University admissions: Why it pays to be authentic and self-assured in your essays

It's a treatise that would determine the course of your life, not just academically, but as a person too

By Asha Iyer Kumar

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Published: Thu 25 Apr 2024, 7:24 PM

Dear children,

I am giving parents a pass this time, and going to have a chat with you all, for this is a significant week. The last date for application will soon be up in many universities and if you could do with some help in writing or fine-tuning your essays, this is the time for it. For those who aren’t there yet, and have a few more months for the admission frenzy to set in, here are a few more things to keep in mind when you start writing what might be one of the most important compositions of your life. It's a treatise that would determine the course of your life, not just academically, but as a person too.

We spoke about how the big WHY that determines your career choice that by now would have become both your personal ambition and a vision for the world that you will be actively participating in. Remember, it is when our personal goals coincide with the greater good, no matter in what measure, that our careers will have true meaning and our stint on this planet will count for something.

When you begin to ponder over your personal statement, it is vital to consider what is valuable for you in life; what things you consider will make you a complete, useful, happy individual; traits that you would like to make the guiding principles of life. In short, these are the values by which you will lead the rest of your tenure in the world, and they will dictate your actions, both in your private and public lives.

Therefore, take some time to determine your values, if you haven’t already. This will include in what ways you will conduct yourself even when someone is not watching (your integrity), what you will and will not compromise in order to achieve your dreams (your adaptability), how hard you will strive for the realisation of your dreams (your persistence) and what qualities you would like to be known for among your peers, colleagues and teachers (your self-identity) and how you intend to face adversities and move forward (your resilience).

In case these considerations seem formidable at the moment, make a note and work on them in the years to come. But at the moment, know what you value the most, because your values will manifest in your behaviour, personality and actions, which are what your essays will, in turn, reflect. The person who is evaluating your eligibility would want to know more than your intellectual capabilities, and your personal statements are the best modes of self-expression.

When you write about your ambition, make sure that they align with your personal beliefs and let them shine through in your writing. With every sentence that you write, ask your yourself if it tells the reader something positive about you. However, don’t let that stop you from showing your vulnerabilities; neither should it make you flaunt qualities that you don’t genuinely possess.

Be your true self. Examine your emotions and thoughts, and assess if they portray your disposition in earnest. There is no harm in speaking about your frailties, but instead of being apologetic, clearly show your resolve to overcome them, for learning to handle failures is a trait that not many people have.

Whether you are writing about incidents from your life or your outlook on the future, make sure what you write brings out your determination to be a human being of some worth; someone whose presence in the college, later in the organisations that you’ll work and in the world at large will make a positive difference.

Be authentic and self-assured in your writing. It is what will take you forward, apart from your glowing academic and extra-curricular feats.

Until next, keep glowing; keep growing.


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