Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

is this a bad tipic for college essay?

bond35bond35 Registered User Posts: 174 Junior Member
edited October 2006 in College Admissions
I want to write about my time on the tennis team.

I'm a shy person but when I play tennis, I seem to gain a little more confidence and kind of get to be more of myself. So I would write how tennis has made me less shy.

I would probably describe a particular game that I played.

I have a first paragraph here:

Truthfully, I joined tennis because my friends thought that it would be a good idea. So I joined the tennis team freshman year. I soon found out that my tennis coach was strange. I didn’t get his coaching methods. He would just constantly yell at you and do show us odd ways to apply everyday activity to a tennis skill. A volley in tennis is a 45 degree angle to the side that the ball is coming to. He told us to dance from our forehand to our backhand. Most of my friends that joined the tennis team with me the week before quit. But I stayed behind.

I could apply that I don't like to quit something because I like to stick it through.


I could say that you can't judge someone quickly because I have to come to like my tennis coach now. (Even though most of the schol hates him)
Post edited by bond35 on

Replies to: is this a bad tipic for college essay?

  • JTC007JTC007 Registered User Posts: 1,539 Senior Member
    I think your sentences sounded really choppy, and I would work on flow a little more. Also, try starting your story as an anecdote about a particular game, maybe using stream of consciousness to describe your specific feelings about feeling more confident. I like that you are trying to be honest, but it seems a little boring to say that you "stick through things"....be creative! Show, don't just tell!
  • jPoDjPoD - Posts: 2,524 Senior Member
    That's horrendous.
  • linkinpark14linkinpark14 Registered User Posts: 433 Member
    lol, that is mean. I will try to be nicer, the first paragraph was bad, I suggest getting help from someone or something. If you hand that in as a college essay, they will turn you down in a second.
  • symphonyinblacksymphonyinblack Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    linkin...that's still pretty mean hahahaha let me try

    bond35: i liked how you started out with the first paragraph but I'm thinking you should go in a different direction. Depending on the length of the essay i would try to make a variety of sentence lengths so it doesn't sound like you're just learning how to put together a simple sentence. In addition, up the vocabulary, but make sure you don't overdo it and also be sure you know what you're talking about. Go for general ideas on how tennis has changed you rather than describing every mundane detail of how you got interested in tennis AND THEN showing what it's done for you.
  • JTC007JTC007 Registered User Posts: 1,539 Senior Member
    I would disagree that he/she needs to "up the vocabulary". I think that is a mistake too many people make, and end up sounding pretentious. Also, I think it would be better to focus on one specific thing that has changed, rather than a lot of general things. That way relevant details can be brought up, not to be mundane, but to make the essay more vivid.
  • symphonyinblacksymphonyinblack Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    i was just pointing out the fact that he/she wrote in too much of a casual manner and improving the vocabulary would be beneficial in establishing an academic tone. And I also mentioned in my previous post that he/she should not overdo the vocabulary but simply step it up a notch from what was in the first paragraph
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    The topic is fine. It will show insight into your character, values and personality -- exactly what a good college essay should do.

    Don't worry yet about the vocabulary, etc. Just write your essay, and after that you can revise it. Typically the very best essays are the ones that the writer spent the most time editing, so keep that in mind -- but don't bother editing until after you've finished your essay. If you follow the advice of some here and start editing now, you may become so inhibited that you never finish your essay despite its promise as being a good subject to write about.
  • dima1109dima1109 Registered User Posts: 617 Member
    just so you guys know: an essay can only help. terrible essays are counted as no essays. they dont count them against you, only for you.
  • bond35bond35 Registered User Posts: 174 Junior Member
    I wrote the first paragraph in literally 3 minutes.

    I was stuck on my topic and searched a whole bunch of websites and they told me to just write for 20 minutes without stopping. I just want to get opinions about the IDEA.
  • snoopyiscoolsnoopyiscool Registered User Posts: 18,082 Senior Member
    The paragraph is pretty disjointed. But the idea is a good one. I hope that when you write it write it, you work on flow and vocabulary as well as eloquence.

  • scansmomscansmom Registered User Posts: 1,553 Senior Member
    First, let me start by apologizing because I really do try to stay away from essay threads...but as an adult reading this here's my initial impressions. If your goal is to describe how tennis has made you less shy and has helped you develop self-confidence, then that is what you should be saying in the first paragraph; don't save it for later, get it out right away. Your topic has nothing to do with how quirky your coach is or the fact that you persevered despite his quirkiness. Although this might work for a later paragraph...

    Just a thought....and good luck to you!
  • PhatAlbertPhatAlbert Registered User Posts: 699 Member

    shyness is not generally a trait that colleges will want, please write something positive about yourself.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    Being shy will NOT cause colleges to reject you. A thoughtful essay about how you're using tennis to overcome shyness sounds like a good topic.

    Incidentally, most colleges don't count essays very highly in admission. The essays probably count the most for the very top colleges, which have such an overabundance of excellent applicants that essays can tip applicants in or out.

    Check the colleges common data sets that are posted at the top of either this board or the first CC board to find out how much weight that many individual colleges put on the essay.

    In general, public colleges put much less weight on essays than do private ones. Public colleges are more apt to make admission decisions by stats.
  • PhatAlbertPhatAlbert Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    No, it won't cause a college to reject you, but why up play that trait when you are sure to have other positive ones?
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    If tennis is helping the OP get over shyness, that is a positive trait: Having the guts to find a way to overcome what the OP considers a personality problem.
This discussion has been closed.