Brainstorming Techniques To Get A Head Start On Your Personal Statement

By admin June 11, 2020 College Application Press

We understand how important this phase of your life is to you. First, it’s writing your personal statement, then it’s getting accepted to college,  and finally, it’ll be choosing your major — these are the choices that’ll determine the trajectory of your adult life. Indeed, the college admissions process is the first of many steps that’ll shape your professional career. 

Maryville University highlights how jobs that once required a high-school diploma, now only accept those with bachelor’s degrees. This is why ensuring you get this part right is of the utmost importance. And while we can talk about different aspects of the application process, we’ve decided to focus on one particular requirement that many have found troublesome: the personal statement.

The personal statement can be quite tough, as not everyone is used to expressing themselves and exposing their personal side. This is why we’ve put together some tips on how to overcome writer’s block, so you can get a head start on your personal statement!

BS/MD student brainstorming his personal statement topic

Gather Your Thoughts

Now, we understand how nerve-wracking it is to come up with a personal statement, as it involves having to define and promote yourself in 650-words. Not to mention the added pressure of knowing that this is what could help push your application into the acceptance pile.

Despite all of this, it’s important to remember to take a step back and gather your thoughts. It’ll be quite difficult to come up with something with so much pressure on your shoulders. It’s in your best interest to reflect on the root of what your essay will be about. Take it one idea at a time. Think about a story that defines you, that highlights your best characteristics and start from there. Just focus on telling your story, and you’ll see the words flowing out of you in no time.

Make An Outline

Now, another reason why you might have writer’s block is that your thoughts are too disorganized. We understand that you may think that winging it may be more natural and personal. However, given the broad nature of the task, it may be beneficial to try to outline what you’ll be writing down.

A Medium article highlights how outlining before writing is a good way to break through writer’s block. An outline gives you a reference when you’re feeling stuck at a certain juncture of your essay. Outlining your piece will also help its readability, as the ideas will flow better and be more cohesive. This process can help you frame it thematically, allowing you to get your message across more reliably.

Take A Break

Lastly, your writer’s block may just be due to mental exhaustion. Your mind and body have limits and need to recover after strenuous mental activities. Funnily enough, sometimes, the only solution is to step away and take a little break.

A study from the University of Illinois details how taking breaks in between attempting to do brain-intensive tasks often leads to better results. So go out with your friends, watch a movie, or take a long walk. Do anything that keeps your mind off the task at hand, and you may just find yourself inspired and ready to give it a go.

If you’re looking for more tips, check out our article on writing the opening paragraph of your personal statement

 By Penelope Wolowitz