Should I include 1 year of a varsity sport on Common App?
During my freshman year I tried out for the bowling team with my friend for fun. At my school, we only have a varsity team for bowling since the team is so small. I only participated for my freshman year so should I even bother including it on my Common App? Will colleges see it as a way that I branched out as a freshman or as a non-commitment?
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If you have other better ECs to put down on the common app, I would include those before typing in 1 year of bowling during 9th grade. This EC will not help you much since bowling is more of a social thing than a difficult team sport like lacrosse, football, basketball, or track. There are no recruiting opportunities with bowling and you don't exert much physical activity participating in it. Now if you played Club Soccer for 10 years and then decided to try Bouldering/Rock Climbing, that would be "branching off". I don't think any admissions officer would seriously think that bowling is challenging yourself by branching off into anything requiring you to test your athletic ability and strength. Even playing on the Ultimate Frisbee Team requires more effort. I don't know if you have a pre-existing health condition that prevents you from participating in more traditional sports so forgive me if what I wrote doesn't apply to you.
definitely add it in, when you describe it use the same info as you just put.
I think it depends on how much you care about the activity and its significance to you. If you're a big sports or games person and that's your spike/niche, then this could potentially be a good way to show you exploring and being skilled at different things. If it's just something you tried and was fun but isn't particularly meaningful to you, then you don't have to include it just because it's a varsity sport.
It might also depend on how much other activities you have to list on your Common App. If your list is already packed with great activities that are impressive and meaningful, then don't sweat leaving it out. If your list is looking a little thin or dry and you want to throw something interesting in there (bowling isn't the most common sport, so it's at least one interesting bit), then you could include it as well.
It's a personal choice about how you want to present yourself. I don't think colleges will hold it against you for leaving that activity after freshman year since lots of people try things in freshman year, and it probably won't make or break your application. Just think about how it fits into your story and what you think it says about you (and make sure to convey that so that colleges get the same message that you want to tell them), then make that personal decision.
Hope this helped!
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