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3 Tips to Your Best Personal Statement

It’s that time of year again! Most seniors are in the trenches working on their personal statements. I’ve often shared how I believe my essay made all the difference in my acceptances. The only school that didn’t get my essay that I had spent months crafting was Princeton, and that’s the only school I didn’t get into. Coincidence? I doubt it.

So I wanted to share with everyone my three best tips that I incorporate when helping my students create their best personal statements. This is great for parents to help their students, for seniors in the midst of writing, and younger students to start thinking through this process.

1. Invest in Brainstorming

The personal statement is a critical part of your college application. Don’t plan to throw it together in a weekend! That’s what I did with my Princeton short answers, and we all know how that turned out. I don’t want that for you! Spend time thinking through what stories you have that really showcase your interests and personality. What stories do you have that show you overcoming a challenge or failure? Be sure to set aside a few days at least to brainstorm stories for all your essays.

Investing the time to brainstorm can really help you in developing your best possible essay. It can also give you a lot of different ideas. If you go down the path of writing an essay and it just isn’t working, you have a whole list of other ideas.

2. Be Vulnerable

The essay is the best chance to share something totally different and very personal about yourself. Bringing vulnerability to the essay can turn an OK essay into something really special. This turns your application from numbers and facts to a personal story that admissions readers can remember and connect with.

Sometimes being vulnerable can be really scary, but it’s worth it. Try it out. If you don’t like how the essay turns out or you’re afraid of TMI, have someone give it a read and give you their thoughts on it. Be sure to get a few opinions before you decide to get rid of all the vulnerability in your essay.

3. Get Help

With so much riding on this one essay, it’s really important to get all the help you need. I wrote my college essay in my senior English class. We employed peer editing, which I am a huge fan of. Plus, my teacher reviewed and graded my essay. This process really helped produce the best possible personal statement for me.

Parents, counselors, friends, and teachers can all help in the brainstorming and editing processes. If you can work with a college admissions coach one-on-one for your essays, this can really be a game changer in helping you or your student create the best possible essay. See what works best for your student and family. Take advantage of all the resources available to you!

If you are interested in 1 on 1 support from me check out my coaching services HERE.

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