University of California at San Diego Admission Sample Essay on Hobby or Interest

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University of California at San Diego Application Essay Sample

Essay by Christopher Childers

Of the activities, interests, and experiences listed on the previous page, which is the most meaningful to you, and why?

My coach always tells me that there is some reason why we, as debaters, can take four weeks out of our summer vacation, away from our friends and our families, to enclose ourselves in lecture halls and cramped dorm rooms to learn the depths and intricacies of debate. He has never told me what this reason is, but now that I'm beginning my senior year and I have attended three of these camps, I think I finally understand why. Debate, by definition, is simply a discussion over opposing view points. So what makes it so interesting? What makes it meaningful? Simply, it acts as a forum and a gateway into realms of discussion you would never encounter otherwise. No other activity exists where individuals of any age, any ethnicity, any background, any height, weight, sex, or color can voice their opinions on an equal playing field.

Debate has also affected me in other ways; I can't tell you how many times I get in debates with my father over controversial topics such as abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, etc. These conversations, although intense and often times frustrating, allow me to understand the assumptions my father makes, and often they provide me insight into my father's adolescence. I can trace his beliefs back to their root causes, and this ability has allowed me to finally understand what makes my father tick. Being able to argue with somebody over opposing viewpoints allows you to create amazing relationships, whether they are

friendships or rivalries. I value my relationships inside the debate community as my strongest. Finally, I think debate emphasizes and improves the art of conversation; debate acts as a retreat from the daily discussions of, "Dude did you see my new Mercedes?" and, "Oh my gosh, did you see The O.C. last night?" and it expands our communication into deeper, more thought-provoking interactions. So when somebody asks me, "Why do you go to debate camp?" I simply smile, shrug my shoulders, and talk, until they can hear no more.

Christopher Childers attends the University of California at San Diego.

Essay Review

Why debate? funny you shouLd ask…

After devoting countless hours to the activity of their choice, many students come up blank when asked why they find it meaningful. Author Christopher Childers has no such problem. In no particular order, he tells us that debate a) gives him a better understanding of his father, b) helps him develop deeper friendships, c) allows him to have substantive discussions that he would never otherwise have had, and d) lets him compete on an even playing field with others from all walks of life. How many diving catches or game-winning home runs ever opened the door to all that?

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