My essay topic includes sport. Is it too risky since sports are considered generic topics?

I discuss my experience switching over completely to cross country and track in high school due to natural talent after playing basketball all of middle school, and how initially I felt dejected because my school popularity dropped since distance running doesn’t hold the same social respect as basketball. But was able to eventually overcome these feelings through the memories and bonds created with my teammates. I talked about how I worked hard and other small mathematical techniques I studied to improve my race since I am majoring for engineering and wanted to show my care/attention to detail. In the end of my essay when we were not cheered as loud during pep rallies despite having the best season I didn’t really mind that most people didn’t care about the accomplishment since I was doing what I loved.

I put in symbolic pieces of paper throughout my essay based on a habit where I would list all my overly optimistic goals on loose pieces of paper pretty much every few days out of excitement for running but after realizing that running did not matter to others compared to basketball I stopped feeling the pride in my sport and stopped writing down my goals which eventually led to the only written goals being on old pieces of paper with dull faded graphite similar to my fading love for running. And once I was able to overcome this feeling I once again started writing down my goals consistently on pieces of paper signaling the new pride in my sport and ended it with how I already had my happiness when I was able to check mark the goals on my pieces of paper the night my team and I won a big race despite not being cheered for it at our pep rally a few days later.

Seems like your essay is not really about sports, but it is about your growth and maturation.

Hey! This is Lillian from Prompt.

Thanks for providing so much detail about your topic.

Extracurricular activities such as sports and music are challenging topics because a lot of students tend to write about them. Unless you’re a recruited athlete or applying to study music, we often find more compelling narratives across other perhaps more relevant experiences. Our philosophy for college essays as a whole is that they need to be proof that you’ll be successful at school and beyond.

Your essay could have potential but it’s a bit unclear what you want to show the admissions reader. If you’re intent on keeping this topic, we might want to focus on what you’ve learned from playing sports and how you’ve grown from it. It’s key to provide concrete examples of how you’ve grown off the playing field and applied this growth to others in your life, like academically, socially, and in other extracurriculars.