How to crack “authenticity” in your US College Essays.

Jun 18, 2024

How to crack "authenticity" in your US College Essays.

US Personal Statement…How can I stand out?

We get it, You have ambition and drive. You know exactly what colleges in the US you want to target, the course you want to study, and of course, what trajectory you want to follow AFTER you’re there. But, the only thing that is bamboozling you right now is how do you secure a place for yourself amidst the vicious competition, and more specifically, how do YOU distinguish yourself from the thousands that are applying at the same time as you?

Even though your overall glistening profile is what leads you to reach the footstep of the final door, your Personal Statement is what unlocks this door for you. As a determined aspiring student, your personal statement acts as the halo that shines from afar, elevating you from the rest. So the question now is, how do you write a personal statement that is authentic and raw, and yet, effective in delivering its intended purpose of introducing you?

The holy grail to writing an authentic personal statement is, quite literally, making it “personal”. Dive into your past. What is that one incident growing up that stands out to you? What made you embrace who you are? What are some quirks that you have kept hidden all this time? Focus on writing about what makes you, you.

If you believe you are unique enough to be chosen, your personal statement needs to reflect exactly that by connecting your past experience to your present, coloring the image of your future.

More often than not, students wish to paint a “perfect” portrait of themselves while penning down their personal statement. They omit any shortcomings about themselves, any subjects they struggled with, any extra-curriculars they missed out on, and any academic or non-academic regrets they have. The purpose of writing a personal statement is not to show how immaculate you are in every way, rather it should be to show that you are a human being. A self-aware, self-assured, and confident human to be precise.

Instead of writing sentences that conceal your assumed drawbacks, use the personal statement to own up to them, and spin them into a story that readers WANT to read. Add your distinctive touch to them, and describe them how you want to, this is YOUR story. There are no pointers to guide each paragraph you write. You can choose what emotion to display, what memory to rekindle, what characters to include, and what details you want to include.

Emphasize how your words aren’t hollow; they’re backed up by profound meaning and thought and complemented by actionable ideas. Let’s suppose you apply for an economics major and you write in your personal statement how you wish to change the world by helping people through your understanding of economic principles. Albeit being a noble inspiration, there would be hundreds of students who want to do the same, so why should the admissions committee choose you over the others? The answer to this lies in substantiating your objective; how will you “change the world” or “help people”?

Keep in mind that your personal statement is not for you to reinstate the major you have chosen, leave that for your supplementary essays. The personal statement is a means to create a portal into your personality that explains how you are the best fit for not just the program but for the institution itself. Don’t hold back, deliver yourself to them in the form of writing, and remember, the only way to crack authenticity, and you may be surprised to hear this, is to be authentic

By: Maavra Sajjad, UniHawk Writing Mentor

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