Starting Your College Essay

Bucknell University

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Coalition for College.

As part of your application as a transfer student, you may be asked to write an essay or a personal statement. For many students, this can feel like the most intimidating part of the application process.

As you look ahead to starting yours, keep these great words of advice in mind from admissions counselors at Bucknell University. These tips can help take the pressure off and keep you focused on what matters as you share your story.

“The essay is where I like to feel the heartbeat of the student — what makes them tick. My favorite ones usually end with me thinking, ‘I can’t wait to meet them or see what they will do with the resources here at Bucknell.’ ” — Josh Wilkinson, Associate Director of Admissions for Communications, Bucknell University

“You don’t have to have an extraordinary life experience to write a good essay. Some of my favorite essays of all time have been about ordinary activities, like learning how to make pasta from a grandmother every Sunday. Remember, the ordinary or day-to-day things you do make you who you are. And that’s who we’re trying to get to know.” — Kevin Mathes, Dean of Admissions, Bucknell University

“We aren’t often asked to write about ourselves in storytelling form, so the college essay can feel difficult. As you are writing, if you find yourself thinking, ‘This is what I’m supposed to say,’ then that’s a good time to take a break. Come back to it when you are ready to write what you want to say!” — Lauren Rambo, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions, Bucknell University

“Try to view the college essay as an opportunity rather than a chore: an opportunity for you to reveal a bit of your personality and tell us something about you in our own words. Make sure your voice shines throughout so that the essay can help you go from being an applicant on paper to being an individual with a personality.” — Candace Leake, Assistant Director of Admissions, Bucknell University

Looking for more advice about the college admissions process? Create a MyCoalition account, a free college-planning resource provided by 150+ top colleges and universities. Using MyCoalition, you can save time and money applying as a transfer student to more than 70 schools, including Bucknell.

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