Common Application Short Response

<p>Well my common application is just about finished. I'm applying Early Decision to Duke University and the application is due November 1st. The only thing I have left to do is write the Short Response. That, however, is where the problem lies. I can't think of any experiences to elaborate on. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. </p>

<p>Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below (150 words or fewer). </p>

Volunteer of my City
Work at Bob Evans
Mock Trial
National Honor Society
S.A.D.D. (Students Against Destructive Decisions)
Marching Band</p>

<p>First of all, let me ask you a question: can any of your activities - and the subsequent hours and hours you spent doing all of these things - be described in one phrase?
If you honestly think that you have nothing more to say about the volunteer work you did or your work experience or any of your ECs, then I can’t help you. But I don’t think that’s true. If you volunteered, what exactly did you do? Did you learn anything from it (other than oh my I have to help the world because so many people are so much worse off than me)? What kind of work did you do at Bob Evans? Were you ever promoted? If you were, why? Just go through each of your activities, and pick whichever means the most and elaborate on it. The “essay” doesn’t have to be a single experience where “Oh my gosh, I suddenly had this HUGE epiphany that changed my life!!” (because I honestly think that rarely rarely happens in real life and that it usually takes time to realize life lesson). It can just be about what you did.</p>

<p>Second of all, I think there are two way to approach this essay. 1. If you have something to add about one of your activities, describe the things you did (I started a tutoring program, I organized the school Ski Club, blah, blah, blah). This style is very straightforward - you have something to say, so say it. 2. You can try to write it more like an essay with more of a narrative style - as long as you still get some content across.</p>

<p>If you’re still having troubles, I can let you take a look at what I did (which is probably actually a piece of crap), which is used a narrative style while trying to fit some content in.</p>

<p>Obviously I’m not some admissions officer who has inside knowledge, but I’m just saying what makes sense to me.</p>