A personal statement is an important part of your college application. It allows you to highlight your strengths and make your application distinct from everyone else.
A poorly written personal statement can affect your application, lowering your chances of getting admitted into the university of your choice.
Many students believe that their statements should be written a certain way and include certain things like quotes and fancy expressions. A lot of these are myths and can hinder you from giving a unique output.
You don’t want your application to look like every other one out there.
Let us debunk some of these myths!
Myth 1 ─ It Should Include Your Life Story
Many students tend to outline their entire life in their personal statements. This is not only unnecessary but could also affect your chances of getting admission.
The admission head is interested in something other than your life story or its ups and downs. So you can skip mentioning these. You can include a few hobbies or other personal interests in the statement to prove that you have the right skills, experience, and potential to be academically secure in the institution.
Your statement can lose more value if you mix fictional elements with your original life story. It will seem exaggerated and over the top.
Next time you draft a personal statement, leave your life out of it. Your heroic feats and life events might be interesting content for a book or story – not for a personal statement!
Myth 2 ─ You Should Use Fancy Words, Expressions, Or Quotes
If you have ever googled personal statements, you might have seen complicated words and quotes in them. This often leads people to think that they should do the same.
The fact is using a bunch of fancy words and expressions can distract the reviewer from the important content.
The reviewer is only interested in what you contribute to the institution. He could hardly care about the diversity of your vocabulary or your knowledge of wise quotes (not unless you’re applying for an English literature course).
If you haven’t used the words accurately, your statement will leave a worse impression on the reviewer. Make sure you use quotes in the proper context. Refrain from using cliche ones which every admission tutor has seen.
But remember, there is no harm in using them either. In fact, using quotes can be helpful in certain situations.
- When you want to refer to information from outside sources to support a statement.
- If you want to validate the credibility of a point or argument.
- If it is in the context of the discipline or course you are applying to.
Avoid using overly long ones which add nothing to your essay statement. You can use the same space for other relevant information.
Myth 3 ─ It Should Be In A Strictly Serious And Formal Tone
Many people are of the impression that personal statements must be written in a strictly academic and rigid format.
In most schools, students are taught to draft their personal statements in that manner. If you ever had personal statement writing as a part of your English curriculum, you can probably relate to this.
You must indeed adhere to proper structure and good English. But that doesn’t mean that your personal statement should be a plain and boring one that looks like every other one.
Personal statements which show the writer’s creative side will leave a good impression on the reviewer. Your statement should be unique and show your distinctive voice. Don’t shy away from exhibiting your true interests and style.
If funny is your style, go for it!
Contrary to what people think, a personal statement can contain humor. Adding a bit of humor or irony to your statement will get the reviewers’ attention. Write authentically about yourself without compromising on grammar or being too casual with the wording.
It can be hard to step out of your academic writing bubble but doing so will give you more creative freedom.
If you need help wording your statement properly, hire people to write papers online.
Myth 4 ─ You Should Only Highlight Your Achievements
Highlighting your achievements is definitely an essential part of your statement.
However, if you make it only about them, it can come off as bragging or seem exaggerated. Write about achievements that are relevant to the field or course you are applying to.
If you are applying to a course related to medicine and you list an achievement about winning a hotdog contest, what value does it add?
Instead of listing every single one, write about a couple of your most notable achievements and explain what you learned from these experiences. Make it personal. Write about your strengths and weaknesses.
It doesn’t matter if you failed to achieve things at times. Write about them too. The admissions department would be impressed to know that you’re mature enough to accept failure and your shortcomings.
You can talk about situations where you overcame your weaknesses. This will give you a chance to show the reviewer how good you are at bouncing back.
Myth 5 ─ Reviewers Don’t Not The Entire Personal Statement
Many people rush through their personal statements thinking that some portions aren’t as important as the rest of their application. Others attempt to make a strong and captivating introduction but make the rest of the statement boring and plain.
A strong introduction with fancy words or complex quotes won’t impress your reviewer. He has probably seen it a million times before. What you need to do is get straight to the point and state why or how you are suitable for the course in question.
Your reviewer will read the entire thing so don’t focus on just the introduction.
Your personal statement plays an important role in determining whether you will get admission. It gives you the opportunity to stand out from all the other applicants so make sure you invest time and effort in writing it.
Make sure to get all the help you can while writing your personal statement. If you have other friends who are writing statements as well, consider sharing ideas and opinions.
Having a support group will definitely help you in the application journey!