Consider the big essay required for the common application; I have an idea on what to write about which seems promising. But at the same time, I can see disadvantages.
I don't want to go too specific about the idea (especially because, I haven't completely thought it out), but I'll try to describe it and what I see positively and negatively. If you guys could give me feedback, that would be great!
By the way, for context, I am planning to apply next year to Stanford and UCs. I have a few others in mind, but Stanford is my primary goal.
I wasn't very involved in school "spirit" activities the first two years of high school because I considered them a waste of time. But I got involved with a school wide tradition last year, and I really loved it. I think it really made me appreciate my high school experience more. I'm more spirited about the school I go to and the people I'm surrounded by daily. I'm not going to claim I have completely reformed to become the new cheerleader, but my new mentality has affected the other things I do.
Adv: I think this would be a unique essay (at least I hope) and I can really show (not tell) the reader how I changed, because it's a specific experience, in a conversational manner (not the rigid 5 paragraph essay). It will be personal, and hopefully reflect the type of enthusiasm and pride I will bring into college. Plus, it may convey I'm more of a well-rounded person than my application suggests, and so the admission officer's impression would be more accurate in my opinion.
Disadv: What worries me, is that this essay would not indicate something I'm passionate about, as many say an application essay should convey. This would be, writing about a one time, isolated event that just happened to change me personally, but may not be apparent just by looking at my application otherwise. I am nervous such a topic would detract from giving a more in-depth picture of an activity that's important to me, which I've may have listed in the previous form. It would introduce a new detail about me that wouldn't particularly show my intellectual vitality (which is really important), and would fit a bit incongruously with the rest of the application (being more personal). It basically wouldn't give the admissions officer a chance to see what makes me tick.
Getting involved with that school tradition was definitely important to me, but it didn't culminate into a passion of mine. I think both ways of looking at it are legitimate, but what do you guys think?