Tomorrow is June 1st…which means APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN!
If you are a pre-dental student you have probably been stressing about this date and working on your application. If you are a pre-dental student like me, who decided last minute she actually WAS ready to apply then you are stressing even more about this date….first tip: Breathe. It’s totally ok not to submit on June 1st. While most dental schools encourage applicants to submit their applications early, you have time. I think I submitted mine mid-July and I still got in! As always, just do your best, try to submit as early as possible and RELAX.
SO, for a lot of pre-professional students, the personal statement is the most dreaded part of the application. A lot of applicants put it off until last minute (which I do not advise). So today I am going to try to encourage you and give you some tips! (bonus free download).
The Do’s and Dont’s of writing your Personal Statement:
- Don’t Freak Out: If you find yourself doing everything BUT your personal statement…you might be freaking out. It’s ok. This is the first time you get to tell your favorite schools who YOU are. This isn’t about numbers, scores, and classes this is about ____(your name here)_______.
DO: Get started! (download my free personal statement worksheet here.) The longer you procrastinate the less time you have to write the most perfect personal statement that shows you, your personality, and your passion.
- Don’t worship someone else: Sometimes students get caught up in writing about this really awesome dentist who inspired them, or their really awesomoe mom, or their really awesome dog….but this isn’t a statement about them, this is a statement about YOU.
DO: You can BRIEFLY mention the people who inspire and motivate you, but really limit this info. Make sure that you are the star.
- Don’t TELL them how great you are: Refrain from using sentences such as “I am a very hardworking and dedicated individual”. This may be true, but this doesn’t really tell them HOW you are hardworking and dedicated. Honestly, any ol’ Joe who slept through all of his gen chem classes could write this statement…there’s just no proof.
DO: SHOW THEM how great you are. If you use an adjective such as the ones above immediately follow up it with examples. Or, ditch the adjectives completely and let them figure these traits out for themselves. For example, in the following sentence I hope you might infer that this person is hard working:
“Motivated for my sophomore year, I worked diligently in classes, worked as a server in a campus diner and cashier at Lowe’s Home improvement”
Notice that this sentence should not stand alone, it is part of a story and a transition in that story but you get the idea….
- Don’t be cliché:
“For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a dentist.”Nope! Don’t freakin’ do it! Clichés, especially in the opening, are a great reason for those reviewing your paper to hit NEXT.
DO: Revise, revise, revise. You may not even realize you are being cliché at first. After your first draft, print your paper out and pretend like you are a grumpy resident who has read far too many personal statements. Highlight every sentence or phrase that could have (and probably has been) written by someone else.
- Don’t Lie: This should be a no-brainer, but some people still do it. Anything in your personal statement, application, etc. is going to be under a microscope. They can ask you about ANYTHING…so do not lie, do not embellish, and do not add creative little details that actually didn’t happen. If they don’t see through it in the essay (which they probably will), it will come up in your interview.
DO: Be yourself! It may take a little while for you to realize it, but if you have made it this far: YOU ARE AWESOME. Talk about that. Talk about the things that make you, you. Have you overcome some challenges? Work experience? You can get a little personal, it is your PERSONAL statement after all (haha! had to…sorry)
- Don’t forget the spell check!: Another no brainer, but so very important. A lady who reads personal statements for a dental school I applied to told me that they pull each personal statement up on the mega board and read it together. I can guarantee that someone in that room will see that grammar error, spelling error, or typo that your brain overlooked because it knew what you were trying to say.
DO: REVISE (some more). Take advantage of your resources. Ask multiple people to review your personal statement, run it through Grammarly, spell check, etc. Also, asking multiple people to read over your personal statement (their unique opinions will give you a sample of the various opinions of the committee board…use them to create the feel you want
BONUS: Personal Statement Worksheet
Ok guys, that’s all I can think of for now! I encourage you to google examples, talk to people who have experience on admissions boards if you can and seriously…BE YOURSELF.
If you have any questions or comments let me know! I will try to get back with you ASAP since I know that this is a very urgent and important time of year! Sending so much love and good luck your way!