Rarely, but occasionally, while working with a student on a personal essay, I can’t help but wince.
It’s a concerned, gut response to the student taking an unnecessary and unwise risk.
Mount Holyoke, an all-women’s college, has a program in speaking, writing, and arguing, and sponsors an annual intercollegiate poetry competition.
Not all readers will know the details about these programs, and the personal statement provides a perfect opportunity for graduates of such programs to take advantage of interesting experiences built right into their education.
When people start high school they’re usually so excited.
They can’t wait to experience everything that comes with being in high school, I mean who wouldn’t?
Obviously, in most graduate applications, students don’t have such options when it comes to delivering the material.
However, those with particularly interesting personal tales or educational paths should always look for ways to highlight them in writing.
But despite the writer’s personal agenda, audience and context are key here, with the astute writer only taking chances when the risk is clearly worth it.
At the same time, as the following discussion makes clear, there are times when the uniqueness of your experience is indeed worth showcasing.