4. HAVE AN ENGAGING OPENING. Given the limited time committee members have to initially review each packet and read each personal statement, an interest_catching opening is essential, playing off the unified theme you have decided on. Choose a quote which sums up a hurdle overcome or an attitude which has brought you success in the past. Begin with an anecdote, a brief personal story which serves as a lead to your ambition and drive to follow in a mentor's or family member's footsteps. Ask a question, one which frames a hobby or a major life event that has set you on the path to medical school. Whichever opening you choose, it should be professional rather than chatty, and more importantly, get immediately to the heart of whatever it is about yourself you are highlighting. You have a limited number of characters at your disposal ), so setting the scene with your introduction should use up very little space. We all tend to be taken by personal stories, but the point is how your story leads directly to those characteristics that medical schools will feel best fit their program and faculty.
Writing a personal statement does not have to be rocket science; however, if you're not careful, you could easily jeopardize your personal essay and compromise your chances of getting accepted in the school you prefer. If you think you can write about anything in your personal essay, you better think again and think hard. Not everything you might want to share will make the right impact, and failing to comply with essay rules and guidelines could cost you your acceptance. Here are some of the more common ways for you to mess up your personal statement and some tips on what you can do to keep yourself from doing so.