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Reading My "Elaborate On An Extracurricular Activity" Essay || Vanderbilt, Brown, Harvard, Stanford

Reading My "Elaborate On An Extracurricular Activity" Essay || Vanderbilt, Brown, Harvard, Stanford



what's up YouTube I'm back today with a video on how to write the extracurriculars essay in college applications so I'm not really telling you how to write it but I'll be sharing my versions of the essay that's like expand on one of your extracurriculars I know this appears in several other applications so I'm wearing my Vanderbilt t-shirt today that I got from Edmunds students a and I'll be reading both my Vanderbilt essay which is an expanded version of the extracurriculars essay the Mac's word count is 400 words and also the shortened version that I sent in to Harvard Stanford and Brown which only required 150 words also a little bit of an announcement I'll be doing a joint livestream with some other class of 2020 tulok youtubers sometime very soon so if you have any questions you can ask them on that livestream and also comment them down below for the future alright so into my essays the first one I'm going to read is a Vanderbilt essay because so I thought it would be a good idea to show the full story the full extracurricular and that before shortening it down and adapting it to the other schools so for Vanderbilt as I said before it's a 400 word maximum and it's also the only supplement on the application you have scholarship essays that you're supposed to apply for later on but for the actual college supplement this is only thing that's going to be there so I wrote my extracurriculars essay partially on the research that I was able to help out with the summer before my senior year and my experience tutoring in a Learning Center and how that led to them so the prompt is please elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities I spent the summer before my junior year working as a tutor at eye-level Learning Center teaching elementary school kids reading reading and math I accepted the job with the intention of exploring educating us both the skill and a potential occupation but my time as a tutor ultimately led me to discover an interest in how people think reading and writing work too difficult to tutor since I spent most of my time in the preschool / kindergarten room my pupils were mainly reading sight words and copying letters the difficult subject lay with math I tried everything teaching and counting with pictograms explaining addition with goldfish crackers and practicing with flashcards but despite my efforts 2 + 2 slowly pulled 5 or 3 or 7 but never for the following summer excited to further explore the concept of math learning and joined a cognition assisting in projects involving math anxiety one of the experiments I ran involved modular arithmetic a concept simple in practice but unfamiliar to most participants after seeing data demonstrating that heightened math anxiety resulted in lower performance I realized that during my summer as a tutor focusing on creating a comfortable learning environment and encouraging my students would have been more effective than constantly revamping my teaching methods I now apply these techniques in my capacity as a freelance test prep tutor rather than teaching the proper ways to serve each question I analyze the emotional accuse my clients give off every aches exclamation of frustration I respond with reassure Minh I soon see both their accuracy and their confidence begin to rise in the future I intend to further explore the influence of emotions across age groups in the process of learning additionally just as linguistics is involved in persuasion I attempt to analyze and first effect of verbiage in calming students in reducing math anxiety my ultimate career goal is to facilitate the process of learning and spreading information and all this was inspired by my summer as a tutor so as you can see I didn't talk about just one extracurricular I talked about several that kind of tied in together and I think that was really important because it was able to show my motivations behind research and not just the research that I did and just to confirm the idea that the reason I went to a lab and helped out with experiments and was a research assistant for a summer was driven by intellectual curiosity not to check off a box on my resume and yes I did go against the prompt and yes I wrote less than 400 words I wrote 324 so almost 80 words below the word count so it's sometimes okay to not to not fill up the word count if you don't need to I felt that if I wrote any more than this it would just be redundant it would drag on and I was really happy with how this essay was as it is so yeah that vanderbilt essay was about the intersection between my motivations and teaching and research and I think that was really important because I was applying to the Vanderbilt Peabody School of Education and human development and that sounds weird because if you saw my why is my major video I applied as a cognitive science major pretty much everywhere or neuroscience and at Vanderbilt the cognitive Studies major is actually in the College of Education and human development and there's a lot of research that goes with education and the intersection and there's also a lot of collaboration with other departments within that College and also with the psychology departments also at Vanderbilt the Peabody College was actually a separate teacher school that was focused on education and was absorbed by the university later on in the seventies I think but what happened was they had two psychology departments one for Peabody College and one for Vanderbilt itself so what they decided to do was to move the Peabody's School of Education a psychology department more towards the educational side of things and Vanderbilt psychology with everything else but there is still a lot of collaboration within the two departments I made sure to include my tutoring experiences in this essay because I knew that Vanderbilt's research for that college were very focused on education so I want to show that I had a deep interest in this and it got me a full scholarship so I think that worked out fine when it came to my other schools like Harvard Stanford and Brown where I sent the shortened version of this essay I decided not to emphasize the tutoring as much my counselor actually suggested to just shorten it to a sentence or two and then talk about research for the rest of it but as you can see according to my other videos I did not get accepted into Harvard nor Stanford but I did get accepted into Brown so I'm just gonna say that this essay was definitely not the make-it-or-break-it for all of my colleges because clearly like if one essay can yield multiple results it wasn't as weighed highly by the admissions committee so here's a shortened version of extracurriculars essay the word count on this essay was capped out at 150 so I couldn't include basically half of my previous essay so here's a shortened version after spending a summer working as a tutor for elementary school-age students I decided to further explore the concept of learning and joined the cognition lab a sustained projects involving math anxiety one experiment involved mount modular arithmetic the concepts in bone practice bone familiarity Mo's after seeing that heightened anxiety resulted in less comprehension I realized creating a comfortable learning environment encouraging students was more effective than revamping teaching methods I now apply these techniques as a freelance test prep tutor every exclamation of frustration I respond with reassure Minh and result in both improve confidence and accuracy for my clients in the future I wanted to examine the influence of emotions our learning across age groups by analyzing the effect of verbiage and calming students and reducing stress my ultimate career goal is to facilitate spreading information through the study of linguistics and cognition so yeah I kind of tailored this essay more towards different research interests because I wasn't applying specifically to an education school for the rest of these colleges I was applying pretty much as cognitive science classics linguistics those were the three main majors that I'd applied to for all of these colleges also I tried to de-emphasize the tutoring experiences more because although I did have a lot of tutoring experience I didn't feel it was necessary if I wasn't applying to an education school to focus so heavily on that I had to recognize at the end of the day that this essay wasn't going to like ruin my chances if I didn't make it super good so again don't stress so much if you see these essays are like expand on it on a certain extracurricular unless they're the only supplement like for Vanderbilt they're not weighed too heavily I don't think so yeah just make sure if you're talking about an extracurricular to relate it a lot to you and what your interests are and why you're interested in those things what experience has allowed you to be interested in those extracurriculars don't just write about extracurricular because again like these essays need to be personal they need to only come from you and are distinctly you so I think these essays both Illustrated that they were both about experiences that only I had in a perspective that was shaped by them that was uniquely mine so it's kind of hard to be unique in these extracurricular essays because a lot of people when they're applying to super selective schools do the same thing but the perspective that you gain from the extracurriculars is unique to only you and if that can shine through your essays then it worked out fine so please don't stress too much about this but also remember that this essay is still very personal and should be distinctly personal to you alright so thanks for watching this video please like subscribe comment down below state below stay tuned for my first live stream and yeah you


