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sangoman, I'm using my Berkeley and UCLA optional essays to talk about my community service, but that's an important part of my application that none of the other essays address. If you have done a lot of community service over the past few years, then I would write an optional essay to add that extra dimension to your application. If the community service isn't significant, I wouldn't write an extra essay to talk about it.
So its not a good idea to use the additional essay to showcase whatever lil community service I have done??
I echo kryzak's sentiments. If you find space anywhere else in your application where u can include community service go for it.
Else as an optional essay, you can write it, but I think that essay will sound too fluffy.
I mean can you write a 500-1000 word essay on your community service. Unless you work in social services or were a NGO, it would be hard to talk about it without putting in filler. you are saying you have lil community service.
You want to use that in ur package to show some diversity. The idea is good but it can backfire if you dont have enough material.
I would recommend not to use the essay unless the community service was very very important and significant.
A couple of extra comments:
- Extracurricular does not equal community service, so don't look for community service into your story if it isn't there.
- Only use the extra essay following the instructions. Don't just write stuff you couldn't fit elsewhere into the extra essay just because. Make sure to distinguish between a "is there anything else you'd like us to know?" question and the traditional extra essay where you would explain any felonies, really bad grades or how there's not place for your grad transcript elsewhere in the app.
thanks guys - you are right - I dont have 1000 words worth of comm service - its just that it relates to me in a unique way. Guess I'll leave talking abt it for the interview (big man upstairs willing)