What if You Really, Really Want to Use this Topic?
If you feel like it’s imperative to highlight your sports injury in your essay, you MUST be creative! Using a topic that’s a bit of a cliché is a huge risk, so you’d better make sure you have something unique to say about it. You also need to be specific. An essay about a general-sounding situation filled with platitudes about life lessons you’ve learned won’t be compelling.
You’re more likely to stand out if your situation is unusual in some way. For instance, if you play a lesser-known or less popular sport such as fencing, you have a better chance of standing out. You may also have a unique spin if you were truly a world-class competitor—we’re talking national teams or Olympic-level here.
Make sure your personality really comes through, and make your essay as personal as possible. Incorporate other topics that are important to you and show who you truly are. For instance, you might discuss how the sport you played is a significant part of your family or cultural history, or how a person you met while playing that sport is important to you.
Your essay must be thoughtful, and you’ll need to demonstrate a deeper interpretation of what this injury meant to you and your life. Don’t just make it a play-by-play account of what happened.
You should also avoid topics that are too controversial. For example, don’t use your injury to wax poetic on your political position, and leave out excessively graphic or gory descriptions of your injury. In other words, don’t make the admissions committee cringe. (That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be descriptive, though!) Also avoid playing the blame game. If you think your injury was someone else’s fault, such as a player on the opposing team, your essay is not a place to point fingers. If you do, you’ll risk coming off as immature and unwilling to accept responsibility for yourself.
Your essay should fit in with the overall picture you paint with your application; colleges want to see a cohesive representation of you and your passions, rather than a disparate jumble of facts. As always, you should demonstrate strong skills in written communication. Proofread, check for typos, ask others to read your essay, and otherwise take time to perfect it well before you hit submit.
For More Information
Your essay is an important piece of your college application. It’s a place where you can really convey your personality and passions to admissions committees. Make at as unique as possible, so you can really stand out. Even if you’re not a natural writer, there are still ways to craft a stellar essay. For more help, check out the posts below.
How to Develop a Personalized Metaphor for Your Applications
How to Come Up With an Idea for a Personal Statement
Where to Begin? 3 Personal Essay Brainstorming Exercises
What If I Don’t Have Anything Interesting To Write About In My College Essay?
How to Get the Perfect Hook for Your College Essay
Looking for help with your college applications? Check out our College Application Guidance Program. When you sign up for our program, we carefully pair you with the perfect admissions specialist based on your current academic and extracurricular profile and the schools in which you’re interested. Your personal specialist will help you with branding, essays, and interviews, and provide you with support and guidance in all other aspects of the application process.
I step up to the starting line-palms sweating, heart racing. Three short blasts of a whistle followed by one long blast and the trembling commences. After three nerve-wracking seconds, the gun goes off.
I am perfectly content when I set foot on the track. The track is where I realized that my capabilities as a human being are boundless. Track, being an outdoor sport, forces me to endure a myriad of temperatures and conditions. Some days, the air is unbelievably hot and humid and surviving practice feels like an unattainable goal. Other days its coolness strips my esophagus raw. Some days, it downpours and the vicious winds push me out of my lane. Thanks to Ohio’s unpredictable temperament, rain, snow flurries, and heat waves can occur within one practice. If I learned anything from practicing under these unpleasant conditions, it is that no matter how gruesome the weather or how arduous the workout, these obstacles can be overcome. This newfangled knowledge that I can beat all this world has to throw at me engineered a mental toughness within me and ignited a burning ambition for fearlessly tackling hardships encountered on a daily basis.
The laps that I run around the track are not just a form of aerobic exercise; they are my therapy. With each stride the world around me vanishes; the one hundred point test tomorrow does not exist, the eight hour shift that I have to work this weekend is not real, and for once I do not have a list of errands to complete. The cool, spring air is intensified by a layer of sweat that covers my body, and heavy panting and the rhythmic thud of my footsteps drown out the nearby traffic. My first encounter with the track occurred at the age of fourteen. Insecure and shy, I said very little to the other girls, but luckily my talent spoke for me. As the competition season progressed, I became more aware and proud of what my body was capable of accomplishing. This realization was accompanied by a budding confidence, and for the first time in my adolescent life I felt significant.
The four years that I spent on the track were pivotal in the creation of the person that I wanted to be and have become. My ability to persevere through tough workouts revealed a strength that I was unaware I possessed: determination. The confidence I gained from improving my times aided in the creation of friendships, but most importantly, I discovered a technique for assuaging life’s woeful moments. The track is not just a four hundred meter circle to me; it is the place that prompted my transition from an insecure fourteen year old girl to a strong, ambitious, and confident young woman.
Smith, Kyonne. "It's Not Just A Sport" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 12 Dec. 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2018. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/common-app/its-not-just-a-sport/>.