Athletics and College Essays

Did you score a winning goal in a soccer game this past year? Did you touch out all of the other swimmers in the 200 butterfly at state championships? Did you run a great anchor leg of a 4 x 100 relay? If you did, congratulations! That’s wonderful. It’s a moment to definitely cherish forever. You can even tell your children and grandchildren about it. And maybe they can then pass it on to their children. But — whatever you do — don’t write about this experience in your college essays! Athletics and college essays just don’t mix.

Athletes and College Essays, Athletics and College Admission Essays, Athletics and University Admission Essays

Unless your times are faster than Michael Phelps (they aren’t), don’t write about athletics in your college essays. Seriously. Don’t do it (photo credit: Bryan Allison).

Want to know why? It’s because so many students — a huge percentage of college applicants — choose to write about athletics in college essays. If you’re writing about the same thing that virtually everyone else is writing about, how exactly do you intend to differentiate yourself from the pack of applicants? How do you hope to stand out? How do you intend for a college admissions counselor to go to bat for you if you’re just like everybody else? By writing about sports, you’re only making your case for admission more difficult.

So just as  you’re about to write about throwing for a touchdown in a league championship, think again. Don’t you dare write about that. It’s a major mistake, a mistake way too many college applicants make. Take a chance and dare to do something different. That’s the attitude that you need as you sit down to write your college essays. And college admissions counselors will be grateful to you for it. Do you think they really want to read another essay about sports? Not on your life!

While you’re here, check out this post on College Essay Mistakes.


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