Common Application

Daniel Wey

Prompt: Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers, including any jobs you have held. (250 words maximum)

 

Essay:

I love summer for its opportunities to explore interests in potential careers and pursue activities and hobbies I can’t enjoy during the school year.

With the Freelance Ensemble Artists Orchestra, I played several concert seasons alongside professional musicians, furthering my passion for orchestral playing.

Under the Liberty Science Center’s Partners in Science program, which pairs ambitious STEM students with research mentors in various fields, I conducted materials research at New Jersey City University. Exploring my interest in chemistry, I grew organic single-crystals and fabricated transistor devices to study the electrical properties of selected organic semiconductors. At the summer’s end, I presented my work before an auditorium of professors, parents, and like-minded students.

On sunny weekends, my friends and I occasionally shot hoops at the local courts. When everyone was available, I rehearsed with my quartet, preparing new repertoire for the upcoming school year. I often reserved the evenings for a light run, taking time to enjoy the summer season. During daily practice sessions, I learned several cello showpieces not for an audition or performance but rather just for my own enjoyment.

In the household, I helped my dad in the kitchen and on the grill, even attempting a few culinary experiments of my own. Weekly airings of America’s Got Talent after dinner always brought the whole family together, even though we often rooted for different acts. During these summers, the family embarked on college visits together, viewing the road trips as well-deserved vacations during the busy yet eventful summer seasons.

 

Tips for Writing:

My response to this essay prompt did not focus on one central idea but rather included the myriad of activities I enjoyed throughout my summers in high school. Many students will have also conducted scientific research, attended pre-college programs, complete service projects, etc. If your favorite summer activity isn’t hands-down more interesting, more impressive, and more unique than those of other competitive applicants, it may be best to capture the variety of your summer in the given word count. Mentioning not only your formal activities but also the small things that make summertime enjoyable for you can add a warm and personal dimension to your college application.