I am passionate and completely committed to ice skating, and am good at it, but don't know how far I can get with it. I am landing a few triples currently. I skate 12+ hours a week, etc. But it will be extremely difficult to do anything on the national level, but I will try my best. Anyway, the question I have is: would colleges (like Princeton for example) care more about the achievement you get in something (like a sport; nationally ranked, etc) or the commitment (how much time you spend on it, devotion, essay on it, etc)? What do you guys think? Thanks!
Since you can't embelish your level of achievement, while you're discussing your commitment, also focus on your connectivity with others around you. What you don't want the readers to feel is "this applicant is in a committted solo sport but has no social ties". They want to admit kids who will add to the PTon community. How will you show that?
I like to believe the answer is C. Character. That's a result of commitment and achievement and how you might persevere despite setbacks in either (physical injury preventing you from practicing or failure to achieve top awards) and how you have internalized those lessons.
To take an extreme example, an accomplished athlete who was dedicated to her sport but never experienced any kind of setback might not be resilient in the face of hardship.
I think an application essay, if that's what you are working towards, can be written about literally anything as long as it illustrates that the writer is able to draw meaning from the events. I know for a fact that not every student at P is nationally recognized in a sport or academics. Some of them are just the people you'd want around you if you were stranded on a desert island and in desperate need of clear thinking, commitment and humor. On second thought, you'd be the perfect person to be stranded on an iceberg with because you could skate for help when those desperate polar bears started to climb aboard - better yet, wear a long scarf and I'll grab onto it and fly behind you.
But I digress - I have no idea what the answer really is, but I think you should keep skating if you love it. Did you know Condoleeza Rice, the former Secretary of State, was an accomplished figure skater? Some say skating's loss was diplomacy's loss as well...
Thanks everyone! T264: Hopefully I will be able to embellish my level of achievement, and either way I will definitely show how skating will contribute to the Pton community. lefthandofdog: I will definitely talk about how my character/me in general has changed because of ice skating. And I have definitely had setbacks: a fractured tibia, two stress fractures (one on either foot), a talis lesion in my foot, and a broken finger all because of ice skating (luckily no surgeries). I've been to national competitions twice so far (in the fairly low level of Juvenile; 6th and 7th grade--couldn't compete eigth, currently a freshman (I know it's early but college is college, eh?) and hoping to win intermediate nationals this year. (After intermediate is novice then junior then senior; senior nationals/Olympics is what's on TV and stuff.) And I do love it! Completely! Done it since 4, most important thing in my life! Well thanks for the comments everyone!
By the way, I know you might think all of these national experiences and stuff are impressive, but 1) it'll be extremely hard to do that in future years 2) the high levels are ridiculously competitive; most high-level skaters don't go to college/go to community college (except the 2 or 3 that go to Harvard). I know someone who won Novice nationals (senior year though) and wasn't accepted to most schools (he was apparently pretty smart, but who knows there are so many factors to consider).
It seems to me that even though you might not have won any national competitions with ice skating, you have achieved in your main activity. For example, you wouldn't be able to be an ice skating instructor if you hadn't achieved anything. As long as you are talented, passionate, and heavily involved in ice skating,my opinion is that you have a chance. You can relate to the school about how all of the time you have committed to ice skating can enrich Pton's campus.