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Any advice on writing personal statements for college applications?

I am an incoming senior in high school and I am looking to apply to some colleges. How should I get started on my essays? Any advice or no-no's I should avoid?

#college-advice #college-admissions #college-bound #college

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Karen’s Answer

If you spend a lot of time brainstorming and planning your essay, the actual writing will be much faster and easier. My advice would be to write about something that shows what is unique about you. You could start brainstorming by listing out some traits or strengths of yours, or ask friends and family how they would describe you, and build a story off of that. The topic itself doesn't have to be unique, people have written amazing essays about their favorite foods, what matters is how you spin this topic into something that shows off an important aspect of yourself. Also, make it sound like you. If you're a funny person you can make the essay more humorous, if you're sentimental you can make it more emotional, and so on.

There are definitely some topics that are overdone, but that doesn't mean they're not still options if you really want to write about them. I would say to avoid turning the essay into just a list of your accomplishments, summary of your entire life, or how "lucky" you've been.
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Maya L.’s Answer

When I wrote my college essays, I spent hours and hours coming up with the perfect idea before I started writing. The actual writing took under an hour. You definitely want to write about something that interests you, but it should also be something unique to you. This will make your application stand out. Colleges like to hear about struggles and adversity you have overcome, not just what interests you. But if you can come up with a struggle that you overcame, and explain how this struggle motivated you to pursue your academic area of interest, that is a perfect combination of discussing personal life and academic aspirations, and it will tell the school what you have to offer.

When I wrote mine, I started with the first line and then last line, and then I free-styled in the middle so it sounded a little bit more personal. Everyone has their own method, but that's what helped me.

I hope this is helpful!
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Brayden’s Answer

Hello!

I think one area that people hurt themselves on college essays is they dont take time and really reflect on the answer that makes them stand out when compared to their peers. Many times colleges want to try to diversify their student population as much as possible because having a good mix of students gives other students different perspectives on life and how not everyone is created equal. So you want to try to answer your questions that shows them I took time to think and reflect about my topic and write in a way that shows passion and commitment to success at their institution. One of the problems with these college essay questions however is that many times the scholarship thats associated to said question is typically merit based so even if you have this amazing background and story if you dont fall under the merit qualifications for the scholarship then you may not be considered. Overall though I think applying to as many scholarships as possible is a great way to increase your chances so truly apply for as many as you can.

Hopefully that helps! Good luck!
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Ayodeji’s Answer

I think it's important to tell your story, talk about your experiences, what makes you unique and also why you're experiences so far make you a good fit for that college. I hope that helps.
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Tess’s Answer

To be impactful, you will want to be genuine and honest. Start with a bulleted list and then review and see how you can stitch these together to start your essay.
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laine’s Answer

I find that most college essays that stick out are the ones that tell your genuine story and hit a chord with a reader. I would recommend to pick a pivotal moment in your life and explain how or why it made you the person you are today, and how it will make you a great addition to the university you wish to attend.
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