Where Do I Even Start With My Personal Statement?

Figuring Out What To Write

Not to add to your stress, but your personal statement is one of the most important factors in your college application that will ultimately lead to them either accepting or denying you. Before you freak out, though, let’s take a few minutes to brainstorm because you will definitely be able to come up with a powerful topic to write your statement on.

In addition to your GPA and SAT/ACT score, colleges will put their eyes on your personal statement to determine if they think your personality and background is a good fit for their school. Your personal statement doesn’t necessarily have to tie into your career choice, although a lot of students have a powerful experience to share that intertwines with their degree choice. If that’s not the case with you, don’t worry! We’ll be able to think of a variety of other things to come up with a strong personal statement and get you into the college you want.

Your personal statement needs to be written by you. It needs to reflect who you are, and the topic needs to be something that has really stuck with you in your life. It maybe happened years ago or perhaps it’s more recent, but it needs to be one specific experience. Hopefully you can think back to any language arts or creative writing classes you took in high school because they’re going to come in handy!

The biggest problem everyone faces with writing their statement, though, is deciding what to write about. You’ll be able to figure out the structure and style once you have this in your mind, but you can’t start writing until you’ve decided on a topic. Here’s some advice:
• Pick 3 different experiences.
• Commit to writing a standard length, 650-word statement on each and then have your friends and family give their input on which one they like best.
• Tally the votes for the best results.

But, you might be thinking: “I can’t even come up with one thing, how can I come up with three?!” Here’s the answer: Think of a turning point in your life.

Personal Statement Ideas

Here are just a few ideas to get you brainstorming:
• Think of the happiest moment in your life. Describe the scenes, the people, the background, the time leading up to it and how it changed you.
• Think of the saddest moment in your life. Explain why this was the saddest moment, who was involved, what you thought at the time, and how it changed you.
• Think of special talents you have. Explain how you acquired these talents or discovered them, and what you’ve done with them so far. Explain how these talents have shaped you as a person. (Focus on one talent.)

You can easily brainstorm an answer to any of the three starting points above. Now, this is what you need to include in your personal statement:
• The who: who was there?
• The why: why does it matter?
• The why: why is it important to tell this story?
• The how: how did it happen? Be specific, paint a picture.
• What did it mean to you?
• Are you proud of it?
• How did you feel at the time?
• How do you feel now?
• How did it shape you?

That last part is really the most important, and it’s the secret to writing an incredible personal statement. You have to choose an experience that really shaped your life, and you have to explain how it shaped you. You have to make a point that you wouldn’t be who you are if this hadn’t happened. That’s how you write a strong personal statement that will turn heads and convince the person reading your application.

Apollo offers a complete Personal Statement and College Application package to assist student with the process and timeline. Contact us at 510.999.8860 or email us to contact@apollotutor.com for more information.

Posted on: 2017-10-28 10:39:07

Posted by: Gwen Nguyen

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