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10 Tips for Writing an Essay About Yourself

Even though we know ourselves better than anyone else, writing about yourself is hard work! When applying for scholarships or college, questions that force us to analyze ourselves come up all the time in all different forms…and they often leave us stumped! Some common examples of personal essay prompts are:

Tell me about yourself.

Describe a challenge or event that made you who you are today.

What are your short- and long-term goals and how do you plan to achieve them?

Write about a time you failed at something. How did it affect you?

…and the list goes on and on!

We might find it so difficult to write about ourselves because we’re embarrassed, don’t want to brag, or simply don’t know what to include. But knowing how to approach these essays can make them much easier!

how to write an essay about yourself

Check out these 8 tips for writing an essay about yourself:

1. Create a List of Questions

After understanding the prompt, the first thing you should do when figuring out how to write an essay about yourself is to make a list of questions that you’d like to answer. The best way to do this is to think of smaller questions that relate to the big question.

To get you started, here are a few common examples:

What is your background?

What’s your greatest accomplishment?

What are your goals?

What are your interests?

2. Brainstorm and Outline

After deciding which questions you want to answer, it’s time to brainstorm your responses. Feel free to write down anything that comes to mind. Once you have all your thoughts out, focus on the most important parts and create a comprehensive outline to work from!

3. Be Vulnerable

Don’t be afraid to let both your weaknesses and strengths shine through in your essay! Scholarship and admissions committees love to see that you’re self-aware and conscious of how you can improve as a person so go ahead and talk about your mistakes and how you learned from them.

how to write an essay about yourself

4. Use Personal Examples

Since this essay is all about you, you should make it as specific as possible! Avoid using generalizations (e.g. I’m really good at music) and, instead, go for more personalized statements (e.g. My fourth-grade teacher really inspired me to pursue my interest in the clarinet). Your own personal examples are what will make you still out in the end.

5. Write in the First Person

Even though you likely had an English teacher at some point who told you to never write an essay in the first person, you can throw that advice out the window. When figuring out how to write an essay about yourself, you should absolutely write in the first person. Using the third person perspective for a personal essay is strange and awkward, so it’s best to avoid it.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Off…But Don’t Overdo It

Most students hate writing a personal essay because they don’t want to brag, but it’s more than okay to highlight your accomplishments and strengths. However, it’s a good idea to take a second look at your essay to make sure that you’re keeping the tone informative and realistic. Also, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed when writing your essay. The committee wants to hear all about you so there’s no shame in giving them what they want!

how to write an essay about yourself

7. Let Your Personality Shine Through

Just because it’s an essay doesn’t mean it has to be dry and boring. This essay is all about you, so let your personality shine through! Trying your best to express who you are as a person will have a huge effect on the admissions or scholarship committee!

8. Proofread and Edit!

The last step in writing your personal essay is to double check your work! One typo can bring your essay from amazing to just okay…and it doesn’t take long at all to avoid that. In addition to proofreading, it’s also a great idea to go back and change sentence structures or add/delete information to make your essay stronger.

how to write an essay about yourself

What are your best tips on how to write an essay about yourself? Let us know below!

How to Write an Awesome Essay About Your Career Goals

Even though it can be challenging, writing a career goals essay is often an inspiring and motivating process! Not only can it give scholarship committees a well-rounded picture of your goals and aspirations, but it’s also a great opportunity to sit down and think of what you’re passionate about.

There are a few questions you should ask yourself before you start the essay. Taking the time to brainstorm and create an outline before you start writing can be super helpful (just to get your thoughts in order first). Here are a few questions to help get you started, but feel free to pick and choose or add your own:

  • What are my short-term and long-term career goals?
  • Where do I see myself in ten years?
  • What events in my life have led me to have these goals?
  • What major will help me reach my goals?
  • What skills do I need to reach my goals?
  • What impact do I want to have on society?

These questions are a great starting point. When it’s time to put your ideas into essay format, it’s good to have a general idea of structure. You can use the template below to give you some ideas. However, remember that some rules are meant to be broken, so don’t be afraid to be innovative and think outside the box!

career goals essay

Career Goals Essay Template

The first paragraph should be an overview of what you’re going to talk about and it should also grab the reader’s attention. For example, instead of starting your essay with something generic (e.g. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a zoologist.), get creative with it! Try something like My greatest memory as a young girl was going to the zoo for the first time or While most kids play house or school, I always wanted to play zookeeper.

For the second paragraph, it’s a great idea to elaborate on what inspired your career goals. Perhaps it was a relative, a TV show, or simply an experience that you had. You can touch on your short-term and long-term goals here as well, although it might be better to really focus on them in the upcoming paragraphs.

