With UC applications due in less than two days, the majority of students are still struggling to complete the four different 350-word personal essays. While the actual UC application can be completed easily, completing the personal essay portion of the application can be very challenging for teens. Here are a few things to remember:
- Make this a personal essay about you and your experience. The readers are not interested in a chronology of how wonderful you are. While you may need to provide a little background, the focus of these essays is to give the admissions officers a way to connect with you. I often suggest students reveal themselves fully in the essays. Impress the readers with your strengths and weaknesses, and make note that your best work is yet to come!
- Do not write your personal essay like you would an essay for your high school English class. Begin your essays with an interesting hook. Drop them into the situation without any context and build your story from there. This strategy gets right to the point. Your essay for English class needs an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. You will not be able to provide the proper context and properly answer the prompt by following this format.
- These essays should be the very best work of your life! You are attempting to show the colleges that you are a worthy candidate and at no risk of failing. Put in the extra effort to make certain the essay reads well, is interesting, and, is free from grammar errors!
One last thing to consider: the essay is just one part of your application, and, in certain cases, may never be read. However, there is a chance that it is a vital part of the process and it would be a shame for you to be denied admission because you didn’t want to invest a little more time.
Good luck, and remember, reveal something about yourself.