What should I write my essay about? Sophia: Quito, Ecuador
This is a perennial question. When you sit down to write your personal statement, keep in mind that it should be just that – personal. I’m not suggesting that you need to share your innermost thoughts, but this is your best way to personalize your application for the Admission Committee. The topic you choose is nowhere near as important as is your ability to tell the Admission Committee something about you that we don’t already know and won’t learn by reading the other portions of your application.
A lot of students make the mistake of trying to guess what the Admission Committee wants to read. I’ll save you the suspense – we don’t open an application with a preconceived notion of what we want to see. Rather, we want to come away learning about your passions. What gets you up in the morning? What excites you? What frustrates you? If you had an entire year to focus on one part of your life, what would it be? What makes you unique?
Students often have a hard time with the last one, fearing that they cannot offer anything unique to a college community. We’re our own worst critics. You are definitely unique. If you really don’t know how, ask your best friend. Ask your parents. Ask your siblings. They know you better than anyone and will honestly tell you the things they love about you. That will give you some things to consider as you ponder how best to share your talents with the Admission Committee.
The Personal Statement is the only portion of your application over which you have complete control. Use it wisely and have fun with it. Happy writing.
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