Fitting your life story into a 500-word undergraduate college admissions essay is truly a daunting task. The only thing you can think about when writing your college essay is acceptance or rejection. Everyone tells you that you need to make it personal, but how personal can something be when it's in a stack with a thousand others? The key to becoming a great essay writer and impressing admissions officers with a strong personal statement is to break down your approach in strategic steps. Before you begin this arduous but rewarding process, take a look at these:
(1) Start Early: As soon as the school you are applying to releases a college essay topic, it is in your best interest to start thinking about what you would want to write. Most good writing requires an "ah ha!" moment and those come from devoting a good amount of time to contemplation. Many times there are multiple essay topics and you need to think about which one you would choose. It's more important to find one that fits your personality rather than one that sounds smart. Moreover, college admissions officers will tell you that the last admission essay that is reviewed has a much more difficult time being genuine and unique than the first one that is reviewed. The first essay is only compared to itself. The last essay submitted was compared to the 20,000 received before it.
(2) Brainstorm: Your personal statement does not need to fit your entire life story. Stick with one idea, event or aspect of your life and run with it. Brainstorm all the possible things that apply to that one idea for an application essay. Custom essay writing comes from looking at the different angles around that one particular subject. You want to appeal to all the different senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste) of the reader. The only way for them to imagine the scenario in your college entrance essay is if you can thoroughly explain it. This requires you to be thorough in your brainstorming process, too.
(3) Drafts: The more sample essays you write the better. You can only improve your writing by writing and re-writing the ideas you have on paper. A strong personal statement for college has a coherent direction. That direction can be determined by mapping it out on paper many times.
(4) Get Essay Help: Essay editing is vital here. You need to smooth out all the kinks in your essay. In order to review an essay you have to understand that grammar/punctuation errors, muddled content, and stylistic confusion won't cut it. Get multiple eyes or experienced undergrad essay experts to help you out. Essay writing services and college essay editing services can be helpful because of their familiarity with admissions essays. You want to sound professional in your writing and it helps to have someone who is a veteran to lend you a hand. Regardless of who or what you use, make sure you get a strong writer to look over your applications before submitting them.
Calm Down: After going to numerous college seminars and spending loads of time with college admissions officers, I can tell you they all say the same thing: Be Yourself. You can't do that if you are too nervous to show "the real you" on paper. Be confident in the many aspects of your undergraduate application and share yourself on paper! It's the only way it can ever be personal.