Using Summer to Get Ahead on Writing Your Personal Statement
CollegeAdvisor.com presents “Using Summer to Get Ahead on Writing Your Personal Statement” in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A, featuring Admissions Expert Marisa Peryer. Marisa will explain how students, especially rising seniors, can maximize their summer to get ahead of their personal statements. The webinar will start with a 30-minute presentation and end with a 30-minute live Q&A. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2022-04-26 Using Summer to Get Ahead on Writing Your Personal Statement
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on Using Summer to Get Ahead on Writing Your Personal Statement To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.
Now let’s meet our panel.
Hi everyone. I’m Marisa. Um, I recently graduated from Yale last May. Um, I study biology and science history, but was also a very engaged journalist on campus. Um, I worked as a reporter throughout college, um, graduated as a Yale journalism scholar. Um, so I’m very excited to talk about writing your personal statements.
Um, I recently. I wrote my personal statement, but for med school recently. So, um, I’m very fresh to, to crafting, you know, sort of a narrative about yourself. Um, so [00:01:00] very excited to talk to you all today. Um, And our first pool. Yes. Yes. So before Merissa gets started in sharing more about getting started on your personal statement, we want to get a sense of what great you are in.
So if you can take a second and respond and let us know, and Marisa , congratulations on finishing that personal statement. I can only imagine the work that you’ve put into it. Yes. Okay. So we have the responses coming in and it looks like majority, we have about 80% of our participants are in the 11th grade, followed by that we have 9% tip grade and then 4% ninth grade and the rest is other, so a good number of, of 11 grade participants.
So I’ll turn it back over to you. Okay. Good. All right. Uh, so I starting very simple. Um, what is a personal statement? Uh, so people are referring to your college personal statement. They’re [00:02:00] most often referring to the common app, personal statement. It’s it’s, it’s a 650 word essay about your high school experience.
Uh, the common app gives you a variety of prompts, I think maybe like 10 to kind of work with. But, um, I encourage students to not really look at the prompts, kind of just start thinking about. What is the first impression you want to give your application reader? Um, I sort of the first chance that your voice shines through on your application.
Um, and what is sort of the most important thing about your high school experience? Um, that’s a point, I think a lot of students kind of miss is that typically what admissions officers want to see is something related to your high school experience. Um, obviously there are some things that probably happened pre high school that could be relevant to who you are.
Today. Um, but if possible, I mean, there’s always some exceptions to this, but, um, for the vast majority of students focusing on your high school experiences is going to be really key here. Um, and again, many prompts are offered, [00:03:00] but they’re so broad that really any story can fit under one of those 10. And the last one is sort of like a make your own kind of prompt.
Um, so I would encourage students to focus on their own experiences and their own stories and kind of like backtrack when they’re trying to fit, fit a problem. Um, so that’s kind of what the personal statement is sort of at the bare minimum. Um, all right. Uh, so the benefits of starting personal statements early in the summer, um, I will say I have worked with, um, dozens and dozens of students over the years.
Um, helping them. You know, write their personal statement or get to the point where they are writing their personal statement, thinking about what to write, um, and how to go about that in the most effective way. Um, and by, in large, the students who take the time to write over the summer and get in that habit of writing early.
Um, they typically are the most successful students because they have time to do the things I have listed here, which is redraft and redraft and [00:04:00] rewrite and all that good stuff. Um, get feedback from other sources and, uh, feel confident once they are submitting their, their, their application. So, um, like I have here at times one resource, you can not get back once it’s gone.
Um, I’ve seen that many times with students where it becomes a very rushed job at the end, because they did not put the effort they needed you over this. So, um, for the juniors who are listening the summer is your best resource. You’re not stressed out with school. Um, I will say one point here about the feedback is that, um, you should get your essay in front of other people, but you don’t want to overdo it too too much.
Uh, just because you can get very conflicting ideas from different people. Everyone’s going to have a, everyone’s going to have an opinion on your essay. Um, and if you incorporate too much feedback, Sort of lose your own voice. Um, so be careful with that. Um, family members often want to over edit essays and they should never, never, never do that.
