Which activity should I use in my common app essay?

<p>Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below(1000 character maximum).</p>

<p>I've narrowed it down to 2 activities:</p>

<p>My participation in Mixed Martial Arts(MMA)
Or an Internship I am currently undergoing at a Private Equity Firm.</p>

<p>For my MMA I would talk about how it helped me develop as a person. How its a passion of mind that I have pursued and how it built me up mentally and phyisically as well as helped me understand myself when pushed to my limits. And how this seemingly individual sport helped me develop as a leader.</p>

<p>For the internship I would talk about how this internship is helping me understand my career goals of becoming an investment banker and Ill talk about the challenges and rejections I faced trying to get this internship coming from community college and how i overcame them.</p>

<p>Thanks in advance!!</p>


<p>Create an essay that shows the parallels of both and how one helped you succeed in the other.</p>

<p>It specifically asks to chose one so I'd refrain from mentioning both.</p>

<p>Reading both, it is obvious that you have benefitted more from the MMA and that there is much more to write about than the internship. Definitely do not talk about the challenges you faced to get the internship because that really has nothing to do with the internship itself and they ask you to explain the activity.</p>

<p>Expand on the MMA and I think you can get a great, passionate paragraph about it.</p>

It specifically asks to chose one so I'd refrain from mentioning both.

I disagree. It mentions one, and in talking about both you have addressed the prompt. No where does it say that you should "refrain" from mentioning more than one activity. USC is actually looking for students who are able to "think outside the box" and find new ways to approach challenges, problems, and even essays.</p>

<p>Finding new ways to address prompts to which 50,000+ students (freshman and transfers are all writing to this prompt) have responded is key in making your essay stand out.

Definitely do not talk about the challenges you faced


<p>And writing about how you faced and met a challenge is an excellent way to help a college get to know who you are. It will give USC a glimpse into how you might face/address the challenges in college. So DEFINITELY talk about the challenges.</p>

<p>The last thing you want is a carbon-copy "My favorite activity is..." essay. Do something that stands out.</p>

<p>Agree with Alamemom- USC wants to get to know YOU. Do everything you can to get that across.</p>

<p>Yeah alamemom is correct, especially in writing about the challenges you faced.</p>

<p>That's like writing about the challenges you faced to get into your undergrad school when applying for a grad school. Everyone had to face rejections, not just you. And no it does not quote my words of "refrain" but if it specifically indicates one activity then that is what it means. Thinking outside the box is finding a new way to express yourself and your passions for the activity, not going off topic and mentioning two activities when it asks for one.</p>

<p>The strongest essays mention the challenges that help us to grow because they show we are able to learn and adapt and also have the mental strength to handle when times are hard--just the sort of person who will be likely to thrive in a rigorous college. In addition, if OP is applying to Marshall, the admissions rep will highly value a student who managed to overcome this particular career-related obstacle. I would write about this and use the MMA as a reference to show where you learned to get so strong and powerful of mind and spirit.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>I agree with Mango. I initially had an essay about production assistant work and my internship at a visual effects studio, but I was informed that I should only write about one and elaborate on that one by my counselor and a few other people.</p>

<p>Lamestream, I don't think your example is the same thing--those sound like two cool experiences but pretty much the same type of work. </p>

<p>But these are not make or break decisions, guys. The only essay that is poor is one that sounds pretty generic. I've heard that talking about a (high cost) trip out of the country where the student found out that there are people poorer and needier in the world, or the time their sports team was behind and they came running on the field and saved the day, or the time they were injured/sick and couldn't play the big game, go on to perform the solo are the types of essays a lot of kids think sound good, but seem just too predictable to the adcoms. Essays that show you have taken initiative on your own (not a paid-for student trip/summer travel) and accomplished something meaningful to you personally are best. And the more you can write clearly and well about your own authentic feelings, the better!</p>

<p>My son who just was admitted and invited for a trustee interview, wrote about two very different things in that one essay: starting a business and a sport he does, and used parallels in them to describe things about his personality and drive. He never SAID those things, but let the essay TELL those things for him. It is always good in any essay to show, not tell. Let the story speak for itself.</p>

<p>I guess they liked it! :)</p>

<p>I think the idea is to let them see WHO you are and WHY you would be a good fit for the school. It sounds to me that for both of them you need to overcome challenges (physical and mental) become a leader, persevere etc... find a clever way to interweave them- and maybe end with a zinger of a good line. </p>

<p>Show it to people and see if they say: Wow! If not, rewrite until you get that reaction. Make sure it says "Wow" to YOU too.</p>