© 2017 by Susan Treadwell. Created with Wix.com

Writing is a process -
commit to your vision.
Draft

5

Do you have a core idea and write with a vision?

Writing is a process. Each time you work on a draft, decide what you want to accomplish. 

Example: On this pass, I want to focus on the way this experience changed me.

Write expansively on that idea. Don't. Hold. Back.

Think like a storyteller.

Stories are about something. What's your story about? If you can write it in a sentence, you'll avoid a major pitfall: including too much information in your essay. 

Have some fun exploring your story's focus. And remember, you are the protagonist.

Example:

  • Athletic competitor with an artistic soul

  • Trendsetter with a passion for business

  • Deep-thinker on a quest to understand the mysteries of the universe

  • Rebel with a cause

  • Teen with a dream

  • First generation college student trailblazing a creative future

  • Storyteller with a funny bone and a YouTube channel

  • Caring helper destined to become a child psychologist

  • Community advocate with ambition to run for office

Stories have their own logic. Details. Revelations. Trust the images, words and phrases that are natural to you. 

As a gentle reminder, this is not an essay for English class. It’s not for a grade, and you don't get bonus points for using a thesaurus. It has a completely different purpose. You are helping colleges get to know you as a person, and not just as a high school student. 

Consider the personal qualities your essay conveys.

Does your story sync up with the personal qualities you want to convey? Sometimes there's a fine line between showing passion for a project and bragging about your role in it. But you can also underplay your part, too. The creative challenge is to strike the right balance.

What character traits come to mind after reading your draft? For example, maybe it demonstrates: Grit. Creativity. Compassion. These are great qualities to have as a college student. But remember to "show," not "tell."

Review. Personal statements allow you to be reflective, thoughtful and inspired about the direction of your life. Commit to the vision you want to share and enjoy the process of self-discovery.

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