Um, [00:05:00] but generally have some people, you know, redresses, um, at least, uh, like vibe check sort of what you’re doing. So the starting the writing process can be very daunting. Um, I mentioned before I wrote my med school, personal statement over the last few months and, um, it’s hard. Um, it’s hard to, you know, look at that blank page and, and get going.
But, um, the, the best thing you can do for yourself is to just jump right in there. Um, no one’s first draft. Good. Why it’s the first draft. So, um, do not freak out if the first thing you write isn’t up to your usual standard. Um, but to get going, I would say the, the most important things are to start brainstorming.
Um, these questions I have here are sort of like a guide, you know, what are your most salient experiences? Um, how did they transform. Um, interesting parts about your own story, your own experience, what was transformative? Those are the really key things we’re looking for impact. You’re looking to show who you are and give the admissions officer an idea of who you will be on their [00:06:00] college campus.
Um, the other thing is just to brain dump everything to just. Get going with the writing. Um, once you have those ideas kind of like in your head, um, again, the, your first attempt at writing, it’s not going to be your best writing ever, and that’s completely fine. That’s sort of why you’re letting yourself have so much time, so you can get something down, you can edit it, you can rework it and get it to the place it needs to be for, for submission.
So time is, is, is very crucial for this in this.
Okay, so structuring, uh, the summer to complete your personal statements. Uh, so flexibility is key. I think junior year or the summer going into senior year is important for a lot of students who have. Are maybe studying for an sat retake or have, you know, their first big internship, that kind of thing. Um, but it’s still possible to have a fruitful summer, um, while working on your college essays.[00:07:00]
Um, but just ensure you have a dedicated time to write and understand when you write best. Um, some people write better in the mornings or the evenings. Um, And aim to sign concrete goals. Um, I would advise students away from saying, okay, I’m going to spend an hour a week writing my, my essays. Um, I don’t think that’s probably the best, uh, goal to set.
I think studying something a little bit more concrete, like I want to have my first two paragraphs honors or something like that. Um, gives you more tangible thing to kind of work. Um, but being flexible very much key. Um, it, it can also be helpful for students to kind of find like their views or like their vibe when they write.
Um, for example, when, when I write, I like to get comfy and my chair listened to some music and really get in that kind of like space that I’m writing from. Um, so if that at all pertains to any of you, um, definitely find sort of, um, your vibe to Reich’s. Sometimes it can make creative writing a little bit easier.
Um, Biggest thing easier [00:08:00] said than done is to avoid procrastination. Um, I think everyone has kind of felt this. They have an essay to write. They don’t want to do it and it just gets put off. Um, it’s your absolute worst enemy in the college application process? Um, I, I think the biggest thing you, that you can do for yourself is to say, okay, I don’t feel like writing today.
I’m just going to look at this for, um, you know, maybe an hour, get a few sentences down, just do something today. Um, and I think that can often be easy to write. Back up, you know, later that day, when you feel motivated the next day, you know, whenever it may be. Um, so just keep moving. It doesn’t have to be very far, but, but, you know, keep, keep moving for sure.
To avoid that procrastination. Uh, so another common thing students say when I work with them, when they first come to me to say, I don’t know. How to write about myself, where do I start? Where do I begin? Um, it’s a very normal question. If any of you out there are, are feeling that right now? Um, I think every student kind of feels that way when they, when they start writing their, their college personal statement.
Um, the biggest thing is [00:09:00] just reflecting inward. Um, again, asking those questions of yourself, you know, how did I help my community? And what impact did that have? Um, what transformed me, um, Any everyone has a story to tell and you just have to find yours, right? Like, what are your most interesting qualities?
Um, and how did you kind of develop those? Right. Um, and another tip is to get insight from other people, um, you know, maybe talk to your friends, your family, your teacher, your neighbors, um, and ask them sort of these same questions and maybe it’ll get sort of the ideas flowing in yourself as well. Um, sometimes this kind of thing can be helpful.
Um, and it’s just another way to get some words.
