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09/04/2019

How do I write a personal statement essay?

QUESTION
How do I write a personal statement essay?
This is about college applications. I put this in the books/authors section in hopes that a writer would stumble upon this and help me through my misery. You know what it’s like. The daunting writer’s block / beginning a piece of work. So here it goes…

It’s the summer after my Junior year and, like most members of the class of 2012, I’m a little terrified about writing this personal statement essay. Usually due towards the end of this year to all the colleges I’ll be applying to. There are two colleges I’m seriously considering applying to: Sonoma State University and Harvard (Ha, I know. Kind of a big gap in terms of competition.). I’m feeling alright in the academic realm, but I’m psyching myself out with this personal statement essay. I feel like it has to be brilliant or something and it’s paralyzing me. I know how to write one. And if I buckled down, I’m sure I could conjure up something. But it’s the act of getting to write it. That intimidating blank canvas that is Microsoft Word.

If someone could please give me some words of wisdom / a really great guide to writing personal statements / ANY advice that you feel would do, a really terrified, perfectionistic, soon-to-be high school senior will love you forever.

ANSWER
Well, you seem to be a good writer from what I read in your description.
You have good basics like correct punctuation, capitalization, spelling.
You use some specific words to accurately describe what they’re saying: buckled, intimidating, blank canvas, paralyzing.
Those types of strong and descriptive words are always important in a personal statement.
This keeps your statement from being boring.

1. You must never write to impress the checker. They know if you’re trying to manipulate their emotions.

2. Clearly address everything in the topic. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s harder than it seems to smoothly explain what is required and show your own writing style and life at the same time.

3. Try to get involved with College Prep. It really saved my butt, and kept me on track with my personal statement.

4. You should make an outline to prepare yourself. Your personal statement has to be intense, full of vivid imagery and figures of speech, and be unique.

5. As I said, your personal statement has to be unique. It must stand out from the hundreds and hundreds of other personal statements. It should contain an unique aspect about you, and allow the checker to know you better. You must tell your own special story, a story no one else can tell.
For example: There was a male high school student who had Dance 1-2 as one of his classes. He disliked it, but he couldn’t get out of it. Dance ended up changing his life, and he wrote his personal statement on his first meeting with dance and his first show. Generally, dance that is not hip-hop or break dancing but classical dance; is considered a “girl-thing”. However, this person overcame that, and it’s unique that a guy would dance so he catches the checker’s eye. Remember: Tell the story only you can tell.

6. Extra words of wisdom: Don’t give up! It also helps if you have someone else reading your paper, preferably a English teacher, college prep teacher, etc. Personal statements should have guidelines, but it must be genuine and well…personal.

I wish you good luck!