Stuck Writing a Personal Statement?

Stuck Writing a Personal Statement?

Writing your personal statement can be one of the more difficult parts of the college application process. One of the biggest dilemmas faced when doing this is often “What the hell do I write about?” The truth is, you can write about almost anything. The personal statement is there to give admissions officers a good idea of who you are aside from your scores and whatnot. In the past, the CommonApp has provided different topics to choose from, but now they are offering different questions and removing the option to write about a topic of your choice. But fear not, students of the next CommonApp generation! Here are some reassuring tips to help combat writer’s block when sitting down to do your personal statement.

You can tweak almost anything you write about to adhere to one of the topics they give you. This also means that you don’t have to wait for the new CommonApp to come out to start your essay! Now, I don’t say this with complete sureness, because I don’t have any more idea than you do of what they are going to have. But usually, as is the case with a lot of essay parts on standardized tests, you can have an idea of what you are going to write about that can be made to fit in conjunction with most any prompt.

Just being alive has given you enough life experience to write about. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually have to write your personal statement about saving the world. You also don’t have to have had a traumatizing event in order to write a good personal statement. In fact, some of the most interesting personal statements are about seemingly minute, everyday things. Those essays are the ones that will stand out in a sea of “How a trip to Africa changed my life”.

This is not a formal academic essay. It’s okay to use first-person pronouns and even some casual idioms here and there. The whole point of the personal statement is for colleges to know who you are as a person. If you write this as a formal essay, you may be in danger of coming across as a robot.