Karmanya Agarwal (UIUC '14) shares his Activities short answer writing experience

College essays are supposed to tell a story. Your story. That's the single thought almost every friend, relative and advisor hammers into you. Unfortunately, I had absolutely no idea what my story was. To make it worse, someone (*Cough Arjun Cough*) sent me a few essay samples which while meant to inspire, wound up having the opposite effect - leaving me so daunted, I considered dropping the entire exercise all together. Though the same someone did help me in the end, by encouraging me to write what crap I could and having the patience to go through it.

All things considered, I found the activities essay a lot harder than the personal statement - because of the brevity. I had a tough time making sure the essay kept a decent flow going. Every version I wrote out seemed disjointed somehow (and remained so, despite all the time Arjun and Prab spent trying to fix them). In fact, my final essay submission (Posted at the end) still seems more like a collection of independent sentences than a cohesive paragraph.

Today, despite having written this less than a year ago, I'm surprised any college accepted me after reading this essay, not only is it full of every platitude in the book, it reads a little insincere. Plus I wasted a large number of words talking about some other kid.

The President introduced the Computer club, "It's pronounced WarP, not Wrap". The two-year journey from winning to hosting our own Inter-School Competition was challenging. We had to convince our school board, arrange for sponsors, organize participation and manage logistics. This year, I have the privilege of being the President; we have changed, from members aiming for individual awards, to aiming for the Best Team Trophy with success, winning 7 consecutive trophies. To ensure the club thrives, we started seeking members from junior sections. They make enthusiastic passionate members. My most exciting discovery is Aditya in Grade 6, who learned C++ "just for fun". It blows me away that he is better than I am, despite a 5-year gap and exposure. I am exited to see what he will do with the club once he is leading it, as I hope he will. Bill Joy – watch out!