deianra please do not consider what I have said "an attack" because I certainly do not intend it in that way at all. I agree that the mini list you highlighted would probably be fulfilled by most oxbridge candidates anyway, however If I am being honest I don't think that you are the average candidate. I do not mean this as a criticism at all, because it most certainly isn't, but if you did all the things on your list, and entered essay writing comps and won them etc. etc. etc. that you are probably not a 'typical' candidate. Therefore while these things may be perfect for you because thats who you really are, and therfore by highlighting them in your application you would not be being at all false, but had I suddently starting doing essay comps and writing journals and (shock horror) asking for more work in AS and A2 from my teachers I wouldn't have been being true to myself, because thats just not who I am.
Therefore, I think that for oxbridge especially those kind of extra activities (although I agree some are just simply common sense) might make a candidate appear false because they are trying to be someone they are not just to get a place at Oxbridge. For you it was fine, because it is who you are, for me I would have been lying through my teeth.