Often, in college application essays, it is required to write about yourself. While this may not be a difficult feat for some individuals, many college applicants find the task of balancing professionalism, personality, confidence, qualifications, achievements, and more to be a little intimidating. When you add the requirement of having to respond to a specified prompt into the mix, knowing how to write about yourself becomes even more overwhelming.
How to Write a College Essay About Yourself
Writing a personal college admissions essay is a crucial part of applying to university. The first way to start a good essay is to brainstorm. Get a pen and paper and sit in a quiet space to think about yourself.
Things to Write About Yourself
Here are some topics to write about yourself:
- Your Childhood
- Your Family
- An Impactful Relationship You Had (family member, teacher, etc.)
- Your Financial State
- Challenges You’ve Faced
- Your Academic History
- Your Unique Hobbies
- The Sports You Enjoy
- Your Goals
- Your Achievements
- Write about a time you had a unique experience
- Tell a story or personal anecdote
Regardless if it’s about your experiences, talent, or relationships, only choose a topic that is meaningful to you. When you are passionate and genuine about it, this will reflect in your essay. Remember to answer the how and the why when writing about your topic.
Write your college essay using your voice, and make sure that your essay conveys your personality in real life. Keep in mind that your essay should give admissions officers a glimpse into who you are as a person.
Tip: Avoid using cliche phrases when writing your college essay!
Here is the current Common App essay prompts that can give you more good ideas.
Tips on How to Write an Essay About Yourself
Wherever you are on the entire spectrum of comfortability with personal writing about yourself, there is always room for improvement! When it comes to college essays and applications, you want to put your best foot forward. This includes knowing how to write about yourself without making it weird. Let’s take a look at some top tips for accomplishing this!
1. Journal Consistently
One technique for learning how to write about yourself is, to begin with, journaling consistently. While this may not be practice in the professional tone that you will eventually write your essay in, it is effective practice in being comfortable writing about your personal experiences. Journaling allows you to go through the motions of writing while not needing to restrict yourself to certain requirements or reach a specific end goal. You have the freedom to write about whatever you would like, for however long you would like, in whatever tone you would like.
When you journal consistently, you essentially are working out your writing muscles. Just like you might cross-train and lift weights in order to improve your performance at a different sport, strengthening your writing and your comfortability with both talking about yourself and producing quality written pieces will improve your performance at completing a solid college essay.
2. Make Writing a Habit
The next step in learning how to write about yourself is to expand from journaling consistently to just writing in general consistently.
There are many instances that you may be required to write about yourself, such as in your school and scholarship application letter, internship inquiry letter, cover letter and resume. So, any kind of writing is good for practice!
When you make writing a habit, you give yourself the opportunity to try out a different type of writing styles, target various audiences, work towards different goals, play around with wording choices, and so much more. This can be extremely beneficial for tuning in your tone and further improving how comfortable you are with writing, and especially with writing about yourself.
When you go about making writing a habit, be careful to not make it a chore, but also to hold yourself accountable to the goals you are setting. Burning yourself out on writing too quickly can end up making you dread your college essay even more. Instead, perhaps make it fun by creating a game out of it, where you write out possible prompts, audiences, and tones, and then randomly select from those lists and write a piece using that information. This creates a challenge and eliminates the potential for this task to become boring or repetitive.
3. Decide on Details
Another way to make yourself more comfortable with various ways to write about yourself is by figuring out which stories you are potentially ready to share and deciding which details you would like to include. If you have a general idea of what you may end up writing about, you can practice different ways to write it out or different options for wording. This allows you to make critical changes to various approaches you may end up taking, and essentially building your arsenal of topics you have already practiced depending on what best fits the application prompt(s).
4. Practice Your Personal Statement
One last idea for improving how you write about yourself is to practice your personal statement specifically. While the previous tips have encouraged you to practice a few different aspects of the college essay as a whole, practicing your personal statement is essential as well. This statement may end up serving as the first impression the admissions committee gets of you, your personality, your passions, your goals, and your qualifications.
Your personal statement has the potential of setting the tone for the entirety of your college application and can set the expectations for your performance in your selected program from the very beginning. In order to create a successful personal statement, it must be genuine and true, reflective of who you are and what you hope to achieve, and it requires you to be comfortable enough to write about yourself effectively. By practicing this personal statement multiple times prior to filling out and writing college applications and essays, you are putting yourself in the best position to be fully prepared and especially equipped.
How to Start a College Essay About Yourself
After choosing an interesting topic about yourself, it’s time to organize your thoughts. You can do this by sketching an outline. An essay should include an impressive introduction, 3-5 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Your essay’s introduction should be creative and captivating to encourage your readers to read more. Your introduction should end with a thesis statement you will expound on in your body.
When writing your essay’s body, each paragraph should contain an argument with supporting details. These arguments should be relevant to the scholarship you’re applying for and your academic and career goals.
Finally, give an overview of these arguments in your conclusion and end your essay with a significant thought about your future. You want to conclude your essay with an excellent final last impression.
Cultivate Your Best Writing
Sometimes, even after multiple attempts and following these tips and tricks, knowing how to write about yourself can still be difficult. If you would like a second set of eyes or someone who is experienced to bounce ideas off of, connect with us! We can help you Cultivate your best writing while encouraging you to increase your comfortability with various potential college essay topics and improving your ability to write about yourself (without making it weird). Want to learn more? Connect with us today!
Taking the ACT Soon?
Prepare for the Spring 2022 ACT dates with our ACT Prep Camp! Enrollment is now open. The ACT Prep Camp begins on January 15th, 2022!