In paragraph 3, you can discuss your short-term career goals and your intended major. How will your intended major help you reach these goals? What skills do you need to learn to reach them? At the end of the paragraph, try discussing how your short-term goals can help you achieve your long-term goals

For the fourth paragraph, it’s a fantastic idea to focus on your long-term goals and the impact that you hope to have on society. If you’re not sure what your long-term goals are, don’t sweat it; they’ll probably change anyways. You can focus on the difference you’d like to make overall instead. And don’t worry too much about the size of the impact…remember that just doing what you’re truly passionate about has a massive impact on those around you.

The last paragraph is your conclusion. You can use this paragraph to summarize what you discussed in the last few paragraphs. If you want to be even more creative, try ending your essay with a question for your readers or a new insight. And good luck!

career goals essay

If you still need some inspiration, check out examples from other students just like you. Here are some links to some great career goal essay examples to get you started:

Example 1 

Example 2 

Example 3 

16 Study Tips to Lead You to College Success

College is an exciting and life-changing experience. It may be the first time you’ll be living on your own and it’s a fantastic opportunity to make friends and meet new people. However, adjusting to college life can be overwhelming – and getting down a solid study routine is no exception!

College courses are completely different from high school courses and your old study habits might not be as effective. Taking the time to figure out what works can save you tons of headaches in the long run!

Don’t just study, study effectively

Learning to study efficiently can save you time and help you get the most out of your classes. Not only will you better understand the subject in general, which will help you in future classes and jobs, but your test scores will likely reflect all the effort you’ve put in!

How To Find the Most Effective Study Habits

Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula or prescription for how to study effectively…everybody is different! The best approach is to try out different methods that you like and see what works and what doesn’t. If at first you don’t succeed, don’t get discouraged. There are tons of college study tips out there…and if you don’t like any of them you can always invent your own!

16 Expert Study Tips for College:

study tips for college

First, Focus on Preparation.

1. Organization is key!

Your planner can be used for more than just jotting down your homework…use it to map out your upcoming exams and create a study plan around them! Additionally, make sure that the area where you plan to study is organized and clean so you don’t get distracted by the mess.

2. Plan Ahead

Creating a study plan at the beginning of the semester or before an exam can make the task of studying much more manageable. Ideally, you should study a little bit every dayeven just 20 minutes can make a huge differenceso you don’t end up cramming and stressing out right before the big day.

3. Take Good Notes

Studying starts in the classroom. If you don’t pay attention and take careful notes, you’ll likely have more trouble trying to remember the information later. Learning effective note-taking strategies can have a direct impact on your study habits and is one of the most important study tips for college. 

4. Find a Routine

Getting yourself into a routine is one of the best ways to make sure that studying becomes a part of your everyday habit. Determine what time of day works best for you and make a real effort to dedicate that time to reviewing notes.

study tips for college

Teamwork is Essential

5. Study with Friends

Studying doesn’t have to be boring…getting friends involved can make everything more fun and effective! Plus, studying with friends is one of the best study tips for college since it allows you to be social at the same time.

6. Ask for Help!

If you really don’t understand a concept, asking questions can be a huge help! Don’t be afraid to stop by office hours (that’s why they exist!) or reach out to classmates and professors via email. There’s never any shame in not understanding a concept.

7. Teach Someone!

Teaching a friend, family member, or even your pet the material is a great way to see how well you know it! When you explain it to someone else, you’ll have a better grasp of which information you already have down and which information you should spend more time on.

study tips for college

Create an Ambiance

8. Mix Up Your Study Spots

Studying in the same spot can get tedious, so why not mix it up and get a new perspective on things? College campuses have tons of study spots for studentsfrom the library to the campus lawn to local cafes. Take advantage and give yourself a new view every day!

9. Get Rid of Distractions

Studying without distractions is crucial when deciding which college study tips to adopt. Try to find a quiet space or put headphones in to block out your surroundings. It’s also helpful to put your phone on silent. You can always respond to your messages afterward!

study tips for college

Approach

10. Don’t Cram

While it may seem like a good idea to learn an entire semester’s worth of information in one night, it’s not a very effective study habit and it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. Instead, study a little bit of information every day. You’ll likely remember more and you’ll be much calmer when it comes to exam time. 

11. Memorize vs. Understand

One of the study tips for college that can make a massive difference in how you approach new information is knowing the difference between memorizing and understanding. Memorizing information isn’t actually learning the informationit’s just helping you learn how to repeat it. When you fully understand a concept, you’re able to use it in various contexts and understand how it relates to other concepts. In college, unlike many high schools, your exams will likely be testing whether you actually understand the information and not whether you’ve memorized it.

12. Reorganize your notes

One way to study is to rewrite and organize your noteswhether in your notebook again or in flashcard form. Going through each line of your notes ensures that you’re hitting all the information you reviewed in class and might even remind you of a few things you would have missed otherwise.

