8 Admissions tutors are people, too

You may be surprised to hear that admissions tutors are actual, real-life people.

So when you’re writing your personal statement, write like an actual, real-life person writes.

Students often write ridiculous, overblown, pretentious, pompous nonsense in their personal statements. They use language that no ordinary human being would use. No-one is impressed by this; indeed it’s off-putting. Just write normally.

That doesn’t mean use text-speak – be grammatically correct – but don’t be like Joey from Friends, who tried to impress an adoption agency by describing Monica and Chandler as

humid prepossessing Homo Sapiens with full-sized aortic pumps

when he just meant

they are warm, nice people with big hearts

Once you’ve actually written it, get someone to read your personal statement and ask them, “Does this sound like me?” If it doesn’t, rewrite it until it does. You should be selling the real you, not some version of you that you think admissions tutors will like.

Remember also that admissions tutors have a huge stack of personal statements to read, and it’s really boring. Cut them some slack. Write like a normal person and try to make it interesting. You know how to be interesting: you talk to your friends all the time and they seem to come back for more. Write as if you were talking to them. Well, not exactly as you would talk to them, but not a million miles away from it, either. You can tell when people are enjoying listening to you. When you read through your drafts of your personal statement, ask yourself if you enjoy reading it. If you don’t, it’s going to be a grind for the admissions tutors, too. Put some colour into it.

Now that you’ve thought about who’s going to read your personal statement, it’s time to think about what they want to hear.

NEXT: 9 What the UCAS form is really all about