5 tips to write a unique personal statement
High school seniors are busy writing their personal statements for their college applications. In fact, most college applications are either due November 1 or December 1, so it’s important that students get this finished straightaway. One thing students find challenging year after year is how to write a unique and original personal statement. College admissions officers read thousands of personal statements every year so it’s important that an individual can display themselves as a unique contributing member of that academic community. Many students simply don’t know where to get started and that can make the college admissions process more stressful than ever. However, there are some things students can do to get started and get rid of that writer’s block and reach their college dreams – our Orange County college admissions consultants are here to help you get into your dream college.
1. Be real
It’s so important that a student is true to themselves when writing their statement and that they project who they truly are on the inside. What admissions officers want is to learn about the person who can contribute greatly to a diverse educational environment. One way students can do this is to sit down at their laptop or with a pencil and paper and just write about themselves. They can talk about what they love, what they don’t love, where they want to be in 10 years, what they do in their free time, and so on. They can then use this as a pre-writing exercise to help them with the specific prompt.
2. Fully answer the prompt
Many students will respond to a prompt in a very general way. This is a common reaction for students who are not comfortable writing about themselves. Unfortunately, when students don’t fully answer the specifics of the prompt, they prevent the reader from learning about them as a unique individual. Perhaps they volunteered at the same place as many of their classmates, but their takeaway from the situation might be very different. It’s important for writers to talk about what they learned, what went well as well as what went wrong – and how they were able to fix it – as they respond to the assignment (READ: 5 ways to streamline the college application process).
3. Admitting failure is okay
Many students refuse to write about something unless it had a fantastic ending. For example, perhaps they started a club at their school that only lasted a year and a half before they lost funding. Many high school students view this as a failure that they shouldn’t discuss with potential colleges. However, colleges want to know how students can respond to a setback. Every university student will experience a bump in the road at some point. One of the greatest things a student can talk about is how they responded to their setback and what they learned from it. Perhaps the student can discuss what they learned about the importance of fundraising, coordination and teamwork, and perseverance.
4. Proofread every single final draft
With deadlines pressing, many students want to write one cookie-cutter essay and simply change a few words to fit each university. This can be very tempting but is almost always a bad idea. Many students have accidentally left identifying information about one college on an essay that they sent to a different college. This dampens the student’s chances of success. It’s imperative that students proofread every single final draft that goes to a different university or, even better, ask a family member or educator to read their final draft and look for any errors or omissions.
More often than not, a university’s website and application materials will give some great insight into what they’re looking for in their student body. If students take the time to do plenty of research, they will discover what it is about them as a unique individual that fits with what the university is looking for. When students are applying to 10 or more universities, this level of research can become exhausting, but it’s one of the most integral parts of the college application process. If students are indeed becoming overwhelmed, they should enlist the help of family members or an educational consultant who can help complete some of the busywork.
Get into the college of your dreams with the help of our experienced Orange County admissions consultants. Our consultants have a 97% success rate!
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