Hurricane’s over, Nor’easter is almost forgotten, college application deadlines are fast approaching – what are you waiting for? Many seniors have not yet started, let alone submitted, their college applications. I know that it is difficult to fill in the applications; especially the personal statement. Even if you are not looking for Early Decision or Early Action, it is important that college applications be filed as early as possible. Many students have already been accepted to colleges.
College admissions representatives read about 100 to 1000 applications a week. It is better to have an application read earlier rather than later because the schools are trying to fill their freshman class as soon as possible. Procrastination in a student is not an admirable trait.
Since many students put off filing their applications because they have trouble writing the personal statement, I have included some tips to make that process less bothersome. When writing the essay, make it all about you. This is the first time you are encouraged to boast about yourself. Write about an experience or a vacation, a memorable occasion, a feeling.
There are but a few topics that are off limits. Try to avoid writing something that is too graphic or too technical. Do write something that incorporates a passion you have and what it does or means to you: sports, food, music, art, etc.
- If you are an athlete, stay away from stories about how you are the most important member of your athletic team; rather, speak about a sporting event that was particularly important to you. For example, as a baseball player, think about being up at bat, two outs, tying run on second base, write down the thoughts that go through your head.
- If you cook, write about your favorite recipe and how it makes you feel to prepare it. If you like to eat, write about your favorite food, what the aroma does to you, the memories that are conjured up when you taste it. How you feel when it is all gone.
- If you are a musician or artist, explain your favorite piece and express how it affects you.
- If you play video games, write about why and how you feel when you play it.
- If you like to read books, if you like to listen to music, if you like to eat outdoors, if you like to sleep – write about what you feel when you do these things and why you like to do them. Write about a person, place, thing that inspired you, but write about your feelings, your responses, your reactions.
- Create a journal entry about your day or a special day you had and why that day was special to you.
No matter the subject of your personal statement, when you are finished, read it out loud to yourself. Ask someone with good grammar skills to proofread it, as well. Make certain that it is organized and there are no typographical errors.