Okay, we’re going to take a short pause, um, for our second poll, we want to know where are you in the college application process? So perhaps you haven’t started that’s okay. Um, you have time and perhaps after today, you’ll be ready to start your personal statement, or maybe you’re researching [00:10:00] schools are working on your essays, getting application material together.
Um, or you may have gotten early, early, started here, almost done. It’s a lettuce. Let us know where you are.
Okay. So the responses are coming in and we have about 71% of our attendees are researching schools followed by that. And we have a few who haven’t started. That’s okay. Kind of getting a sensitive grade level that makes, that makes complete sense. And then a few are working on their essays and some are getting your application material together.
All right. I’ll turn it back over to you, Murcia. Okay, great. Um, Okay, so developing a personal brand for your personal statement. Um, so the, while you are trying to make a good sort of like first impression on the person who’s reading your [00:11:00] essay, your application from the admissions committee, um, you do kind of want to think about the overall cohesiveness of the portrait you’re showing to that.
Right. Um, so it’s not only just this essay sort of your activities list or supplemental lessons. Um, your transcript in some ways, too. Uh, and so your personal statement is sort of like the, the like crowning piece of like your personal brand, right? Uh, so the personal brand obviously is going to be very different for many students.
Um, if your, if you feel like the most important thing about you is your love of, um, Medicine for example, and you had some really amazing experiences in medicine that you feel like changed you throughout high school. It makes sense to write your personal statement on it. Um, but say you, um, had a big I family experience that, um, negatively impacted you, but you came out the other end, [00:12:00] uh, Having some sort of silver lining experience that give you new insight that you’re going to take with you to college.
Um, that could also be something that you you write about as well. So it’s going to be very different for each student, but I kind of listed out here sort of the key parts to, to keep in mind, uh, for students who are trying to use, trying to formulate their, their personal brand and using their personal statements.
Okay. Th the, the kind of give that, um, move that along. Uh, so academic interests, again, this isn’t just saying. I love science. So I want to do it, um, saying something like, I want to study computer science and neuroscience to create the first app to help children with speech impediments, completely random example, but it shows that you not only want to be a scientist, but you put thought into like, why you want to do it and what goals you want to accomplish.
There’s a little bit stronger. Um, so if that was sort of like the thesis statement of your personal steam, that you would want to show, like some experiences that, um, that back, [00:13:00] back up that claim, right? Um, Unique personal and experiences. Again, show don’t tell is sort of the golden rule here. Um, it’s very cliche, but I think it’s one of the most crucial things to think about when you’re writing these tests.
Um, and, and what that means is you, you don’t want to just outright say something, you kind of want to give some specific details that lead the reader to the same conclusion, but do it with a little bit more immersion, right. Um, that’s gonna make the admissions officer, you know, slow down a little bit, put themselves in your perspective, um, and, and see things from your eyes.
And it makes for a more immersive and stronger writing. Um, otherwise it becomes really easy. What’s through a common FSA, um, and it’s not very memorable. Um, so those key details are your friend. Um, the sod just relevant to writing about unique, personal experiences. It’s relevant to everything. But certainly keep that in mind.
Um, and then same thing with extra curricular experiences, um, additional interests, anything like that? That the key [00:14:00] here is what is the most important thing that I, the admissions officers should know about you. Right. Um, and so these are kind of just like some guiding points to. Okay. So, uh, my, uh, personal statement process.
So it was very much a process. Um, from what I remember, I spent a lot of the summer working on it. Um, I went through two completely different ideas, uh, before I finally, I got to my final angle. Um, I knew I wanted to write about, um, my experiences in science and medicine and how that. Transformed me in high school, but, um, had no idea how to do it in the best way.
Um, this less for those first two drafts came from, um, they were very bad. Uh, they were scrapped I, but I was pretty happy with the final, um, version that I went with. But again, it takes time and that’s why you really, really, really should spend your summer working on your personal statement because you do need that time to [00:15:00] develop your ideas, go through those drafts.
