Examples of Personal Statements & Simple Mistakes in Statements : Current School News

Examples of Personal Statements & Simple Mistakes in Statements 2021

Filed in Education by on April 9, 2021

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Personal Statements: Writing about yourself is exactly what a personal statement essay requires you to do–whether it’s for your college admissions application, or for a scholarship application to pay for college.

Examples of Personal Statements

Right here, I will present you with a simple guide, to ensure you’re well-equipped to write a killer personal statement! What I will be discussing with you.

A personal statement is a special type of essay that you typically write when applying to school or scholarship programs. Personal statements are an opportunity to share a little bit about who you are as you demonstrate that you’re a good fit for a particular program.

What’s the Purpose of a Personal Statement?

Your statement should share something about who you are, something that can’t be found in your resume or transcript.

For colleges:

  • It should paint a picture for colleges to understand who we are and what we bring to the table. This is why it’s often better to tell a story, or give examples, rather than just list accomplishments.
  • It should complement the other parts of your application. Consider your college application as a whole. Your statement, application short answers, and supporting documentation should together tell a story about who you are. This also means not being super repetitive with your statement and your short essays. (For instance, if you have to answer 3 questions AND submit a personal statement, maybe they shouldn’t ALL focus on music.)

For scholarship applications:

  • It should indicate why you’re deserving of the scholarship. This often means making sure your essay relates to the scholarship provider’s goals. (Get more help on writing a killer scholarship essay here, and then make sure you’re applying as efficiently as possible.)

For both:

  • It should showcase your strengths. This doesn’t mean it can’t acknowledge any weaknesses, but it surely shouldn’t only focus on negative aspects!

When to Write Personal Statements

There are many different times in life when you might have to write a personal statement. For example:

Sometimes, you’ll be given a topic that your statement should address. In other cases, you’ll simply be asked to talk about yourself or why you would be a good fit.

How to Structure a Personal Statement

A common theme in personal statements is overcoming adversity. You can convey significant personal achievements while demonstrating your diversity too.

You’re not simply writing why you want to attend a certain program. You’re explaining why they’d benefit from having someone like you in their program.

You may choose to begin with what influenced your decision to apply in the first place. Was it an important moment, a series of events, or a significant person in your life?

Then, demonstrate how significant events in your life brought you here today. Close with what you hope to achieve after you’ve completed the program you’re looking to enter.

Examples of Personal Statements: Top 10 mistakes in personal statements

Your statement (or admission essay) is your opportunity to show the admission officers why you would be a perfect fit at the university, how you would contribute to the student body, and why the university should accept you over other candidates.

The admission officers of top universities have shared their opinion on what common mistakes the students make when writing their personal statements.

  1. Repeating what is written in the application form. Your essay is your opportunity to tell the admission officers something that you could not include in your application form or delve into something you wrote there. There is no point in simply retelling your application or CV.
  2. Not writing to the specific university. Apart from telling about yourself, your statement should also demonstrate how you would fit in at the university you are applying to. Explain one or two things about the university that make it the best one for you. Make sure that you are not writing only the general things that can be true for any university.
  3. Having a boring introduction. It is not a good idea to start your essay by repeating the question asked or introducing yourself. Think about something to grab the attention of the admission committee. For example, you can start from conveying something that you really believe in or describing a situation which influenced your way of thinking.
  4. Trying to make too many points. It is better to focus on a single well thought-out point than briefly mentioning many different ones. Think about supporting your points with various examples.
  5. Not sharing something about yourself. When writing you should always ask yourself if your essay reveals something about your character. Your essay should be unique and personal.
  6. Forgetting to proofread. Not only proofreading helps to avoid spelling, grammatical or punctuation errors, but also gives you an opportunity to check if your essay does not accidentally contain the name of another university you are applying to.
  7. Forcing humour. Do not try to sound witty or funny if you are not. In any case if you include a joke into your essay, be sure to ask an adult or two to read it to see if they agree with you that it is funny.
  8. Trying to be someone else. Don’t try to seem like a perfect student who is committed to every subject area, has numerous talents, plays multiple sports and enjoys volunteering and extra-curricular activities if it is not who you are. Just be yourself and express your genuine thoughts and feelings.
  9. Not answering the question. Each application form includes brief instructions on the points you are asked to cover in your essay. Make sure that your essay addresses those particular issues.
  10. Writing your personal statement (essay) at the last moment. It is not wise to hurry up and writing your essay the night before it is due. Start writing well in advance, take some time to think about it and return to it later to polish.