13. Study Smarter, Not Harder

Occasionally, college professors will tell you the information that will (or won’t) be on an examlisten to them! They’re telling you for a reason and you can save tons of time studying if you focus your efforts on what you know you’ll be tested on.

study tips for college

Keep Your Cool

14. Use the Reward System

Studying can be draining, so don’t be afraid to treat yourself for a little motivation. Buy a coffee from your favorite coffee shop or get some yummy study snacks. You can also reward yourself with breaks doing things you like, like taking a walk, reading, or watching TV.

15. Take Breaks

Continuing from the last point, taking breaks is super important. It might seem like you need to use all the time you possibly can to study, but your brain will start to slow down after a while. Taking breaks can help you get the most out of your study time with the least amount of stress.

16. Don’t Stress

Stressing out while your studying is counterintuitive. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a break, walk away, and come back to it a little later with a fresh perspective. It will make all the difference!

study tips for college

What are your best study tips for college? Let us know below!

26 Tips to Start Your Freshmen Year Off on the Right Foot

Heading to college can be both a life-changing and overwhelming experience. From dealing with roommates and new social situations to interacting in a completely different educational atmosphere, it can be difficult to know how to make the most out of your experience. Luckily, starting off on the right foot can make all the difference and we have the knowledge to get you there!

Check out these 24 helpful tips for college freshmen. We’ve split them up into four different categories to make it easier for you, including social, academic, health & wellness, and financial! (P.S. if you’re also looking to start off on the right foot financially, have a look at our step-by-step guide on applying for scholarships!)

8 Social Tips for College Freshmen

1. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

When you first start college, you’ll likely feel out of your element. After all, this may be the first time you’ve been away from home for so long and you’ll be exposed to lots of new experiences. Our #1 tip for how to be successful in college is to try as many new things as possible!

Don’t be afraid to meet new people, take the initiative with starting conversations, or join new clubs and activities that you normally wouldn’t. College is filled with opportunities and it’s completely up to you to take them.

tips for college freshmen

2. Put Your Roomie Issues Out in the Open

Living with a roommate isn’t always easy, but being honest can make the situation much simpler. The best approach is to determine a set of rules that you both agree on at the beginning of the semester. If something your roommate does bothers you, don’t be afraid to say something (nicely, of course!) and try to find a solution.

3. If Possible, Live on Campus

While it’s not always possible for money reasons, living on campus can completely transform your college experience. You’ll be able to see what it’s like living on your own and it will make it much easier to get involved in campus life, go to parties, and get a feel for the overall college experience.

4. Don’t Lock Yourself in Your Room to Study

Most campuses invest a lot of money to make sure that their students have great study spacesso take advantage! Instead of staying in your room, head out to the library, a café, or even an outdoor space. It will give you a change of scenery while making you feel less lonely at the same time.

5. Involvement is Key

So many students make the mistake of ignoring this college tip for freshmen and not getting involved in campus life, but involvement is so important! Not only does it give you the chance to meet new people, but it gives you an outlet for other interests. Don’t be afraid to get involved in student government, sports, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or any other activities you enjoy!

6. Use College as a Fresh Start If Necessary

You are under absolutely no obligation to be the same person in college that you were in high school. Don’t be afraid to use college as a chance to completely reinvent yourself!

tips for college freshmen

7. Make Your Space Yours

Having a boring dorm room or apartment can really make a difference in your mood, so don’t be afraid to customize your space. Put up pictures of friends and family, hang a tapestry, or put up your favorite movie postersget creative with it!

8. Have fun!

Don’t forget that college is just as much about the experience as it is about getting an education. Enjoy yourself and live every day to the fullest! College will likely be some of the most transformative years of your life.

4 Health & Wellness Tips for College Freshmen

9. Don’t Let Homesickness Control Your Life

Being homesick is completely normal, especially during your first year of college, but it doesn’t have to control your life. Set aside time each week to talk to your family, but don’t overdo it. Make sure that you’re not sacrificing time that could be spent getting involved in campus life. Finding a balance between speaking with family and experiencing college is crucial!

10. Remember That You’re Not Alone

Among all the tips for college freshmen, this one is often overlooked! College can be overwhelming, but there are thousands of students around you who are going through the same experience. If you feel like you’re in over your head, academically or emotionally, don’t be afraid to reach out to on-campus psychologists, roommates, fellow students, family, friends, coworkers, professors, or anyone else. It’s completely normal and talking it through or seeking help can be extremely beneficial!

When we were at university, we were told about the ‘duck syndrome’. It refers to the fact that when you look around everyone seems to be swimming along smoothly, but under the surface, they’re all kicking furiously to say afloat! At the times when you are struggling, know that you are not alone.