I think the best thing you can do is not have too much of an attachment to, into your first few drops. Um, just so you can have that clear head to say, you know, this isn’t my best writing I can do better. I know what I want to do better. Um, it gives you that, that competence, that bravery to say, you know, I want to write this again.
I’m going to do it better. Um, So I focus on again, what I felt like was the most important thing about me and my narrative, frankly, all my activities were about, well, most of them were about science and medicine, what I wanted to do and college. Um, and so I knew that that was something I wanted to write about.
It was very important to me. Um, and I aligned from my essay that I think I have like examples that exemplifies like the show. Don’t tell a point that I made before. Uh, th this line right here, uh, the first to turn the lights on in the last turn lights off, I have to spend more time in the lab. I ended at home.
Um, it was sort of a reflection on my time doing research and it was just a more. [00:16:00] Memorable way to say. I spent so much time in the, in the lab in high school, uh, and this is a hundred percent true. I would show up super early and I would leave super late, um, just because I love what I was doing. Um, but again, it’s a little bit more interesting than to just say I love science and I did whatever I could to pursue it.
Um, so just keep that in mind, as you’re kind of, you know, crafting your own story. Okay. So, uh, some final tips on writing your personal statements. Uh, the biggest number one thing is be genuine. Um, you need to find your tone and your narrative style. Um, don’t be afraid to let yourself shine through in your writing.
Uh, it can be kind of hard to write about yourself, but again, that’s what you need. Those first draft scores, just to get your ideas on paper and then like refine them. Right. Uh, Essays that tend to have a little bit more voice to them can be a little bit more memorable. You have to be careful though. Um, you don’t want to overdo it.
It should be still professional and still, um, [00:17:00] reflect well on yourself. Um, so that’s, I think also why it’s important to give, to have other people read your essay again for that, that vibe check. Um, Uh, but definitely be genuine, be yourself. And that’s sort of the, the golden rule with, um, the, the other golden rule with I with, with college essay writing.
Um, As I mentioned earlier, consider the advice of others, but do not let it dictate your essay. You were sort of the steward of your application and is your application. Your name is on it. Um, and don’t feel like you have to take every piece of criticism to heart. Uh, but you know, certainly considering. Um, again, like I said before, family members often have strong opinions on your personal statements and what you’re writing in your college essay.
But again, it is your work. It is your story. Um, and also very important. I think sometimes parents like to parents can, sometimes I make themselves over-involved in essays and, um, Either over editing a student’s essay [00:18:00] or, you know, like God forbid writing a student’s essay that should never, never, never happen.
Admissions officers can tell when it’s not your writing and it’s not your voice. It’s also really dishonest as well. So, um, so students, uh, you know, taking control of your essays and parents, I would encourage you to take a step back and let your children kind of, um, I write their own essays and develop their own ideas themselves.
Um, Uh, and the other thing is using descriptive language. I talked about this before, but, um, again, you want to play someone in a specific scene, a moment in time and give them enough detail to imagine what it was like to be in your perspective. You don’t want to over overdo it. Um, kind of like everything, every piece of advice that I’d given.
Um, there, there is a balance there, but when you can do it really well, it’s immersive. And again, it slows the reader down and it becomes a more memorable essay. Um, so these in total are sort of my, my, um, final tips for you when I’m writing your personal.[00:19:00]
Okay. So that concludes the presentation part of our webinar. We are going to move into our live Q and a. So how is going to work? I am going to read the questions that you post in the question, the Q and a tab, and I will paste them into the public check so that you can see them. And then I’ll read them aloud before Marisa gives you an answer.
As a heads up, if your QA tab, isn’t letting you submit the questions. Just double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page. Okay. So first question, and I’m going to ask, um, that’s the one asked in the pre paddle questions is how do you overcome writer’s block?
Yeah, I think this is a question that. Comes on, on every student’s mind throughout this process. And, uh, my best tips for [00:20:00] avoiding writer’s block is, um, I would say sometimes you do need a break. You know, if you’ve been staring at the page for an hour and you can’t figure out what the heck to write, like take a break, you know, go outside, go for a walk.
