What's Your Story?

This is the first of a 2-part blog post geared towards helping seniors craft the perfect personal statement.

 

It’s finally time to tackle the daunting task of writing your personal statement. Counselors have emphasized the importance of this essay for months and you’ve finally committed to getting started. Here’s how it’s going:

“                                                                                                        ”
… Great. 

There’s no denying that writing an eloquent, comprehensive, enlightening, introspective, and enthralling personal statement is a tall order. How do you even get started? Everything you put on the page seems as rudimentary as “I want to go to college because…” So what’s the secret to crafting a great personal statement? Know your story.

To be clear, admissions counselors don’t need an hour-by-hour account of your daily schedule. And don’t bother recapping all the successes you’ve had in your high school career (that’s already in your application). Instead, think about this: Why are you sitting there—in front of your computer—stressing out over 650 stupid words that seem to be withholding you from a magnificent future?

It’s because you, at some point, understood that a college education will add incredible value to your life. More importantly, you made the decision to commit to this path, no matter what challenges may hinder you. This journey has influenced you into becoming the scholar and citizen you are today. Now share that pursuit in your statement.

Show, don’t tell—it’s a common piece of advice given when talking about personal statements. But there’s more to it than that. You need to guide your audience through the experiences that helped shape you as a person. After reading your statement, admissions counselors should believe in your ability to succeed in any situation. Your personal statement must reflect on the growth you’ve made thus far as a young adult as well as highlight the potential you have as a collegiate academic. Every college-bound student has these two features; it’s time to accentuate yours. 

 

Stay tuned for our next post which will provide useful techniques and elements to incorporate into your personal statement.