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How do I write my hobbies effectively on Common App?


Hi! I am a rising senior of the Class of 2021, and college applications are coming up. My main question is how do I effectively write down a hobby on the Common App activities section? I have been in photography for a while now, and I absolutely love it. I have an instagram account (@picturesbyjuliann go check it out!) that I just recently started but I am taking other peoples pictures for $$, so it is like a side hustle and a passion project. A few of the pictures I have taken have ended up in the yearbook. I also am starting to enter photography competitions. I know that this is good to show that I have a passion outside of school, but I am not exactly sure how to word it. No title for the activities section of the Common App falls under the "passion/hobby" category, unless you count Art as that title. I am not sure how to word it to ensure that I can show that I just do not take pictures on my iPhone, but that I have a serious passion for photography through my Canon. Also, if you have any tips on how to strengthen this part of my application that would be awesome!

Thank you in advance!!! :)


2 answers

answered on

So I’m having trouble if it’s a buisness as a side project or if it is a hobby.

In case of a hobby for non art based majors as they require a portfolio you’d write about what you accomplished your expierence and if you are part of any club/organization the leadership you’ve shown. Assuming you are using the CommonApp and have only 150 charecters try to quantify it such as hired for x photoshoots or got x photos in yearbook/paper. No one really presumes photographers to actually have an iPhone so there is no direct need to say it. There are looking at pure accomplishments/accolades you have received.

Comment if you need clarification.

I am not going to an art school, but I am trying to convey that I have a passion for something non-school related and I used my own initiative to keep it going. It is a mixture of a hobby and a business on that instagram account. Not everything I shoot is business related, but some are.
Have you looked into being a photographer for the school newspaper? I’d focus on the more buisness side of it and quantify your achievements. But the hobby side say something like Amatuer Photographer i have a passion for photography and I do x y z. By doing this I have shown insert character traits For the hobby side if you are a photographer for the news paper say that
answered on

I think a huge part of this question rests on what you are majoring in.

I understand you want to show that you are well rounded and dedicated. I would focus on the accomplishments you got through this passion project. (How many people signed up with you, even lessons you've learned through this experience)

I apologize for not having a direct answer but I think asking the following questions about your topic will help you:

- How much time have I dedicated myself to this passion?

- How did I try to extend it beyond just a hobby?

- What lessons did I learn from this?

- Am I expanding/continuing on this passion in college?

(If you are tight on words pick keywords that you see popping up a lot in your answers- that's the strongest outcome of this passion)

Best of luck!