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5 Steps to Writing a Better Personal
By Colby

Step 2: Tell Them.

Now that you have their attention, tell them about yourself. Connect your opening paragraph with the lessons that you have learned in class and how those lessons have helped to turn you into the student you are today. Working with the previous example, the second paragraph could look something like this:

"Throughout my three and a half years in high school, I have had to learn patience. Patience in others, patience in myself, and patience in my schoolwork. I'm not a genius. Things don't come naturally to me. I have to try and I have to try hard. And taking AP classes has helped me push myself to become the person that I am today. I've learned to take my time with my studies and in turn, I have learned to be patient in other facets of my life. This patience and steady workmanship has led me to maintain a 3.5 GPA in my studies and has allowed me to preserve my position as Team Captain on the soccer team. It wasn't always easy, but nothing in this world worth having ever is."

From the second paragraph you've learned a few things about the applicant: their GPA, their class load, that they're a hard worker, and their position on the soccer team. Can you imagine how boring and unimpressive this candidate would have sounded if he just listed those things out in sentece form?

Step 3: Inspire Them!

Whether you realize it or not, you're an amazing person with wonderful qualities. You don't have to run a marathon or win a Nobel prize to be inspiring. All you have to be is you. When writing about yourself in your personal statement, it's important to make the reader feel something. And readers love feeling inspired. It's not that hard to do. Lets continue with our example essay:

"Someone once told me that true greatness is the result of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. If you had met me three years ago, you would have seen an ordinary guy just looking to get by in class. But soon I came to the realization that I could be anything I wanted if I just changed my attitude about myself. I started taking more challenging classes, I tried out for the soccer team, and I came home everyday and worked not only on my front kick, but my algebra as well. I told myself that if I wanted to be an amazing athlete and student, I had to push myself and I did. I made a goal. I followed it. And here I am today. I'm still that ordinary guy from three years prior, but I'm now doing some pretty extraordinary things with my life!"

In the third paragraph you learned that he started off slow at first, but gradually worked hard to become the student that he is today. He sets goals for himself and he followed through. How many people do you know that make a goal and actually complete it? His story may not be newsworthy, but it is inspiring!

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