Played: March 18, 2021
When an applicant's grades are on par with a majority of other applicants, a strong personal statement could be a game changer for how far their application gets them.
Updated Date: Jan 27, 2022
Publish Date: Mar 10, 2021
for. So we've talked about taking these tougher classes, and I'd like to talk about the personal statement. This can really help the students college application stand out in this case, but I'm sure it's a daunting task for students as well. What is your advice for crafting Kind of a unique personal statement? Yeah, that really is. That's that's when you start splitting hairs. That is a big determination, especially at the more elite universities. The big end between you've got the common app. You've got the coalition app, and then you've got schools that have their own questions that they asked if they could be very specific to the university. They could be trick questions they could be. Hey, I just want to see how you can think. I just want to see how you follow instructions, but the first thing when you're crafting that app one. Your grammar has to be perfect, so you need to either use the techno technological tools to make sure that your grammar is correct. But you also want to be able to use the resources that are available to you. And that's your English teacher. That's your guidance counselor. That's your parent. That's your tutor. There are plenty of people around to help you write these essays. You never want to operate in a. That's probably the most important thing. And that's what a lot of students forget. They figure, Oh, I've got to write this essay and I've got to do it on my own. But if you've never written anything like this before, use those resources. I can't tell you how many students you know just in the past year they've got to write this essay. They're not really sure what they're supposed to write, and the choices that they give you on the application are pretty cut and dry so you can write something and you know there's no really wrong answer on on what to write. Um, but you've got to at least come in with some sort of accurate stream of consciousness. So what I encourage my students to do if they really can't think of anything to write, show the prompts to a parent, believe it or not, Mom and Dad probably knows something, Uh, and they want to help you. Hey, they want you to go to college. They want they want you to move away. They want to do all those fun things, but they are great resources. They can tell you, or they can remind you. Remember the time that you got that cat out of the tree? Or remember the time that that mom and dad were really busy and you had to pick up three strangers and you had to bring them to a senior center, just just as an example? And that starts the process going. So just being able to have someone to shoot some ideas off of is a great way to start an essay. And the way that you write an essay is you just start putting out some random thoughts, and before you know it, you'll have enough information that you can write something that's personal. But that also answers the question that the school is looking for. That's awesome, and this also goes to show just how important these other factors are. It's not just about grades, because I couldn't I can imagine that some students would be tempted to say, you know, I'm a straight a student. I always get my work done on time, that kind of thing. Would you recommend that um, talking about their grades and their achievements in academia so far, and they're in their life. Is that something that they can kind of touch on in the essay? What would you recommend? That? Um, not necessarily bragging about that. You got an A in physics, but what would be a great thing is if you had to do a project for a certain class and you had no idea what you're supposed to do, Uh, and talk about the steps that you went through and that you learned something that was much different than you did when you were going in. So you might have been doing an environmental science project and he said, Oh, great, I you know, I just need to do this and we'll say, We'll help clean up our core will help make bird habitats better. But then, as you start writing, you realize, Oh, you know what? The lesson that I learned wasn't about saving habitats. It was that Hey, I can learn to manage a project, and I was able to get five of my friends to help me. And of those five friends, three of them decided to do something that was similar to what I was doing. So if you have that kind of a transformational essay that you can write about, that is fantastic. If you can show a lesson learned, that is absolutely, you know, one of the best essays that you can write. You want to stay away from the cliches and there are plenty of cliches out there. Don't tell me. Don't tell you school how how playing the cello was the greatest thing that I ever did. Uh, and I can tell you, uh, meeting with a admissions rep from one of our local universities. Um, and I just asked, you know, what do you look for in in essays or what don't you look for for essays and the first thing that she says You don't tell me about how playing the cello is the greatest thing ever. And I will tell you that I had a student where it was one of the first students who worked with several years ago. And what was his essay about playing the cello? So I had a little bit of giggle, a little little bit of a giggle on that He ended up getting into the school that he wanted to, which was kind of a second choice. But he didn't get into his first choice, and I think my part of that might have been from from that essay. That's awesome. And I love the point of the lessons learned piece. I think that's that's gold advice, especially because this is a great opportunity to really stand out. Because, of course, these schools are not going to be admitting every single student. That's just not possible, given their capacity. So this is some great advice. I really like this a lot.