How to Write a Personal Statement That Will Stand Out in a College Essay
Writing a school essay is different than writing an admissions essay for any other college or university. An admissions essay is about you. It’s supposed to show that you have thought out your thoughts on what it means to be a good student. A school essay is about you as a person. It’s supposed to show your personality, your talents, and why you were chosen to attend the particular school.
An admissions essay for school is usually quite different than a creative writing or personal essay. A school essay normally demonstrates exactly who you are as a person. An application essay has to demonstrate what you already know, but in a more “real” way that will appeal to admissions officers. College applications are often filled out by large numbers of people, many of whom haven’t even met the students yet. Thus, essays must be well-written and prepared ahead of time – with careful editing to eliminate grammatical errors, misspellings, and obvious non sequiturs.
School essays are also often quite different from personal essays. Students are given assignments. Those assignments are written about in the essay. And the assignment is completed once – but many times, essays are repeated throughout the student’s academic career. While an individual essay may focus on one’s own experiences in the classroom or on one’s relationship with professors and classmates, a school essay has to be written over a number of semesters and years. Thus, essays must always be written in a way that will be appealing to college administrators.
Creative writing and personal essays, however, are often required for admittance to colleges with the highest standards. In these situations, the essay writing process might require an advisor to read both texts and make suggestions as to how the student should proceed. While it’s certainly possible to write an “about me” personal essay about one’s own life, there’s no reason why high school students can’t use the same format to write compelling essays that will show off their talents. When writing a composition requiring high school creativity and high school research, it’s important to make sure that the essay is not too disorganized – and that certain elements of it fit together and support each other.
For example, a student who is a talented singer might want to include a lyric during the opening of their essay – or perhaps a recording of their performance. An athlete might want to include information about their athletic achievements and awards. An actress might want to show off their Oscar-nominated role. An entrepreneur may want to discuss their entrepreneurial skills and successes. A boarding school essay can’t afford to ignore any of these important voices – but the writer must take care to give credit where credit is due.
Writing a great boarding school essay requires more than just being a wonderful writer. It also requires the student to consider how their voice and their choice of words will impact the reader and the admissions committee. High school admissions committees are looking for genuine personality, which comes from a personal statement that showcases who the student is as a person – not only as a skilled performer on their high school team.