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A statement from Sunday Times, The Hindu “According to a recent study, students involved in extra-curricular activities are more likely to become leaders and good team players”. This can be understood in the pattern ofuniversities taking Extra-curricular activities as a prime factor of consideration while admitting students by universities. Many ECA and sports activities teach team spirit, hard work and working collectively. The attributes gained through experience in these activities cannot be substituted by any form of textual knowledge.
These days dozens of students do apply to prestigious universities across the globe. In their application form along witha statement of purpose (SOP) they also need to submit academic record as well as highlight extra-curricular activities. This along with test scores, plays an equally important role in their selection. Also, scholarships are offered to those students who excel in fields such as sports, arts etc.by certain universities.
Focusing majorly on leadership qualities can be a key factor to make your co-curricular activities stand out within the limited space of the application form. Bragging a little has no harm. Also, students who have been pro-active members of organisationsall through, instead of just being a partonly, also fall into the preferences ofuniversities. You need to put emphasis on your contributions and the responsibilities you undertook during that period.
You might have acquired skills in several activities during college, such as music, theatre,sports and dancing. So try and recall the activities you have been involved in. Any involvement in such activities at a notable level and with evidence should be elaborated. Your work in an NGO as a dynamic member or performing with a theatre group adds immensely to your credentials. Social work, Voluntary work and Community engagement are also someaspects highly valued by universities and their record should definitely be included in the admission essay. You must go on mentioning that what all did you learn through your involvement and how did it help you evolve as a person.
However, only listing down these activities and your experience is neither effective nor sufficient. These elements need to be weaved into a story and narrated as a life experience or else, the reader will lose interest in the piece.It is important to pre-determine the way you will go about narrating, so that the essay is narrated in a flow. One of the commonly used way is to go about chronologically.
Although they are important, extra-curricular activities should not occupy the limelight in the admission essay unless your application seeks scholarship through sports or ECA. Even in case of extra-ordinary achievements in ECA, the main motive of the essay should still be to seek admission in an academic course. The academic involvement in prior studies should form the central message of the essay.
Thus, it is important to understand that inspite of being given importance in selection parameters, extra-curricular activities should occupy only a minor segment of an admission essay. Thus, it is required to explain your involvements in a condensed form without missing on any important inclusion.