University application deadlines are approaching and you still haven’t started working on your personal statement. It can be quite nerve wracking to write a personal statement as you have to make sure you impress the reader, while staying within the word limit. For some people it can be quite difficult to list their strengths and weaknesses for many reasons such as not feeling like they are worth to be listed, or that they make you stand out from the other thousands of applicants who are competing for the same place. Don’t fret for too long, as we have you covered in this article with tips that you can use to your advantage for university applications.

1. Write a rough draft

The first step is to write all your ideas down in your head. Right now, don’t worry about staying within the word limit or following an outline. The main purpose of this step is to get your juices flowing so that you pick up momentum and start writing. Plus, the character count can be really stressful to look at, so in the beginning you should simply write without having to worry about it. Chances are you are well within the word count without having to adjust anything in the first place.

2. Don’t be hasty

Great personal statement takes time to develop. Don’t feel like you have to write the whole thing in one sitting, in fact you should not do that. Take your time with writing the personal statement. You can write each paragraph in the span of a couple of days so you can devote more time to each area of the personal statement. You can also get some personal statement help from you professors or online. It actually helps a lot when you keep coming back to it because you realize you can do something better each time.

3. Being creative with your expressions

Your personal statement should radiate with sophistication and class. However, it is also important to not overdo it. You can always use the thesaurus for help with some words, but be careful to not use it on each and every word of your personal statement. You can also take a look at other personal statement to get a rough idea on how to use sentences in strategic manner.

4. Have other people look at it

This step cannot be stressed on enough. Once you are done working on your personal statement, make sure that you have other people read it. These people can be your friends, family and teachers. They will provide you with a new and fresh perspective and highlight some things you can potentially change and improve. Having your professors read will probably be the most helpful as they can give you some genuinely helpful and important advice that will do wonders with your personal statement.

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Contributed by Amna Khan