Reader Comments

  1. Hey Josh, my school offers AP Calculus BC for seniors, but I'm not very strong in math, so I will only finish with AP Calculus AB. Will this hurt my college admissions chances? Will Ivy League and other top-ranked schools reject me for that?

  2. Hey,so my question may be a bit vague but can you make a video on "What sort of student each ivy school/top school is looking for in particular?" I know that the schools want people with variety of talents but there are certain aspects that make you more fit for the school, for example, Brown university want people interested in many subjects willing to take advantage of the open curriculum. I hope that my question is clear.

  3. It has been so helpful watching all of your videos as I start apply to college so THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! Seriously, I can not thank college youtubers like you enough. Regarding how to fill out employment on the CommonApp, I understand that you can put it in the activities section, but if you do that would it be wise to also submit a resume (I have seen that a lot of colleges allow for that). What are the pros/cons of uploading a resume? Would you recommend it? Also, PLEASE let us know about the date and time of the livestream- I would LOVE to tune in. Thank you so much, and keep up all the great work!!!!

  4. i’m sure your view count is thriving because many rising seniors have begun their college applications and want tips on how to fill them out… myself included lol, thanks so much for this video!

  5. Omg this could not have come at a more perfect time!! I’m working on my supplements and I keep avoiding the extracurricular essays because I’m stuck on how to write them. So thank you!!!

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