Examples of Personal Statements

Charlie Maynard, Going Merry CEO – wrote about what matters most to him and why, for his grad school application.

  • The open paragraph read: “Being open to new ideas and able to take advantage of opportunities is what is most important to me. The most extraordinary times in my life have come as a result of moments when I’ve seized opportunities. This has been evident in my educational life, my travels around the world and my professional career.”
  • This anchored the main topic of his essay. He then went on to explain examples.

Charlotte Lau, Going Merry Head of Growth – wrote for her college Common App personal statement:

“As a child, I was never close with my father, though we were always on good terms. He made me laugh and taught me all the things that made me into a young tomboy: what an RBI is, how to correctly hook a fish when I feel it biting, what to bring on a camping trip. But whenever I was upset, he wouldn’t know how to comfort me. He is a man of jokes and words, not of comforting motions.
But as I grew older and I too became infatuated with words—albeit in written form—our topics of conversation became more diverse and often more profound. We continued to watch sports games together, but during commercials, we’d have epistemological and ethical discussions more fitting for a philosophy class than a chat during a Knicks’ time-out.
During these talks, my father would insert stories about his youth. They’d always be transitory or anecdotal, told as if they were beside the point. Still, I’d eagerly commit them to memory, and, over time, I began to get a sense of who my father was—and, in turn, who I am.”

Now, here are some excerpts from other sample personal statements:

These 3 are college essays about personal characteristics:

Essay 1: Humorous Essay about getting a D and Learning a Lesson

“Getting a D probably isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s not something anyone wants to see, let alone put, on a college application. It came back to me, scrawled in red, on the first big history test of the year. The one the teacher had assured us was a third of our grade. I could already see my chances of a four-year college going up in smoke and my school year hadn’t even started yet.
What happened? I’m not a D student. I’ll get the occasional C, as well as the occasional A. D’s, are out of character for me, and enough of a stomach punch to really get my attention.
The short version is, I didn’t study, and I don’t remember precisely why. There is always a reason not to study, isn’t there? I didn’t study and I went into a test woefully unprepared and got beaten up.
I had two options here. I could accept that I was in fact a D student despite what I had thought. Or I could study hard for the next test and try to bring my grade up by the force of the average.”

Essay 2: Why a Talent (in this case, one at football) is also a Responsibility

“Talent is not remarkable. It’s usually the first thing anyone compliments. “You’re so talented.” It doesn’t mean what they think it means. It doesn’t mean I worked hard. It means I was lucky, or blessed, or anything else you want to call it.
I have talent. I’ve known since I was old enough to hold a football. The game just makes intuitive sense to me. The pathways of the players, both my team and the others, where the ball has to go, and what I’m doing. In the silence before a snap, I’m already playing out what is going to happen, watching the holes in my lines, tracing the route of my receivers. […]
It is far too easy to view talent as an excuse. For me, it is a motivator. For my talent, I will accept nothing less than a dream that only a tiny percentage of people ever get to experience. To get there, I’m willing to work hard and wring every last accomplishment from myself.
Talent is a responsibility. Because you had nothing to do with acquiring it, you are compelled to achieve every last bit you can with it. While I had grown used to thinking varsity would be it, that was not the case. Now, I can focus on the goal while I accomplish the steps.”

Essay 3: On Living with Depression

“Before I was diagnosed, I had been told it was a normal part of growing up. I was told that teens are moody. I would grow out of it. I couldn’t imagine anyone growing out of what I was feeling. I couldn’t imagine anyone surviving.
Diagnosis and medication have saved my life, allowing me to see the world as people without my brain chemistry would. […] what I found was a place of tiny kindnesses.

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It might sound bad—as though kindness can only exist in the smallest forms. This is not what I mean. There are extraordinary people out there who devote their lives to doing very large, very important things for others. I’m not talking about them, partially because they are extraordinary. They are not the norm.
What is normal are the tiny kindnesses. These do not cost a person much of anything. A slice of time, a moment of openness, and little else. They are a smile when you’re feeling down, a comforting hand on the shoulder, a moment to talk.”

