What should a university personal statement be about?
Writing a personal statement for university resembles job application. The only difference is that in university, you learn common wisdom rather than practical things. So, the committee needs to know about your current level and your learning capability. As many students say, uni doesn’t teach you how to do things; it teaches you how to learn things.
So, how to convey the sense of being committed to learning? Here are some ways.
Describe the way you remember and analyze information. You may do so indirectly by recalling how you mastered some important course or how you just learned to do something. Describing a project, never stop on stating the fact that you’ve taken part; give them your vision, go deeper into the ways in which you demonstrated your commitment.
Show them your critical thinking using the sources and answering the question. When you’re a critical thinker, you don’t just cite a source. Instead, you integrate it into the broad picture and assess what of the author’s opinion is up to the point and what is not. Always think contextually: a feminist writer is concentrated on one set of problems, and a social critic is likely to touch the same subject differently.
If you’re asked about achievements, demonstrate your real achievements. Let them know what you’re really proud of. It’s better to do it without exaggeration: just describe the situation and your solution with colorful details. At the same time, if the prompt is about any stressful experience, it’s still reasonable to be honest, but not brutally honest.
Make your personal statement subject-relevant. The program you’re applying to is as important as your personality. Check out the requirements and think whether and how you fit them. This is usually not explicit, but your reader is likely to try figuring this out from your essay.
Share something inspiring. It’s nice to imagine that you’re just talking to someone, and your suggestion will be taken with interest. Tell about the things that power your intellect and imagination, so that they will also feel the spark. It could be a book, some music, some interesting case, or an anecdote if it’s relevant.
Expand on your soft skills. Are you a leader? Tell what campaigns you’ve run and elaborate on your vision of leadership and management. Are you attentive to the smallest details? Let them know this! Care for social or environmental causes? Why don’t you tell what actions you’ve taken?
Last but not least, a concise and well-organized personal statement hits the target. It will demonstrate how you put your thoughts together. Don’t forget to check your beautiful statement and have a happy submission!