"Show passion"

<p>I've seen this term used a lot around CC, and I'm not exactly sure what it means. It's kind of vague...how are you supposed to "show passion", exactly, and what does it MEAN?</p>


<p>It means having an activity that you pursue for the pure joy of it, rather than for honors and resume entries, and having developed a high degree of skill and mastery from throwing yourself into it 100%. If you have a passion for something and have developed significant expertise in it, you should be able to make an appointment with a faculty member at a college in which you're interested, and leave that person eager to have a chance to teach you in the future.</p>

<p>It just means having a strong interest in something such that you take advantage of opportunities to explore those interests. For example, if you like chess, it means joining the school chess team or chess club, or maybe joining the city chess club. If you're interested in starting some kind of volunteer project for the homeless, you can try to coordinate it with some friends with the help of an adult advisor. You don't need passion to get into college. Not everyone has passion for what they like to do. I like to read, but I don't know if I have a 'passion' for reading; it's just something I enjoy doing when I have free time. And in high school there was no need to start a book club or anything. And I certainly didn't need to make any appointment with any faculty member at a college.</p>

<p>Passion is a buzzword in college admissions--a better word, I think, is interest. Because every high schooler should have some interest to explore. Colleges seem to like to see students who take advantage of opportunities to pursue their interests or try to make opportunities. They see it throughout your application--a strong interest in learning in your selection of classes and teacher recommendations, your extracurricular interests in the EC section. The personal essay can be about anything that reveals something about you--it doesn't need to reflect 'passion.'</p>

<p>passion should mean something that you do just because you love to do it...not because you can add it to your college resume.
If you really have no passions in life, then I am worried for you.</p>

<p>I would add that if you had a passion for chess (or anything else for that matter) and you were part of the chess team/club, passion might show if your volunteer work also had something to do with chess...perhaps teaching chess or organizing a chess club at a local elementary/middle school or the YMCA or Boys and Girls clubs. Maybe you even design and make chess sets that you sell to support your chess tournament expenses. That would show a big commitment to your activity.</p>

<p>I wouldn't equate a "passion" with interest. All HS students who engage in activities do so because they're interested. But in any particular activity, there may only be a few who are truly passionate about it. For example, DChow (above) said "I like to read, but I don't know if I have a 'passion' for reading." Well, my D2 has a passion for reading. What kinds of evidence might demonstrate that?:
- She's read 1,000 pages or more per week since age 8.
- Her recreational book list for the year preceding college apps had over 150 titles.
- She spoke to a number of various children's groups around our community and our state about the importance of reading.
- She fell in love with our local library's copy of "Les Miserables" when she was in middle school, carried it with her so consistently that it left a crease in her wrist for the better part of the year, then cried when she had to return it to the library and begged her parents to buy the library a new copy in return for giving them her beloved copy so that she could receive it for Christmas.</p>

<p>Yeah, that's what a "passion" looks like. :)</p>

<p>"All HS students who engage in activities do so because they're interested."</p>

<p>Unfortunately, that's not true. Many h.s. students participate in ECs to decorate their college apps or because their parents make them.</p>

<p>If you care really deeply about something, then you're passionate about it.
But I don't think engaging in certain activities to admirable extents is the only way to "show passion". Passion can come across in your writing, in the way you say something--like in a "Why X College" essay. If something means so much to you, it should be easy to talk about it because all your feeling is coming from your heart (yeah, I know it sounds cheesy). But when the emotion is that strongly expressed, people will be able to tell.</p>

<p>I agree with gadad, I don't think many high school students have truly found their passion. Something they're interested in, sure. But real passion? No way.</p>



<p>I think, unfortunately, this statement can be meaningless all too often, but the message is pretty clear and a good one, which is that you shouldn't do things wildly to please a college or something. I think in a sense, it is a mixed blessing that no one thing you do can guarantee you admission to any good school -- that includes getting good grades, and that includes being a star at an EC. So, do what you love is really a good advice.</p>

<p>However, sometimes a high school student may not have discovered his/her love deeply, and may not do so until college. I think this is OK, and you should be content with just being a good student, and developing as a human being. Don't force yourself to discover your passions, just be open, try not to be lazy, and I'm quite sure it'll come to you. I'm pretty sure quite a few high schoolers just haven't seen enough to know what they're passionate about, and that is okay!</p>



<p>Yeah, so to refer to my above post, I think this effort by college is admirable, but definitely doesn't cater to everyone. For instance, if someone is just really interested in an academic subject, more often than not, the someone needs to wait until college to really start discovering his/her true passion for it. I'll admit that I'm basing this on my personal experience. But I know not a few who feel the same. I can't emphasize this enough -- do not get frightened into frantically searching for something you can demonstrate consistency in doing. Most people regret this sort of thing after A) It doesn't even help them get into schools they want to, B) They genuinely felt they wasted their time.</p>

<p>my opinion is, focus more on grades and stuff. get the highest grades, take the highest course loads. get top notch test scores. without strong academics, you'll be far more at a disadvantage than if you didn't have a passionate essay.</p>

<p>Alright well this question seems pretty much covered. Great posts.</p>

<p>I'll just add another example.
If you truly embrace community service then you should:
Wake up every Saturday, to clean the sides of local roads.
Spend your Sundays, at your local orphanage palying with the children.
Propose your services to your local hospital when you get out of school early.
Travel to Kenya and/or Vietnam over your summer breaks (if you can financially, however many scholarships exist) and build schools.</p>

<p>And you've been doing this for the past 4 year of high school. That's passion.</p>

<p>If you're passionate about something, you'll realise how your extracurricular activities, essay and possibly courses will revolve around a single thing. :]</p>

<p>TJitm - I think that a true passion is something that enhances academic achievement as opposed to competing with it. If someone's demonstrating a genuine passion, they're probably challenging themselves with high goals, structuring their time to be able to devote the time to their passion that they feel it needs, and incorporating a commitment to quality as part of their lifestyle. We had a student in our state who was very close to a grandmother who developed breast cancer. She devoted herself to learning everything she could about the disease, decided that it was her goal to become an oncologist, and eventually won a Siemens award with a patent for a bra that performs its own breast exams. She wound up at Harvard, where nearly all of the applicants have top-level academic credentials - I would imagine that it was the pursuit of the passion that got her selected above the others.</p>