Your Mom’s Guide to the Personal Statement

Now that we have finalized Boo’s college list, she is in the throes of writing her personal statement.  She is busily trying to figure out how to be be authentic, sincere, humble, honest, thoughtful, humorous, sagacious, scintillating, peppy,  mysterious, illuminating, perspicacious, and . . . uh . . clean!  Oh, and don’t forget — the statement should let colleges “hear her voice.”  (I have come to hate that stupid term.  Everyone uses it.  If they want to hear Boo’s voice, she’ll happily sing for them.)

Things were much easier when I was applying to college.  I could get away with a “what I did on my summer vacation” essay that did little more than demonstrate that I was marginally literate and intermittently conscious.  And that I had spent a summer in Sweden, weirded out by their love of lutfisk, ABBA and Bjorn Borg.  But, back then, that essay was good enough to get me into Brown.

Over the summer, Boo wrote a personal statement that centered on a series of calamities she faced during a trip to Turkey last year with a group from her school.  The essay culminated with her falling into a river and then having to wear her teacher’s spare pair of size 0 shorts for the rest of the day.  (Boo is slim but not that small. So as if having to wear her teacher’s shorts was not humiliating enough, the loss of circulation below her waist was positively mortifying.) Then she decided that essay was horrible, an abomination, and a possible crime against humanity and that she needed to start fresh with a new topic.

So in my usual helpful fashion, I came up with some topics that I thought would be perfect for her personal statement.  Much to my astonishment, Boo has rejected all my suggestions, so I share them with you.  Feel free to pass them on to anyone who is struggling with a topic. I’d hate to see all my hard work go to waste.  You’re welcome.

Personal Statement Topic Suggestions

❤️‍‍🐶❤️🐶‍❤️‍‍Why my doggie is the cutest doggie ever!!!!!!!!❤️🐶‍❤️🐶‍❤️‍ (emojis mandatory)

How Justin Bieber has informed my weltanschauung. (For the record, let it be known amongst all people of good faith and for all generations from now to the end of days that Boo is not now and never has been a fan. She would smite me if I left the impression that she was.)

Pringles — Tasty, tasty snack food or abomination against nature? . . . . Or both?  

The past season of “The Bachelorette” through the lens of Eastern philosophies.  (Boo rejected this topic because she doesn’t watch “The Bachelorette.”  On advice of counsel, I plead the Fifth.)

Why pumping your own gasoline in Oregon is a threat to global stability.

My summer in Sweden.

Inappropriate show tunes I have sung.  (This one was under serious consideration.  And yes, she knew the entire score of “Avenue Q” by the time she was 10.  I  have no idea how that happened. Nope. No. Idea. At. All.)

Why my spirit animal is a sloth.

Fights I have had over pronouns. #firstworldarguments

And last but certainly not least:

How my mother got into the World’s Dumbest Feud (©2016 Your Mom) with College Confidential!

Next — Your Mom’s Guide to College Rankings

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Look for my Guides to the Hippie Colleges of America and the Ivy League here.

2 thoughts on “Your Mom’s Guide to the Personal Statement”

  1. My daughter used the video course. Go to her website and click on videos. There are some free samples and the full course is 99 bucks. My daughter had 2 or 3 topic ideas for each common app prompt after the brainstorming lesson. HTH!

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