Summer is a perfect time for college-bound juniors to begin crafting their personal statements. A personal statement is required by many colleges, and is arguably the most important component of the application. Each school has a unique personal statement requirement, so it’s paramount you follow the directions perfectly. For example, if you do not adhere to the prescribed word limit, this would reflect poorly on your ability to follow directions in school, thus damaging your chance of acceptance.
We suggest following their instructions carefully and focusing on these two tips:
- Be yourself
This cannot be overemphasized as schools are looking for authenticity. This is your opportunity to tell about your passions and interests while setting yourself apart from other applicants. If you pretend to be someone you’re not, it usually comes through in your writing. Be honest. Explain why they should accept you and what you’ll contribute to the school.
- Show continuity
Admissions offices are looking closely at continuity between your personal statement and the profile you’ve been creating (intentionally or not) since the 9th grade. Your profile is the big picture of who you are, and the classes you take, the clubs to which you belong, the activities that interest you, define it. If your personal statement reveals a passion for the sciences, then your profile should show that you enrolled in science classes when you could and participated in science-oriented extracurricular activities. A lack of continuity is a red flag for admissions officers, so keep this concept of continuity in mind.
Lastly, remember that everyone loves a good story. Weaving a story into your statement is sure to get the attention of your reader – and that’s what you want.