10 Ideas for Writing a Personal Statement

As the time for college applications rolls around again, stress levels start to increase for high school students. When it comes to writing a personal statement, students have to keep in mind some simple rules and ideas. This statement can ultimately make the difference between getting accepted or rejected from the university. To get a head start, consider these different ideas for writing a personal statement.

  1. Start With a Resume
  2. Before writing the essay, students should start by filling in a resume with every activity, internship or sports team they were on in high school. This makes it easier to reference skills and experience as the student writes their essay.

  3. Read Sample Essays
  4. Writing a personal statement without reading one first is a ridiculous and dangerous idea. Before writing, students should read samples of the best and most successful essays. This will give them a clear idea of what to expect.

  5. Consider Uniqueness
  6. Before writing, students should take time to consider what makes them unique. Why are they different from every other student in the world?

  7. List Quirky Features
  8. Depending on the university, quirkiness, diversity and a unique perspective may be positives. Students should consider how they will add to the diversity and strength of the student body.

  9. Avoid Generalizations
  10. Admissions officers spend all day reading the same general, boring essay. To catch their eye, try to do something that is different or creative.

  11. Consider Starting With a Story
  12. Using a story or anecdote is a great way to catch the reader's attention. It helps to personify the narrator and create a human connection. When starting the statement is difficult, students should consider stories from their past that could be engaging for the reader.

  13. Write Multiple Personal Statements
  14. In the beginning, writing a single word can be difficult. Once students get in the flow of writing, they can churn out essays without a second thought. For students stuck with writer's block, try writing several personal statements to get the creative juices flowing. The strong parts of each essay can be combined into a single, strong statement.

  15. Think Out of the Box
  16. Although the five paragraph essay is standard, students do not have to be bound by this basic rule. Use the format that works best for the statement.

  17. Check Grammar
  18. Ideas are at the heart of the paper, but admissions officers will never accept someone who cannot perform a simple spell check before they send the essay in.

  19. Be Yourself
  20. At the end of the process, students can ignore all of these rules. Although these ideas can be a great help for writing the personal statement, it ultimately comes down to the student's personal life and achievements. Students should be themselves and write a paper that represents who they are.