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Richard Nolan

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Personal Statement to College: 10 Writing Tips

 Personal Statement to College: 10 Writing Tips


First and foremost, I bet you are wondering what the heck a personal statement is.

A personal statement is a university application where you describe yourself in the form of an extended essay. It is personal and therefore it varies from person to person, thus none can be like another. It is necessary that you know how to do personal statement writing, so you can get into that college you have always dreamt about. The statement, of course, is usually used to decide who will join that particular university. Therefore, it has to stand out, making a good impression of yourself and your abilities.


1. Why Do I Want to Study in That University?

This is the question that you will have to answer. To start, you have to know what you want to do and why you want to do it. What motivates you, what interests you in that area, is it what you have primarily learned in high school? Is it a role model you admire so much? While answering this question, ensure that you show your interest in doing that particular course. Clearly show how enthusiastic you are and how you can’t wait to start. Provide specific information about what you would like to achieve and how it will benefit the university and the society at large. Be reasonable at that.

While you’re writing this, you will need to make the first draft of the personal statement, so you can correct the mistakes in the next one and also identify the areas where you will need to add more information. In line with this, you will have to allow yourself some time to come up with a good personal statement. Kindly do not rush into things. Check the deadline and work at the right pace, so you are neither too fast nor too slow. You may make a lot of errors rushing at the last minute.


2. Explain How You're Right For the Course

Do you know the eligibility criteria for the course you intend to take? Then provide the information showing you meet the required criteria. It is vital for you to demonstrate what you can do and how unique your contribution will be towards the learning of the course. To show this, you definitely have to be conversant with the course. You will have to do your research and get the relevant information about what it entails. This will demonstrate to the university your preparedness and interest in undertaking the course.


3. What More Have You Done Out of the Norm?

Universities like to pick students who have gone the extra mile outside the class. During your high school years, what other activities other than your study have you undertaken? And even within the context of your studies, how far have you gone outside what your teacher has taught you? Have you taught yourself some more? Have you read further and developed a critical and analytical mind? Have you sought out new information from various sources, including radio, newspapers, TV, etc.? If you have, then it will be good for you to mention all that to show just how outgoing you are and can be in that university. Personal initiative is also important, no professor wants to waste their time pushing a student around to do what they ought to do themselves.


4. Is the Extra Mile You Have Gone Relevant to the Course You Intend to Undertake?

Are the extra activities you have undertaken relevant to the course you want to undertake? Is your experience relevant? Answer these questions in the personal statement. These may include activities such as volunteering.


5. Relevant to the Career of Your Choice

Are the activities that you have participated in and the experiences acquired relevant to the career path you want to undertake? Have you been able to acquire the relevant skills required over that period? Make sure you explain all that clearly and specifically. These skills will enable you to seem respectable, able to handle tasks efficiently and effectively. Thus, you will be a suitable candidate for the university of your choice.


6. More on Your Skills

What skills exactly have you acquired and are they transferable? Will they help you become a better student and, in turn, a better professional? These skills include communication, time management, and leadership skills among others. In the course of your explanation, expound on the instances in which you have utilized these skills and how the situation turned out as a result. Also, show how these skills were developed over time.

Remember to use correct and professional language. You can use synonyms for certain words or phrases so that you sound intellectual and unique. However, be careful so as not to overdo it.


7. How Critical Are You?

It is quite significant that you demonstrate how critical you are in your analysis of situations, your assignments, and other relevant issues. Develop a critical mind, such that you can demonstrate using clear examples of situations. This critical skill will help you in the course of your studies and in your professional life.


8. Any Enduring Plans?

It is quite useful to mention the intentions and plans that you have related to your studies and future career. Be specific at that and explore your imagination. Demonstrate how your plans make you a unique potential student. This will make you stand out and will ultimately get you picked for the course. Write about what you look forward to doing in your career and how you would like to climb the ranks and be great at your studies and work.


9. Positivity

Write your personal statement in a positive manner and do not let fear take a toll on you. Be hopeful that you will get the opportunity, be confident but not over-confident. Just be yourself.

In line with positivity is focusing on your strengths. We all have weaknesses, don't we? But you will need to put into attention the good qualities you have. A soldier never exposes their weakness. Don’t go writing about how terrible you are at this subject or that sport. Write creatively about what you do know how to do and what you wish to learn how to do.



10. Honesty

Kindly do not lie about yourself by mentioning that you have a particular skill that you know you do not have. Just be honest. Trust your true abilities and do not feel like you have to lie or exaggerate. The truth comes out eventually. In the light of honesty, it is paramount that you make use of your own ideas and voice. It is helpful that you avoid checking out someone else’s personal statement so that you remain uninfluenced by the ideas of others. Authenticity is key here.



In conclusion, have someone close to you read what you have written. It will help you get feedback that you need to make any relevant changes or improvements to the personal statement. It will also help if you read your work time and time again but not too much as you will be paranoid about small details. You can even read the work out loud, so you get a clearer picture. Then, once you are satisfied with the work, you should put it to rest. Don’t keep going over it, enough is enough, it is already done, now submit it.

All the best in your college application!




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