The hardest part about this prompt is deciding which activity you will write about. You could choose the one that takes up the most hours out of your day and is your biggest commitment on paper, or you could choose the activity you are most emotionally involved in — the one that has made the biggest impact on your personal development.
Although the former may be the first to come to mind, the latter almost always ends up being a more memorable essay. Sometimes these two descriptions apply to one activity, and that is fantastic, but sometimes it may take some deeper digging to find the activity that has actually most impacted you.
For example, let’s say you’ve played soccer for the past 6 years, but never really felt a passion for it. About a year ago you started volunteering at a local school for underprivileged kids, and you find yourself most looking forward to your time spent at the school each week. You will probably want to write about the volunteer work. If you reverse it and do a lot of volunteer work, but you find that the team environment of your sports team has made a huge impact on how you collaborate with others, you should write about sports.
Once you have decided which activity you will write about, you need to focus on proper execution of the essay. If the activity is widely known (e.g., Model UN, Speech and Debate), do not spend too much time introducing the activity before jumping into your personal involvement and connection. If the activity is not well known by outsiders, you may want to spend a few sentences discussing the activity before transitioning to its significance. Further, if the activity is something completely unique, you can take this as an opportunity to dive into more detail than you can on the small space given in the extracurricular section.
No matter what, don’t forget the most important rule for any essay: directly responding to the prompt! This prompt asks for you to “discuss the significance to you” of one of your activities, so don’t skimp out on the personal piece.
You can read more about how to answer this type of question in our guide on How to Write “Most Important Extracurricular” Essays.
Significance of Most-Involved Extracurricular Activity
Brieﬂy (approximately one-half page) discuss the signiﬁcance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved.
If you’ve been following CollegeVine’s blog regularly, you’ll quickly recognize this prompt as the “What is your most important extracurricular activity?” essay. Accordingly, there are two ways to approach the content of this portion.
The first strategy is to write about your most important extracurricular activity, regardless of how “common” it is perceived to be. You will want to emphasize the details of your participation as well as exactly how the activity has changed you. Discussing the impact of the activity on your life will be absolutely crucial, since it is the main way for your essay to be distinguished from other applicants’ (for example, “swimming” on its own wouldn’t be very unique, but how you turned your school’s team from a 3-man squad into a 80-person co-ed program is very impressive). Details here are key.
The second way to approach the prompt is to write about a unique extracurricular activity that needs more explaining — one that would be hard to fully understand without further elaboration. For example, while every admissions officer probably knows what “Model UN” is, not everyone who reads your application will know what your self-started charity Is — especially if on the extracurricular section, you refer to it by an ambiguous title, “Happy River Toys.”
Clearly, with so few characters available in the EC section, it’ll be difficult to fully encapsulate what “Happy River Toys” is, so using this essay space to elaborate will be particularly helpful for you.
Essay Which Best Describes You
All Applicants: As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.
This essay prompt is similar to various other school’s supplements (like Harvard’s) in that it is completely open-ended. The best strategy here (for sake of time and effort) might be to reuse your Common App essay. Visit our Common App post for more ideas.
Prompts Focusing on Specific Schools
The remaining essay prompts are separate for each particular school within Georgetown — students only need to write essays for the school they apply to. The first three essays have similar prompts so we will address them together.
Applicants to the McDonough School of Business: Discuss the factors that have inﬂuenced your interest in studying business.
Applicants to the School of Nursing and Health Studies: Describe the factors that have inﬂuenced your interest in studying health care. Please speciﬁcally address your intended major (Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, International Health, or Nursing).
Applicants to Georgetown College: Please relate your interest in studying at Georgetown University to your goals. How do these thoughts relate to your chosen course of study? (If you are applying to major in the FLL or in a Science, please speciﬁcally address those interests.)
Ultimately, these prompts are asking the same thing. Essentially, you are tasked with writing “Why X Major?/Why Georgetown’s X Program?” essays. Thus, be sure to mention why you are planning on studying what you indicated — was it a past experience when you were little? Maybe you participated in an internship during your junior year summer? Or maybe your favorite class in high school was related to that subject?
Then, you’ll want to write about why Georgetown’s program is particularly suited to you — maybe it’s because of Professor X’s research? Or maybe it’s the small size of Y program, allowing you to get as much individual research attention as possible? Regardless, the key is to strike the fine balance of including details about your past experiences, current interests, and future goals.
Applicants to the Walsh School of Foreign Service: Brieﬂy discuss a current global issue, indicating why you consider it important and what you suggest should be done to deal with it.
While the first three school-specific prompts were quite similar, the essay for the Walsh School of Foreign Service is slightly different. Here, you will want to adopt an academic approach to your essay.
Whichever global issue you choose, you should make sure to choose one that matters to you and is somewhat unique, in the sense that not everyone could write about it. Feel free to do research on your issue to corroborate your arguments. The point of this essay for the adcoms is so that they can evaluate your ability to think critically in a global context, as well as examine exactly to what degree you are interested in international affairs.
Hopefully with these tips, you will feel more confident about Georgetown’s individual application. If you would like more individualized help, CollegeVine’s highly trained essay consultants from the nation’s top schools can help ensure your Georgetown application is the strongest it can be. Best of luck in getting to Washington D.C.!