Common Personal Statement Mistakes

Essays, Uncategorized

After reading several hundred personal statements and various college admissions essays, we’ve narrowed down the most common mistakes made when writing to impress a admissions team.

Please DO NOT try to be funny if you’re being offensive, tacky, etc.

Many of us do not have the same sense of humor as one another. An admissions officer from Cornell might not find your jokes funny, particularly if they contain vulgar language or inappropriate remarks. Be cautious when writing and think about your audience.

With that being said… Don’t be a robot either

Now, not being inappropriate is a big one. However, not showing any personality through in your essay can be a big downer for a college admissions officer who has read through hundreds or thousands of student essays. Try to bring humor or personality in if applicable. Entertain your audience (the admissions team) while staying structured and poised. It’s a tricky tightrope to walk, but you’ll get the hang of it.

Did you EVEN proofread?

We love proofreading your essays and making sure they are the best they can be in terms of content and style. However, forgetting commas or capitalizations are a big no-no. If you can’t form a proper sentence, how do you expect to survive in a college setting?

Your mom/dad/grandma/uncle/first cousin once removed is your hero.

If we have to read another essay about how inspirational your mom is and how you want to be just like her, we might need to shut down the site entirely. Sure, our mothers can be important to us and a big factor in our lives. But don’t center your story around a parent or relative unless the story is both interesting, unique, and TRULY epitomizes a big change in your life/or a reason why you chose a course of study/school. Be specific.

Don’t be weird.

Sure, writing a 300 word essay about Papa Johns may have gotten a girl admission to Yale University and a one-year supply of free pizza, but don’t write a haiku as your admissions essay. Or a poem, or a script, or something completely bizarre. Although they sometimes work, it’s rare and must be done well under the proper circumstances. Don’t risk losing points for choosing to be artsy in your application.

What are my chances of acceptance to Florida State University?

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We received a submission from a student applying to three Florida universities. The student’s dream school is Florida State, but they aren’t sure if they are qualified for admission.

GPA: 3.82

SAT: 1300

With your numbers and according to Florida State’s records, you should be in great shape to get in next fall! Make sure your extracurriculars and letters of recommendation are lined up and you will be good as garnet and gold!

 

 

A Typical Day at UF

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7:00 AM – Wake up call. Tried not to wake up my roommate while getting dressed. Didn’t get much sleep last night (Do not recommend!)

7:30 AM – Caught the bus to the center of campus. No one is really around because people don’t like morning classes.

7:45 AM – Made it to the cafe. I’m on a meal plan so I eat meal plan food. Got waffles with chocolate while I go over my notes for the lecture today. Professor typically gives pop quizzes so, I like to be ready.

8:30 AM – In class. Professor did give a pop quiz. I got a 100%. Tip: Go over your notes one last time before a test, you never know if something you just read would be on it.

9:40 AM – Have a tiny break between classes. Got some Starbucks while I wait.

10:30 AM – Theatre class. Big auditorium style course with at least 100-150 people. Professor gives a big lecture on modern musicals. Test coming up soon so I get some kids from my section together for a study group.

11:40 AM – Lunch! Headed on over to the cafe for some Pollo Tropical. Saw one of my friends from College Dems and met up with her.

12:45 PM – Last class of the day. Was called on in class (and wasn’t prepared for it). Oh well..

2:00 PM – Quick nap back at the dorm before my club meetings later this afternoon.

4:00 PM – College Dems meeting. Heading out later to my internship downtown.

6:00 PM – Downtown at my internship’s campaign office. Working the phones there for a few hours.

9:00 PM – Back at the dorm. Eating easy mac with my roommate while we study.

12:00 PM – Off to bed.

Ivy League Dreams?

Q&A

Ivy League schools are well-known, highly sought after, and extremely difficult to get in to.

Yet, every year, thousands of applicants pour in to apply for Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, and Dartmouth. Hopeful applicants dream of attending one of these prestigious schools, aspiring to follow the paths of many U.S. Presidents, famous scholars, researchers, entrepreneurs, actors, and more.

The chances of getting into an Ivy League school are slim. It is easy to apply and be hopeful, but if you do aspire to attend one of these schools, it is best to start charting the course to your Ivy League success VERY (and we mean VERY) early on into your high school (and possibly even middle school) career.

There are plenty of things you need to do to get into an Ivy League school. A skeleton version of steps you’ll need to take can be found below. However, we recommend reading up on our detailed Ivy League material in order to gain a better understanding of what the process is really like.

  1. Excellent GPA. (Top 10 of your class)
  2. Even better SAT or ACT score (Yes, we mean nearly perfect or at least high up there)
  3. Phenomenal extracurriculars (Not just that you joined a book club or volunteered once or twice to tutor)
  4. Rocking letters of recommendation
  5. A little something extra (something that will make the admissions team remember you)

How to ask for a letter of reccomendation?

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This can be summed up in three easy steps.

Step 1) Do not ask a teacher (after not speaking to them for a year) for a letter. They won’t remember you or want to write a letter for a student who simply hasn’t interacted with them. Ask a teacher who you know likes and approves of you.

Step 2) Ask in person, if possible. The best way to ask for something is in person. Approach them after class or schedule a meeting with them to discuss the letter. Ask nicely.

Step 3) Don’t ask them a week before the letter is due. TRY and ask them at least 1-2 months in advance. Teachers have busy lives and need time to write you a good letter.

Step 4) Send them your resume as well as some key points you’d like them to highlight (Writing, Leadership, etc.) This will help guide the teacher in their writing process.

Step 5) Tell the teacher THANK YOU after they are done.

Extracurricular Focus: Band

Extracurriculars

Band

What can I do with band?

Concert Band – First Chair, Section Leader, Student Director

Marching Band – Various Leadership Positions (Section Leader, Drum Major, Captains, etc.)

Awards/Honors – Solo & Ensemble, All-State, High School Band Awards, etc.

Organization: Tri-M Music Honor Society (Join, or Found your own chapter)

Outside of Band: Pit Orchestra for local shows, perform shows for hospitals and nursing homes, perform for events and charity organizations, etc.

 

Sample Freshman Schedule

Academics, Uncategorized

For a Full-Year Schedule:

Science: Honors Biology/Chemistry

Social Studies: AP Human Geography

Math: (Depends on level) Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II

English: Honors English

Elective: Honors Language (Of Your Choice not including ASL)

Elective: Band, Debate, Theatre, HOSA, Leadership, Etc. (Main Extracurricular Focus)

Elective: Second Extracurricular Focus or Necessary Graduation Requirement (Gym, etc.)