Um, that’s completely fine. You need breaks to, um, you know, to write into write really well. So I think that’s the biggest thing. Um, Sometimes I like to leave off writing. Um, when I have a solid idea of where I want to pick up and how I want to do it, I find that makes me more motivated to come back into jump right in where I left off.
Um, I think those are probably the two biggest things to overcome writer’s block. And sometimes you kind of just have to suck it up and put something down. Um, even if it’s not good, I think you have to become really comfortable. Being okay with writing something initially that you know is not good, but then working to refine it.
And I, once you have something down, sometimes I think it’s even easier to think [00:21:00] of, oh, I want to phrase this better. Oh, now I know what I want to write. Um, again, as I was writing my personal statement for med school over the past few months, um, it definitely a lot of those moments where I knew what I wanted to write, had no idea how I wanted to say it.
So it was a lot of trial and error. And that’s completely okay. And again, that’s why you want to give yourself a lot of time because when you’re writing very stressed out, it’s never good. It’s never a good outcome. And I think the last thing is also sleep, uh, very important. Make sure you’re getting your sleep.
Uh, it’s very, very hard to write well, um, when you’re sleep deprived and, uh, that’s my pitch for her sleeping well as well, I guess. Yeah. I agree. Sleep is very much so important to recharge your brain, um, so that you can get ready to, you know, write your personal state. So our next question, if you want to be a PA a physician, is it good to write something about medicine or perhaps just focus, um, only about yourself.[00:22:00]
Uh, so all of your personal statement or any variation of your personal statement should always be about you and in your experience. Um, if you are interested in medicine, you don’t necessarily have to write an essay about that passion or what led you to it. Um, for some students that make sense for me, it made sense.
But if you have other things that, um, are important about you or distinctive, those could also be good candidates for the idea you work with for your personal statement. So don’t feel like you have to be like boxed in because you know, you want to be pre-med in college. Um, C like other stories about you or the other pieces that, that could be interesting, that could contenders, but, um, I think those are sort of the, my thoughts on kind of, um, that question, I guess.
Okay. Next question. What are your recommendations for sample essays or sources for inspiration? Um, [00:23:00] yeah. Um, there’s a lot of. There’s a lot of sample essays out there. Um, there’s certainly books out there of, um, uh, my, my canvas paper actually put out a book. I, every few years of, uh, common up essays of accepted Yale students.
Um, so those kinds of things are out there. Um, I think there’s one for like Harvard too. Uh, so. You know, those, not those I think could be considered good quality essays, um, in quotes. Um, but no, those kinds of things are out there. If you want to see like, like essays, like the, um, that at least have been like somewhat vetted advised, um, by book editors.
I, so those are examples. You can also Google online and find some samples as well. Um, And I think [00:24:00] that’s probably the biggest source of inspiration. I think it’s important to look at examples and just see how, what other students have done in terms of like what your finished product should, um, not like look like, but just sort of, sort of understanding what the tone is, um, and how different students have worked with different ideas, I think can be helpful.
Um, So anyway, tons of resources out there. I think just with some savvy Googling, you can find plenty of personal statement, examples. Um, and yeah. Okay. Thank you. Okay. So next question that we have is how do you get started in writing the personal state? How do you get started writing the personal statement?
Yeah, I, you know, I actually don’t really remember. Um, I knew that the, the absolute biggest thing about me in high school was how much I was involved with research and in neuroscience. Um, so, and [00:25:00] knew I wanted to talk about that. So it was a really transformation. Experience for me. I came from a first gen background.
Um, neither of my parents went to college. Um, and you know, here I was, you know, walking around a med school hallway. Um, you feeling like I belonged because I, some professor decided to take a chance on me as a sophomore student and, uh, that made a huge impact on, um, how I felt and felt like I belonged, like in the sciences.
So anyway, I knew what I wanted to write about that. Um, and. Uh, that’s how personally I got there. It was kind of just like an intuition, but for students who may not know what they want to write about where they could write about, I would say. Um, again, do some brainstorming, use those questions I put on the slides to kind of guide you, um, and think about some of your seminal experiences.