11. It’s All About Balance!

Unsurprisingly, your grades are a super important part of your college experience, but don’t forget to balance things out! When it comes to figuring out how to survive college, you’ll soon realize that this tip is key. Make time for going out with friends, extracurricular activities, alone time, and whatever you enjoy. Stressing out over grades will only lead to you feeling burnt out and frustrated. Plus, learning how to balance various aspects of your life is a life-changing skill to develop!

tips for college freshmen

12. Throw It Back to PreSchool…Naps Are Your Friend

Naps aren’t just for five-year-olds–they’re for college students, too! Between your social life, extracurricular activities, work, and class, you’ll be lucky to get a solid 8 hours of sleep a night. Luckily, class schedules often allow for a nap or two throughout the day…and don’t be afraid to take advantage! Napping can boost your productivity and reduce stress.

7 Academic Tips for College Freshmen

13. Learn to Think Outside of the Box!

College is all about expanding your mind and growing as a person…regardless of your major! It’s where you start to not only answer your questions but to question your answers. Improve your ability to think for yourself and don’t be afraid to discuss outside-of-the-box ideas during class. You’ll learn much more during your undergraduate experience that way!

14. Be Open to Changing Your Major

While you might go into college completely passionate about your intended major, be open to realizing that your passion might lie elsewhere. In fact, about one-third of college students change their major during their academic career. College is a time to discover new interests and passions and there’s absolutely no shame in changing your major!

15. Don’t Be Afraid of Office Hours!

Professors hold office hours for a reason…because they want you to go! Too many students overlook this college tip and end up regretting it. Don’t be afraid to show up and ask questions about exams, assignments, projects, or simply topics discussed in class. Office hours also give you the chance to get to know your professors, which can open more opportunities for you and give you someone to turn to for letters of recommendation and references when you’re applying for internships and jobs.

16. What’s the Earning Potential of Your Major? Don’t Worry About It.

Unless you want to enter a highly-specialized field where you need to know very specific knowledge, such as engineering, don’t worry too much about guessing your future earnings. In this day and age, the most important thing is that you have a college degree in general! For example, a degree in philosophy doesn’t mean you have to enter a philosophy-related field; there are opportunities all around!

tips for college freshmen

17. Look Forward to Studying Abroad!

Studying abroad is possible for all majors, from international affairs to geology, if you choose the right program! Completing part of your education abroad can give you a strong advantage when you enter the job market and also give you a new perspective on life and your future career. Not to mention, it’s likely the only time in your life that you’ll be able to travel without adult responsibilities, so take advantage of this college advice and do it!

18. Form a Relationship with Your Academic Advisor

Your academic advisor will be with you throughout your academic careerso it’s important to develop a relationship with him or her! Don’t be afraid to take their classes or ask them for career advice…they were in the same place as you at one point. Plus, your academic advisor can be one of the best people to turn to for a letter of recommendation in the future.

19. Participate in Class…Don’t Be Passive!

One major difference between high school and college is that class participation is much more important. Don’t be afraid to come out of your shell and share your opinions…that’s what college is for! In fact, depending on your major, participation in class might make up over 50% of your grade!

tips for college freshmen

5 Financial Tips for College Freshmen

20. Wait to Buy Textbooks!

While it may seem tempting to show up to the first day of class completely prepared, it’s actually better to wait to buy your textbooks (unless your professor says otherwise)yet another one of the tips for college freshmen that students tend to overlook. Often times, the syllabus is wrong or the professor can recommend a cheaper version of the book that will work just as well. Also, always try and buy used—it can save you loads of money in the long run! Some great places to check for used textbooks are Amazon, Chegg, AbeBooks, BIGWORDS, and local bookstores around your campus (although the actual campus bookstore is usually overpriced).

21. Working Is Beneficial

While it can seem a little overwhelming, getting a part-time job in college is actually a great college tip! Not only will it help you meet new people and expand your social circle, but it will give you a little extra spending money!

22. Get Your Money’s Worth

College tuition isn’t cheapand most students don’t even take advantage of all the free resources available to them! Take some time to figure out the campus resources available to you, like the gym, fitness classes, the career center, writing center, seminars, career fairs, and more!

tips for college freshmen

23. Budgeting is Your Friend

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you probably won’t have much money in college. Learning how to budget is key…and luckily the internet makes it easier! Check out resources like Pinterest to see how you can get the most for your money when it comes to groceries, apartment decorations, going out, and more. Plus, don’t forget that you can get tons of discounts with your student ID!

24. Minimize the Financial Burden by Applying for Scholarships

It’s no secret that college isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s a huge investment. Of all the tips for college freshmen, this is one of the most important and directly impacts your future. Applying for scholarships can help take some of the stress away. Create an account at Going Merry and we’ll match you with the scholarships you qualify for then allow you to directly apply through our sitesaving you time and effort!

What are your best tips for college freshmen? Let us know below!

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