The clue is in the title – this is your chance to introduce yourself to colleges and universities. And it is ok, everyone has the same space and with some thinking and effort you can write a compelling personal statement. There is plenty of great advice out there for free, the UCAS website itself has some excellent advice and I’ll share the link below.
What you first need to do is try and put yourself in the shoes of an admissions officer or lecturer who is tasked with reading dozens or even hundreds of application forms. In reality this is probably a thankless and incredibly boring task. So have them in mind when you start drafting your form.
My top tips:
don’t rush, stop, think and reflect even go for a walk and think about how you could approach doing this
imagine you’re introducing yourself to a stranger and you want to create a good impression – what would you want to tell them about and highlight about you
Draft it in bite size chunks, leave it alone and come back to it later, be patient
tell stories about your experiences, make sense, use emotions and write in a crisp style
think about how you can differentiate yourself from other students
make it interesting and don’t make general unspecific statements – give specific examples of your experience
BE HONEST & BE YOURSELF
ask others to read it for you and make suggestions of what to omit or to include
keep repeating the above and refine your draft as necessary
give yourself plenty of time (you cannot start this process too early) don’t rush at it and leave it to the last moment!
a great first step can be to keep notes of good experiences you could include in any future personal statement or CV.
I was never a great student but had a great time at university learned about being independent and made some great friends. But it actually doesn’t matter whether you do or don’t go to university. However, do keep learning, pick up skills and experiences, build relationships and look around to see how you can make a difference.