"Starting with a blank piece of paper" is a good thing - you, the writer, are in charge! So why is it so difficult to write a personal statement? We think there are a couple of things that make writing the essay challenging. First, it is personal. Yuck, who wants to write about their feelings? Second, there is pressure that the essay has to be "perfect". This is a myth. The essay needs to be authentic, but not perfect.
We work with students using a 3-step approach to identify a personal story, explain what they have learned, and explore why what they learned matters. We start big, iterate, and end up with a compelling narrative that reveals the student's personality and defining characteristics.
Common Application Bootcamp
Join us for a Breakaway Bootcamp! Work with our college counseling team to complete your applications - including essays - months ahead of deadlines. Limited to 3 students.
A Breakaway Bootcamp includes:
- Small-group and one-on-one instruction
- A completed Common Application - each step from creating your account to finishing every question
- A personal activity sheet and advice on the strongest presentation of extracurricular activities for applications
- Multiple primary essay drafts- written and edited
- Individual advice about college list and strategy for early action, early decision, etc.
- Strategy and timeline to complete remaining application requirements
- Take-home binder for parents with all materials and student notes
Summer already over? Prefer to work on your own?
Given the personal nature of essay writing, coaching in a one-on-one setting may be preferred. Students will meet with our essay specialist in person for several sessions, and share drafts and feedback via email until the essay is completed. Register below for whichever type of session fits your needs.