Warnings about essays on the big game from the director of admissions of Lawrence University…There are just some types of essays that make admission officers groan. Sometimes these essays are so unoriginal that the admission officers can almost predict their contents. Or, they are so common that literally dozens of students write about the same thing.
For Michael Thorp, director of admissions at Lawrence University, the essay he dislikes is usually about THE BIG GAME or a memorable athletic victory. “It always makes me nervous when young men write about the big game. The big game essays are almost always how they stuck it out and won in the end. I understand that football or any other sport can be very important. But I don’t want to read another essay about how their team was down in the last quarter and they gritted their teeth and won," he confides.
He adds, “The message from these kinds of essays is…I’m a tough guy, I gritted it out and that’s why I should be admitted. That does not tell me much about the person at all."
There is nothing wrong with writing about sports. In fact, Thorp would love to read an essay about football. But, he says he would prefer to read “how the sport altered your personality or some insight into the metaphysical life on the gridiron. Please, write about sports but just don’t send in another essay about how you won the big game!"