Again, talk to your friends, teachers, parents, uh, [00:26:00] siblings, and just see, I, you know, if they have any stories of you from high school, things that stick out to them. Um, so it was sticking out to them then, you know, that probably could stick with someone, um, who would, is reading your essays from the admissions committee.
So, um, yeah, that’s my take on that.
Okay. And next question is our, um, our personal statements on the common app. Um, the personal, his name is on the comment app or the short essay prompts that some colleges, well, let me kind of reframe this question a little bit. Um,
Okay, I’m going to come back to that question so I can read it a little bit more, but what is the best way to narrow down which angle you would like to use for your personal statement? Yeah, I would say w when I’m helping students, um, you know, review their essays, I’m sort of thinking about how.
[00:27:00] Interesting. Is it, um, how much does it resonate with me? How much does it stick with me? How much are they? Actually able to bring me into a scene and immerse me in their narrative. Um, those are the questions that I ask and I think that’s questions that students should be also asking themselves as they are considering different angles.
Um, at the end of the day, you need to write an interesting story and it needs to be memorable in some. Um, even if you have a quote unquote typical experience, there are ways to write about it that are memorable, and that’s where the details come in. Um, and that’s, again, that’s what I look for when I’m reviewing students’ essays.
So, um, and deciding between angles, I, I would sort of ask yourself what. What are the most interesting details about this? How can I tell the story? And honestly, like what story is the most interesting to read about? And that’s where feedback can come in [00:28:00] between, um, you know, bouncing ideas off friends or teachers or family members, et cetera.
Um, and I think starting there is it.
Okay. So we’re going to take a short pause from our question and answer so I can share a little bit more about CollegeAdvisor. So those, for those who are in the room, who aren’t already working with us in CollegeAdvisor, we know that college admission process is overwhelming for parents and students.
Our team of over 300 former mission officers and emission experts are ready to help you and your family navigate all in a one-on-one advising session and especially supporting you with writing your personal statement. I think that’s the area as advisors that we probably spent a lot of bulk of our time and it’s supporting students through the personal statement process.
Um, in last year’s admission cycle, our students were seven and to Harvard at three times the national. [00:29:00] And acceptance to firstname.lastname@example.org. And again, that is AP. That CollegeAdvisor.com their students and families can explore our library of webinars.
Keep track of your application, deadlines, research schools, and much more all on our website. Okay. So I am going to go back to our question and answers. So our next question is what if your child is an athlete and she is also interested in majoring in political science. And does an internship in the field.
She is trying to get into college for sports as well. Should her personal statement be based on sports or her interests in political science or [00:30:00] her internship? It’s a really good question. Um, I would say there is no right answer there. I think it comes down to. The what experiences the student has. Um, if the student has a really cool story to tell about sports that shows, um, maybe like leadership or maturity or being a team player, um, that could be a really good story and something that carries the personal statement.
Um, if there’s an amazing story to tell from the internship experience that, you know, maybe frames her interest in political science and, um, It gets at why she wants to study and what she wants to do with it in college. That also makes a lot of sense as, as the personal statement topic. Again, it comes back to what is the most interesting story to tell and what is the most impactful takeaway that you can take from the essay, whichever idea you go with.[00:31:00]
Um, so it really depends on the experiences and sort of. The ideas behind it. I’m there is no right answer between those two. Um, again, it just comes down to what is the, the stronger experiences behind the two. Okay. And the next question, how does stand out when you haven’t had experience hardships? Um, as this is seen as like a common theme about talking about hardships.
So what do you do if you have no hardship? Um, well, I think the first thing is that, uh, so colleges do like to see, uh, how you have responded to challenges and overcome them. Um, I think everyone has had something that, uh, they felt they were up against. I had to somehow overcome it and figure out how to do that.
So I think it was a huge sign of maturity and I think everyone has something like that from high school. Um, I [00:32:00] think it’s another common thing I have heard from students who, um, uh, Feel like they need to have some really big hardship that they had to go through during high school. And they feel like they’re, they’re missing something without it.
