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How NOT to write your personal statement

A Picture of Laura

Writing your personal statement is one of the most important parts of the university application process. It’s a chance to really show off your best bits and highlight those special qualities that make you stand out from the crowd. It can seem daunting at first, but I promise it doesn’t have to be that hard!

So, here are five things you should avoid doing if you want to create that perfect personal statement in time for your application:

Leave it until the last minute

Don’t be that person who is rushing to put something together at the last minute. It causes you unnecessary stress and it probably isn’t going to be your best work. Start early and work on it whenever you find the time.

Make your mother/father/best friend/dog write it

It’s tempting to push the task onto someone else, especially because it’s kind of awkward to write about yourself and it saves you a lot of time and energy. It won’t help you in the long run though. Believe me, you’ll have many more of these to write, so the sooner you get the hang of it, the better. Plus, if you want to do a course where you might have to an interview, it’s really important that you know your personal statement like the back of your hand.

Fill it with quotes and clichés

Unless you have something really original, chances are it’s all been done before. Save yourself the time and space to show off your personality.

Show it to lots of people

Good proofreading and support is vital, but if you have too many people giving you different advice, it will turn messy very quickly. It also loses any personal aspect that you’ve worked hard to create. Choose one or two people who you trust the most and stick with your original work as much as you can.

Write it and get rid of it

If you can put all your words down straight away, great! But remember to wait for a little while and go back to it before you submit. You’ll be amazed at how different it looks through fresh eyes and it gives you time and distance to think about any problems you had during the writing process. It’s a great technique to use with anything you write.

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