Personal Statement Writing: The First Serious Challenge at School
High school students need to do a lot of writing during their school years. But while some of them do struggle a lot in the process, most of such writing assignments like control works, dictation or when you check your essay don’t affect their future much. The same cannot be said about personal statement writing.
Personal statement writing is probably the most serious challenge students face. It could maximize your chances of getting into your dream college - or ruin them completely. When it comes to comparing two students with similar test scores and academic achievements, a personal statement could be the only thing that differs them - and the thing the admission committee bases their final decision upon.
Knowing that it isn’t surprising that many students find personal statement writing not only a very responsible but also a very scary process. Here are some tips that could help overcome all the fear and write a great personal statement for college.
1. Approach this logically.
While anything you might feel about writing a personal statement is understandable, you still shouldn’t let your emotions rule the process. Instead of giving up to the fear, try to focus on logical aspects of writing.
Read the requirements. Do a bit of research about a college you’re applying to. Try to think about how you could tailor your personal statement to a certain college. Access your strong and weak sides and try being objective here as well.
2. Ask yourself questions.
While a personal statement should be personal, it also should clearly demonstrate your value to the admission committee. So besides trying to figure out how to present yourself better, ask yourself how you could benefit a certain college? Why should they accept you specifically? Why do you think you’ll fit in there?
Remember that while you’re interested in getting in, the colleges are also interested in recruiting new students. But you need to clearly demonstrate why they should recruit you.
3. Be careful.
If you check out the personal statement examples that could be found online, you’ll see that most of them look pretty much alike. That’s the reason to not use such examples as a rule - you could follow their structure or get some valuable insights from reading them, but you shouldn’t try to write a statement that resembles them. If you do, there’s a big chance you’ll end up submitting another paper that is full of cliches and doesn’t look appealing to the admission committee.
But this isn’t the only thing you should be careful enough. Don’t sell yourself short - but not lie to exaggerate your value either. If you do going to write about hard and sad things that happened in your life and shaped your personality, do so - but try not to sound like you want the admission committee to feel sorry for you.
The trickiest part of writing a personal statement is that you should present yourself well enough - but you shouldn’t exaggerate or look like you’re bragging. So try maintaining the right balance, be careful, finish early to have enough time to proofread - and you will succeed.