I feel like that’s a completely, um, misplaced concern. Um, colleges are not expecting you to, um, have suffered in high school. That was not a prerequisite for admission. Um, and I, so I. Being concerned about that feels misplaced very misplaced to me, but, um, colleges, I, I don’t think I’ve seen a supplemental essay that says, uh, tell us about a challenge you’ve encountered and how you overcome it.
Um, if you have, it’s a, probably a pretty rare supplement essay. Um, so you of [00:33:00] don’t feel like you, I will necessarily. Prompted to write about hardship. And so if you feel like you haven’t experienced some life-changing hardship in high school, uh, don’t try to invent something and make it monumental. Um, just don’t write your personal statement about something like a hardship.
Um, college is probably, uh, well notice that, eh, they, they won’t notice it at all. It’s not going to make it seem like something is missing from your applicant. Um, but certainly if you feel like you have experienced a hardship and it has transformed you and it did make a really big impact in your high school experience, like you should absolutely write about it.
Um, either in your personal achievement, the additional comments section where you can kind of write about anything, um, on the common app, um, and certainly supplemental essays. So, um, you know, that there is the opportunity there as well. Okay, our next question. Um, what steps do I need to take in order to be [00:34:00] prepared?
I would say, um, the, so to be prepared, to submit a high quality application, it should definitely, again, I think the biggest thing is, is time and the time that you invest in writing your essays and. Putting together the application as a whole, um, every single time I meet with students first and I ask them, or I meet with them for the first time.
And I asked them, what do you think about applying to college? What is the thing that stresses you out the most 10 out of 10? It’s almost always the essays and writing the essays. Um, so it’s a really common theme for students to be very stressed about it. And I think that stress can make. The lay starting writing.
Um, it’s the absolute worst thing you can do and try to avoid that at all cost. I think the, again, the more time you can spend writing, um, getting feedback, refining, the more polished your application is going to be, and the stronger it will [00:35:00] become as well. Um, again, I’ve read applications and essays that were written.
You know, in like a week’s time. And they’re just not as strong as the students who have spent, you know, months crafting their essays. So, um, again, I’m speaking from experience here. Um, and the, the biggest thing is just, uh, time and making sure that you have a lot of it to work with. So you don’t feel stressed out when, when you’re writing and trying to think of ideas for your essays.
So I think that’s the biggest thing for being. Okay, well, and we don’t have any more questions and answers. So that is actually going to bring us to the end of our webinar, but perhaps more so you can just give some final points of, um, you know, just some pointers to our attendees. As we saw that a good number of folks are going to, they’re getting ready to start their essay.
So any kind of final words you want to share. Yeah, I think the biggest thing [00:36:00] is try not to be too hard on yourself. Uh, college admissions and applications are stressful enough. Uh, do not be your worst enemy in this process. Um, you know, give yourself time to think in breaks and, uh, treat yourself well. Um, because it’s not.
A great place to write from if you’re writing from stress or feeling down on yourself or hard on yourself, um, or, you know, similarly for the parents who, you know, maybe listening, I try to be supportive. Yeah. You know, your children, it is a very stressful process. Um, and while it’s important that students do make the work, it’s also really important that, um, that parents are kind of understanding of all the obligations that, that students have to juggle in the, and the pressure that comes from applying.
So, um, I think that’s my final word of advice is just take care of yourself and your mental health, um, the biggest takeaway from all of this. And then once you feel, you know, good, um, Naturally better writing kind of flows from that. Um, that’s my final thought. I guess [00:37:00] that’s really great advice. You have to take care of yourself and that’s all the preparation for you get ready to go to college as well.
Um, so thank you again for sharing everything around, using the summer to get a head, start on your personal statements and thank you to everyone who attended. Evening this session. Yes. This session will be recorded. So you will receive an email shortly after the conclusion of tonight’s webinar. So thank you again.
And then lastly, you know, we are kind of coming towards, this is our last actual webinar for the month of April, but we will have a, another series of great webinars coming up for the month of may. So again, if you’re not already on our website, please go to app.CollegeAdvisor.com. Thank you. Thank you very much.