And here are 3 college personal statements, about what drove their interest in their intended major: 

Essay 4: On why this Applicant wants to Study Music

“My great-great-uncle Giacomo Ferrari was born in 1912 in Neverland, NY, the youngest of four sons. His parents had emigrated from Italy with his two eldest brothers in the early 1900s in search of a better life in America.
Their struggles as immigrants are in themselves inspiring, but the challenges they faced are undoubtedly similar to those that many other immigrant families had to overcome; because of this, the actions that my relatives embarked upon are that much more extraordinary.
Giacomo’s oldest brother Antonio, my great-grandfather, decided to take a correspondence course in violin, and to teach his youngest brother Giacomo how to play as well.
Giacomo Ferrari eventually became an accomplished violinist and started a free “Lunchtime Strings” program for all the elementary schools in the Neverland area, giving free violin lessons and monthly concerts.
As a native English speaker who has had the privilege of studying viola and violin with trained, private teachers, I can only imagine the perseverance it took for my great-grandfather and great-great uncle to learn an instrument like the violin out of booklets and lessons that were not even written in their native language.
Their passion and dedication to learning something new, something not part of their lives as blue-collar, immigrant workers, and their desire to share it with others, has inspired me as a musician and a person. It is this spirit that has motivated me to pursue an MA at Composition at the University of XXX.”

Essay 5: On why this Applicant wants to be an Allergy Specialist

“Suddenly I started scratching my neck, feeling the hives that had started to form. I rushed to the restroom to throw up because my throat was itchy and I felt a weight on my chest. I was experiencing anaphylactic shock, which prevented me from taking anything but shallow breaths. I was fighting the one thing that is meant to protect me and keep me alive – my own body.
[…] After that incident, I began to fear. I became scared of death, eating, and even my own body. As I grew older, I became paranoid about checking food labels and I avoided eating if I didn’t know what was in the food. I knew what could happen if I ate one wrong thing, and I wasn’t willing to risk it for a snack. Ultimately, that fear turned into resentment; I resented my body for making me an outsider.
In the years that followed, this experience and my regular visits to my allergy specialist inspired me to become an allergy specialist. Even though I was probably only ten at the time, I wanted to find a way to help kids like me.
I wanted to find a solution so that nobody would have to feel the way I did; nobody deserved to feel that pain, fear, and resentment. As I learned more about the medical world, I became more fascinated with the body’s immune responses, specifically, how a body reacts to allergens.”

Essay 6: On why this Applicant wants to Study Medicine 

“My passion for teaching others and sharing knowledge emanates from my curiosity and love for learning. My shadowing experiences in particular have stimulated my curiosity and desire to learn more about the world around me. How does platelet rich plasma stimulate tissue growth?
How does diabetes affect the proximal convoluted tubule? My questions never stopped. I wanted to know everything and it felt very satisfying to apply my knowledge to clinical problems. distinct concepts together to form a coherent picture truly attracts me to medicine.

Examples of Personal Statements

It is hard to separate science from medicine; in fact, medicine is science. However, medicine is also about people—their feelings, struggles and concerns. Humans are not pre-programmed robots that all face the same problems. Humans deserve sensitive and understanding physicians.
Humans deserve doctors who are infinitely curious, constantly questioning new advents in medicine. They deserve someone who loves the challenge of problem solving and coming up with innovative individualized solutions.
I want to be that physician. I want to be able to approach each case as a unique entity and incorporate my strengths into providing personalized care for my patients. Until that time, I may be found Friday mornings in the operating room, peering over shoulders, dreaming about the day I get to hold the drill.”

You made it this far. Now, it’s time to write your personal statement!

Tell your story and tell it with pride. Personal statements are meant to make the review board want to select you beyond any shadow of a doubt. Only you can tell your story. So, be sure to focus on three key components: why you want to attend, how you’re supremely qualified, and how you’ll go on to achieve greatness.

Often, you’ll be asked to submit a resume along with your personal statement. Use these resume writing examples to make sure you’re in tip-top shape.

You can also share this idea with your friends by sharing this article to them via their social media handles.

CSN Team.

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