Write-on Wednesdays: the 'extracurricular essay'

Recorded Wednesday, June 2 at 09:00 PM

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About this livestream


Join Elias for a breakdown of essay prompts about extracurricular activities, including: what admissions officers are looking for, how to research school-specific info, and general tips for writing. He'll also go through an example of an essay or two on-air so you can see how admissions officers would critique this kind of essay.

Elias will also open up the floor for a Q&A session to answer any questions you may have about community service essays.

Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into CommonApp.org in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
14:41@goldenretriever1:Is it okay not to take AP exams for ap classes i took
15:37@saruhhh:This is an unrelated question, but I'm signed up for the June ACT because my parents want me to aim for a 36 (ugh lol) but I already have 35.. Could you reassure me that I don't need to take it again?
17:44@awesomeman:If you have a extracurricular passion that doesn't relate to your desired profession is that okay o talk about in your essay? Or do you have to make a connection between them?
19:15@goldenretriever1:thx so much for responding to my AP questions. quick follow up. so if i didnt get to take AP exams this year, can i still take them next year ? im going to be a senior :)
27:24@Collegeplan:Do colleges that have supplemental essays also consider the common app essay or focus on their school essays only
28:01@nicolehattonn:what if I don't know what to major in but I'm still doing extracurriculars i genuinely enjoy? ik that ppl say to have a theme and stuff
30:24@saruhhh:Seeing that you are a musician, I'm assuming you submitted a portfolio to your schools of interest. Did you write about your musical passion in your extracurricular essay, or did you let your portfolio speak for itself? I want to submit an art portfolio, so what would you suggest for students who will have that extra portion of their application?
37:06@the1:What are some extracurricular someone who wants to pursue aerospace engineering major pursue?
38:38@nicolehattonn:what if i don't know what to major in but am still just doing extracurriculars i enjoy? ik ppl say to have a theme and do activities related to your major
38:42@nicolehattonn:which essay is the most important
39:12@goldenretriever1:would u be able to listen to my voice portfolio before i submit?
40:07@nicolehattonn:what if i have too many extracurriculars but i actually enjoy them like not just doing it for college apps
44:52@saruhhh:lagging but we can hear you fine
44:54@nicolehattonn:you're not laggy for me
44:56@nicolehattonn:i can see you
45:51@futurecollegestudent:its good
49:46@futurecollegestudent:Maybe other tabs are slowing the fps
49:48@nicolehattonn:you're working fine for me
49:50@futurecollegestudent:Don't worry audio is still clear
53:33@goldenretriever1:for 50 word essays i can only go straight to point right?
54:01@nicolehattonn:if i stopped doing an extracurricular, should i not include it
54:50@futurecollegestudent:When should we start writing essays?
57:16@futurecollegestudent:Do essays change often on the common app?
57:33@nicolehattonn:what should we do over the summer
58:08@futurecollegestudent:What was your favorite EC?
61:37@Collegeplan:Is there someone on your team who reviews essays 1:1
64:02@goldenretriever1:how to perform at music festivals? is it invite only
65:40@Cali:Can you write down ASPEN music festival?
66:34@goldenretriever1:do you happen to know any festivals that focus on vocal performances?
68:08@futurecollegestudent:Were multiple people accepted into Harvard from your school? Or were you the only one?
69:41@goldenretriever1:how was Tufts like?
73:45@Collegeplan:Thank you !
73:47@saruhhh:Are you studying abroad right now?
74:47@goldenretriever1:haha.. appreciate sharing your experiences.. i heard Harvard juniors teach a lot of freshman
77:33@nicolehattonn:how should we go about the community service essay? (sorry if you already answered my connection cut out but im back)
78:25@futurecollegestudent:Thank you!😁😁😁


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