how to smash your personal statement!
My personal statement was the bane of year 13 for me… So, I want to help those who are wanting to apply to university, because your personal statement is the BIGGEST part of your UCAS application. It provides a background to who you are, why you want to study that subject, and it shows off your passion: which is what universities want to see! I will try to mention some points that may not have been mentioned before, but personal statements shouldn’t be scary!
My first and probably most important bit of advice is to BE AUTHENTIC! Being yourself is the key thing, as it shows off your personality. Universities want people who are passionate, inspiring, motivated and dedicated, so by being yourself, it gives the people who read your statement an insight to what you will be like as a student at their university. Don’t use fancy words to impress, it doesn’t make a difference, and can come across as either fake or quite arrogant. Just stick to being you, and it will be fine!
A personal statement will not just be perfect first try, as much as you would like it to be! You will need multiple drafts. Personally, I drafted my statement 4 times before being happy with it, each time, having someone look over it and scrutinise every detail, so that it could be corrected! If you have a good plan in place to start then you’ll find it a lot easier but correction is key, and don’t be scared to get it wrong, you’ll get it more wrong than you will right, but that’s okay.
As I’ve mentioned, having a plan is great, as it gives an idea of what you want to write about: but start by writing down EVERYTHING. Just having a brain dump is so good, as it just lets all your ideas out, before choosing the ones you want to focus and develop on. Even if it is something small, but useful, then write it down!!!!!!! As well as this, create a plan for the structure you want. There are so many different ways to plan a personal statement, you just have to find the one that works for you.
One key piece of your personal statement that universities look for, is extra research and further reading (something which is heavily focused on in uni). So, take online courses, read books, and do your research! There are so many free courses, or articles that you can find online, so take advantage of that, as it will be something that will take your personal statement to another level, as it shows you are dedicated to the course and subject!
Your personal statement is a time for you to show off who you are, so exaggerate a little! You have to make yourself sound better than you are, but not too much that they can tell you’re lying. You’re a human, not a robot, unfortunately, you can’t do everything under the sun in 17 years, it has to be realistic. Just big yourself up a little, fake it till ya make it!
It may sound very simple, but ask for help. It is a big thing with so many students wanting to go to university, and teachers do have a lot of experience and are more than willing to help. Teachers will recommend books, help with work opportunities etc. They will help to look over your personal statement too, and will give advice on how to improve it!
Finally, a point I should have told myself is to not overthink it. Overthinking caused me to put off by personal statement for months, it’s not as hard or scary as you may make it out to be!
So, if you’re off to university next year, I hope these tips help! Have an amazing week as always,