How to Begin & End Your Essay

Sometimes it’s easier to understand how to write a personal statement by reading through some good examples.  I am not giving these 3 examples so that anyone can use them for themselves.  This is just a good way to see how the lessons you’ve learned can be put to use.

BEGINNING:

All I could do was cry.  I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t think.  My hands gently glided over the letters etched into the granite stone.  I traced the distinctive letters and spelled out the names. The water was chilling and was beginning to numb my fingers.  Tears rolled down my face as the water streamed over the fountain.  I was sobbing uncontrollably as I cried like no one was watching me.

I had never been interested in the Civil Rights Movement during my first two years in high school.  I thought that it was something of the past.  I skimmed over the pages about civil rights in my textbook.  Then, I was presented with the most important opportunity of my life.  Sojourn to the Past is a ten day program that allows students to travel throughout the South, visit historical sites, and listen to speakers who witnessed the Civil Rights Movement.  I decided to go on the trip because I wanted to travel, and I felt that I should seize such a unique opportunity.

ENDING:

I realize I learn most effectively when I have firsthand experiences.  Hands-on experiences like these remind me of how our emotions help us retain information.  Because I felt spiritually connected to where I was, I was able to let the information sink into my skin. It was on this trip that I realized not only what type of student I am, but also what type of person I can be.  The best way for me to learn is to be more involved in the curriculum and allow it to touch all five of my senses.

This past October, I was chosen by the Sojourn leader to speak to a group of prospective students for next spring’s trip.  I was honored not only to speak on behalf of my group, but also to have the chance to share an opportunity that meant so much to me. I knew that this trip would have a huge impact on their life, and I was glad to know that my passion for this experience was transparent.

Personal Statement Example last edited by Danielle Bianchi Golod on