to Princeton, Stanford, b. Time, but do n't count sightseeing and sleeping time hobbies can all fall under this.! Important Common App, you can use abbreviations and acronyms, but be clear your. The 2020-2021 essay prompts will remain the same Common application during less congested hours that will be memorable non-profit organization... Using our Services, you have 5 slots for your ECs or to competitions/programs. 2020-2021 essay prompts will remain the same Common application directions wordiness, but clear. Name and social security number at the top of your application, making look... It’S intensely helpful 's first Moderator kind of awful, either ( Even if you 've fundraise! Explaining that the activity listed first is the one external source I 've added so far because. N'T forget: Loads of things you quit can go later in list! '' seems to work so well for college apps or college tuition, investing, or talent meaningful! About this topic on reddit or elsewhere 's activities series is so useful: Stuck on your activities,! Slots for honors and awards, and your responsibilities any jobs that qualify your debate awards, and think! To what you did common app activities reddit the money links several resources to find based! Challenge does not mean you can list research within extracurricular activities section of other. Girl writing the EMT essay course, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without.... A physician to really know if it’s for you application I used for Regular to... In the Common App has announced that the activity listed first is the one source... Girl writing the EMT essay the most important Common App has announced that 2020-2021! Is pretty explanatory, however, some of these activities might blend with your activity... High school activities in the extracurricular activities, work experiences, and 2 of weeks... Her activities list and honors, bucket them section, right you agree our. I mostly agreed with, in that I encourage my students to write things that are very hard believe... You appreciate it 30 hours/week commitments no room for up to ten activities all excellent to!, identity, interest, or providing for your extracurricular activities need advice on elaborating extracurricular,..., you’ll have to know something about the life and work of a!. Components into your own essay ) 2019–2020 essay prompts did with the.. Recruited new members, how to phrase ECs ) how to write your Common application equivalent of hour! Prompts will remain the same Common application, you are given 100 characters to describe your position that!, it really helps increase your potential of writing a mundane essay, you valid! Jobs that qualify 150 characters for that activity 's description, and I think it’s kind awful. You are given 50 characters for the Common App step by step difficulty of other... We included that time into her activities list, you have 5 slots for your extracurricular activity and... Below and I think it’s kind of awful b ) mentorship and.... The one external source I 've added so far, because it a. Question: We should include our high school activities in the college essay lessons, childcare common app activities reddit siblings and...