Thursday, November 16, 2006
That time of the year has come for all college-bound seniors—the time to stress over college applications and personal statements.
Career Center tech Barbara Hart. Courier Photo A personal statement "is an essay about yourself, used to address things about yourself not previously expressed in an application,” said Career Center Technician Barbara Hart.
For the University of California, personal statements consist of one 600-word essay, and two 200-word essays. They are split up into three categories. The first category is academic achievement, the second is what opportunities you took advantage of in school, and the third is open-ended.
Seniors can write about anything in the third essay that they would like the UC they are applying for to know about themselves. They can choose which topic they would like to write about for each of the length requirements. For example, they can write about academic achievement for their 600-word essay and their open-ended topic for their 200-word essay, or the other way around. Any combination can be chosen as long as it falls under the length requirements.
“They are extremely important for UC-bound seniors,” said Hart, adding that although personal statements are required for every UC application, “they are not required when applying to a CSU or community college.”
Senior Vanessa Gutierrez has already started on her personal statements. “You really have to know yourself and find out who you are, since you’re writing about yourself. It takes time,” said Gutierrez. “At times," the process of writing the statements is stressful, she said., but, "if you manage your time it lessens the stress.” She said “people should try to do it in the summer, so they have less work to do during the school year.”
When asked about the challenges of writing her personal statements, Gutierrez said, “It’s hard to put all the information you want to include about yourself into only 200 words.” She also said, “You can give your personal statement to your teacher to correct, because they’ll give you insight and hopefully you’ll be able to improve.”
All college applications and personal statements are due on November 30.