When applying to college, in my opinion, there is nothing more important than your personal statement. It is the moment where everyone gets a chance to hear you, unfiltered, and real. The personal statement is by far the most important moment of the application because it is what makes you a real person to the admissions associates. Up until this point, you are a stack of numbers and grades with no personality or distinguishing features. Below are three things that you should talk about in your personal statement to make an impression.
- Start with a Bang. Everyone says nothing important has ever happened to them or they don’t know what to write, but the truth of the matter is it is not what you write but how you write. Even if you want to talk about your favorite pasta dish and somehow connect it to your life that can work. For example, starting an essay with something like I watched as the pasta boiled over the cheese fell to the ground and the onions began to burn. I didn’t know why this was happening since the oven was off. Although this has nothing to do with college it can be a great way to pull the reader in because that’s what you want at the end of the day. You want to pull the reader in and make them see that you have a story to tell and are not just a number on a file.
- Explain any weird moments in your records. Where are you a perfect student until that one C- in AP Chemistry? This is the moment to talk about the grade, but don’t give them an excuse like I was sick on the day of the only test, but tell them what really happened. Tell them how you got a virus that caused you to miss a week of school and although you got that one “C-“ you are a better student now because of it. Never make an excuse or give an apology for something that you did in high school when it comes to clubs or grades, and make sure the admission committee know what you learned from the experience.
- Tell them about something you love. I don’t care if you love stamps, it is your passion, you’ve found a way to make a living from it, and they have a program that will help you get there, tell them about it. Nothing is worse than making something you love up, and or trying to say you love something because it looks good to others. If it is something you do and respectable than it shouldn’t matter if others think it is weird. Being different in an application can help you stand out, and no matter how odd it may be standing out is always good.
These three things by no means are all the things you should write about or how you should write, but they can help you make a difference in your essay. Don’t give up on it and always write something you are proud of, even if it is weird or dorky.