Common App Activities Section

So, when filling out the activities section on the Common App, would it be appropriate to list robotics 4 times for build/competition season, pre-season, offseason, and volunteer work for community outreach, or is that just way overkill?


I honestly completely forget the specifics of what I put on the common app. I think I put an entry for leadership on both of my teams at the time and maybe another time in volunteering, but putting all build, preseason, etc may be slightly overkill.

I’m fairly certain I put robotics down just once.

I couldn’t remember what I did but thankfully I never delete anything. I listed robotics once as a student of FIRST Robotics Competition and then I wrote my other robotics activities (such as volunteering, mentoring FLL, etc.) as their own item.

My advice in general is the same thing for robotics as it is for everything else. Keep the activities section clear and concise. If the activity is a significant enough part of your life, expand on it in detail in an essay. If anyone is applying to college soon and wants to talk about writing a unique essay about robotics, feel free to DM me and I’d be happy to share some ideas I’ve used. Between different applications, I probably wrote 3 or 4 different essays about robotics. And none of them were “typical” narratives, in my opinion.

Honestly, I’d say that you should stick to just putting it once. doing this gets into the nitty gritty details that a college doesn’t need to know and could make it more confusing. (whats build season? offseason?). I’d just use that 150 words to best describe yourself your role on the team, how it has impacted you, etc. While there might be an argument that this shows your commitment to robotics, I’d say that that will show no matter what in the hours you put down. and I think just like @jaredhk said, you can still expand on this with your college essay, but just make sure that your essay is unique and memorable. saying that you participate in robotics alone won’t make you stand out.


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