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09/08/2019

What does a personal statement for a college application need to consist of and how can I write a great statement?

QUESTION
What does a personal statement for a college application need to consist of and how can I write a great statement?
I have another year before I need to begin thinking about it, but I’m just curious. So many people say that you should just be yourself or just talk about your life story, but I don’t have an absolutely amazing life story, it’s interesting enough ,and I have interests and play baseball but I don’t know how to tie them into an essay. I don’t want to sound bland or uninteresting but at the same time I don’t want to brag or make my story seem super sad when it really isn’t. I also don’t want to talk about something that will seem cheesy or over the top

By the way, if helps you to know I am looking into Ivy League schools.

ANSWER
Well, for the Ivies, you’re going to need to appear special, unique, and different, so if you don’t have anything in your history or activities that qualifies, and that you can write about, you might want to revise your plans.

Your best bet might be to write about what you hope to do with your life and why. I realize you may not know yet — you don’t have to know — but for the purposes of an essay, you should try to come up with something– and it should be something quite interesting, perhaps something unusual.

I attended 2 Ivies myself, and the fact that I was rather different from the other people at my school applying to the Ivies was, I am certain, a major factor in my getting in. I wrote about having that experience on at least two of my applications. The others asked specific questions or made specific suggestions for the essays. I didn’t have a free hand to choose the topic.