Everyone loves the excitement of senior year in high school-graduation, prom, getting ready for college. Everyone's favorite part is the paperwork, right? While the paperwork may not be fun, it is essential for your future success in college.
An important part of almost any college application is your essay or personal statement. While they vary from college to college, a great deal of them deal with your personal beliefs, goals, or accomplishments. It is important to be specific enough in your writing that it makes you memorable, but it is equally important to not give too much personal information that is inappropriate for an entrance essay.
Many people choose to write about struggles they've overcome that either have led them to attend a particular college, or illustrate their determination in wanting to attend college. Write with enough voice and description to make your predicament clear and not vague: for instance, rather than saying "I had many troubles my junior year that led to the poor grades on my transcript," say "My family and I went through a trying financial time in my junior year that made schoolwork difficult." This makes your problem a bit more clear and less vague.
On the other end of the scale, it is important to not give too much information. It can be very uncomfortable to have an intimate, private view into the life of a stranger. Using the example above, it would be too much information to say "My father lost his job my junior year, and my mother had to work full-time as a waitress to keep our house. I had to take care of the house and the cooking in addition to school and working full-time." Admissions essays have strict word requirements-rather than using those words to detail your troubles, use them to expound on how they have made you stronger. Too much negativity in an essay leaves admissions counselors with an unsure feeling about an applicant.
Above all, make sure to use your voice in your writing. Don't let your writing get too clinical or dry; the admissions counselors want to find out who you are! Express yourself in a positive, creative, and intelligent way, and you will be on your road to success.