So, you sit down and decide that it is finally time to start writing your personal statement so that you can get into the college of your dreams.
Maybe you have an idea of what you want to write about, or maybe you don’t. Either way, where do you start? There are a few things to consider and a few places to start when writing your personal statement. While this essay can be very intimidating, there is no need to worry! Here are some tools and ideas to help.
Harness Key Points for a Strong Personal Statement
When writing your personal statement, you want to be sure it’s captivating, but authentic. College admission officers read thousands of essays from students, so it’s essential for your essay to stand out in some way if you want to have a chance of getting accepted. Here are some things to think about when writing:
It is called a personal statement, so get personal!
- Do not include too many cliches or things you think college reps want to read about.
- Your personal statement should be a narrative. Stories are the best way to help the reader learn more about you and create a connection between you and the reader.
- Do not approach your personal statement as you would a school assignment; sometimes academic writing can pull away from your authenticity.
- Do not answer the prompt in the first part of your essay—doing so means the reader no longer needs to read your entire essay. Rather, give the reader a little bit more as the story progresses.
Dive into the Writing Process: Where to Begin
Often, the inability to pinpoint a starting point can be very demotivating and debilitating. To help, start by choosing one of the options below, focusing on one that you naturally lean toward more than others. Selecting one of these options helps navigate the brainstorming process:
- An Experience: One option is to choose an experience that is personal to you and was incredibly impactful and potentially life changing. Choosing this option will give you the ability to really elaborate on the story and emotional components of your essay.
- A Lesson: Another option is to choose a lesson. Perhaps you immediately thought of an answer to one of the prompts, or a life lesson immediately came to mind. Allow this to be the focal point of your brainstorming and find a specific experience or moment that you can use to demonstrate that lesson. This option helps you craft a solid ending to your essay that fully addresses the prompt.
- A Theme or Concept: An additional option is to start with a theme or concept. This is probably the rarest and least used of the three, but is a powerful option. Reflect on your experiences, lessons, principles, and values, and see if there are any patterns or natural progressions that emerge. Whatever you find can be the theme that guides your readers through your essay.
Adopt an Effective Essay Writing Formula
Now that you have a few things to consider and have a solid starting point, how do you write the essay? Of course, there are several ways to approach your personal statement, but here is a solid paragraph-style formula that you can use as your blueprint to bring your personal statement to life:
- Paragraph 1 – The Challenge: In the opening paragraph, establish the challenge and the need for growth for the story. Many times, this may include beginning in the middle of the story or the middle of an experience. Pinpoint an exact moment (i.e. when you received bad news, when you were on stage giving a speech, etc.) and using it in the opening paragraph will imbed emotion into the story and entice the admissions officer to keep reading.
- Paragraph 2 – The Context: In the second paragraph, provide context to the story. How did you end up in this situation? Provide background for the reader to better understand the background so they can fully comprehend the effects and intensity of the challenge you faced.
- Paragraph 3 – The Action: In your third paragraph, return to where you left off in the opening paragraph. This is your opportunity to address the action (or reaction) that followed the challenge. With paragraph one being an unfinished story, this paragraph provides a triumphant close.
- Paragraph 4 – The Lesson: In the closing paragraph, clearly outline the skills and growth you gained from your experience. This is where you answer the prompt more completely, incorporating why you decided to write about this particular story and how it is relevant.
Believe in Yourself: You Can Ace Your Personal Statement
Your personal statement carries so much weight in your college application. It is the main component of your application that takes you from a number to a person. Use it as an opportunity to create uniqueness as an applicant!
Elevate Your Personal Statement & Get Accepted
Leverage MedSchoolCoach expertise in personal statement crafting. Our seasoned advisors guide you through the writing process, from identifying key points to finding the ideal start and employing an effective essay writing formula. We provide constructive feedback, tailored insights, and strategic edits to elevate your narrative. Our aim is to boost your confidence and transform your personal statement into a compelling piece that resonates with admission officers.
Our team of Physician Advisors, with their deep understanding of the college admissions landscape, can provide valuable guidance through the application process. Their expertise is aimed at securing your spot in your desired college.
Don’t delay, take advantage of scheduling a free 15-minute consultation today. Your dream college awaits!