4 Tips for Graduate School Personal Statements!

Writing the personal statement can probably be one of the hardest parts of the graduate school application process. I mean-the tests, deadlines, essays, recommendation letters-and on top of that, the personal statement. It can definitely be pretty overwhelming. So, start off with the basics and conduct a thorough self-exploration because the personal statement serves a very important purpose and it is, without a doubt, the heartbeat of your entire application. 

1. Allocate the deadlines: The first thing that you need to know is that all graduate schools have deadlines, and once that deadline has passed, you will probably have to wait for an entire year to be considered. So, first thing is first. Do your research and make sure that you know all the deadlines for your top grad school choices. Mark your calendar so that you have plenty of time to organize and work on your personal statement, which is so-so important. 

2. Brainstorm: Think about all the experiences that you have had so far...how do you think they have shaped or molded you into the human being that you are today? Take notes on what drives you. What are your motivations, dreams and plans? Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? Visualizing yourself can help a lot in the writing process. Make sure you document all your thoughts. 

3. Seek a mentor: Now, this one is my favorite. I truly believe that mentors help students find their way of being. If you want to write about yourself, a mentor can guide you through. Sit down and have a conversation where he can also take notes and then help you organize your ideas. Mentors can really be lifesavers, so don't be afraid to ask them about their experiences. 

4. Tell and show: Your resume shows all the experience that you have had, but the personal statement shows why you are the ideal candidate for that school. Consider the strengths that you bring from your professional and academic achievements and talk about it! Why do you think you are the perfect fit for x, y or z University? 

Personal statements can really consume your agenda! Start off simple. Don't overload yourself with stress. Try to give yourself some time. It doesn't matter if you get stuck on your writing, take a break and then keep going. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game!”- Babe Ruth

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