Let’s Be Brave

Hey everyone,

Welcome back to my blog! I hope you all had a great Winter Break and took some time to rest and relax. I spent most of mine driving back and forth from home (Northern Va) to good ol’ Williamsburg for work. I work as a server at a local restaurant. It got kind of annoying at times driving back and forth so often, but ultimately I was able to take my time off from classes and assignments and focus on making some money for this semester which has been really nice to have. That being said, PLEASE drop a comment or a question on my posts if you ever want to hear what it’s like to work while being a student at William & Mary. I work three jobs AND participate in tons of organizations and teams on campus, I promise it’s doable…I should probably write a blog about that eventually…But, alas, today’s post is all about the big upcoming deadline: March 1st!

I’m sure everyone reading this is painfully aware that the Fall Transfer Application deadline is March 1st! It’s crunch time, folks! This week, I want to focus on your personal statement. The personal statement essay can be simultaneously the hardest and the easiest essay in all of the application process. On one hand, the prompts are fairly open-ended and leave a lot of room to explore what you want to say. On the other hand, they can be dangerously vague and leave you staring at your screen for hours on end waiting for inspiration to strike. The amazing thing about William & Mary, and I feel extremely comfortable and honest saying this after working in Admission for the past year, is that they are genuinely just looking to get to know you. Don’t focus on writing the best, most eloquently profound essay in the world. No one is expecting you to be Fitzgerald or Twain. The admissions committee is really, truly, honestly just looking to see the most authentic version of you. Who are you? What makes you unique from the person sitting next to you? Be as candid and genuine as possible because that goes so much farther than flowery metaphors and painfully long compound sentences. If you have to deviate a little from the prompt, do it!

More so than anything else, know this: William & Mary, specifically those that will actually be sitting down and reading your application, take your whole story into consideration. What I’m trying to get at here is don’t leave anything out. Be honest. Be candid. Be you! It sounds cheesy, but it’s not always about having the highest GPA or the most extracurriculars. You could have all of those but never show what makes you authentically you. We want you for you and the best way to tell us exactly who you are is through your personal statement. I wrote mine about craving diversity–of thought and culture—something I was dangerously lacking at my old school. Through highlighting my own faults and calling attention to some of the opportunities I was missing out on that my fellow applicants may have been able to one-up me with, I was able to paint a picture of who I am and what I truly value. I was a college athlete involved in one other club on campus, yet here I am. Tell your story, whatever that may mean to you, as honestly as possible. Be brave and courageous with your story! I wish you the best of luck in the next few weeks!

Until next time,
Joey Cronin ’20

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