• Aaron Blumenthal

The Two You’s: More Important Than Essay Topic!

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

The secret to showing your personality has nothing to do with what topic you pick!

I mentioned in my last post that the main goal of the personal essay is to help the AOs get to know you. I said to think of your essay like a story about yourself to help you pick your topic. But the topic is actually not the most important thing!

Topic Doesn’t Matter As Much As You Think

Imagine you’re writing an essay about how much you love to do macramé. Sure, that’s a pretty unique topic, but do we really learn anything about your personality just from that? You could be funny, boring, charming—and we don’t learn any of that just from the topic!

The Two You’s

What does matter is the fact that there are actually two completely different versions of you in your essay!

  1. You as the main character

  2. You as the narrator

We learn just as much, if not more, about you from your writing style (your “voice”) as we do from your actions. Sure, it’s helpful to see that you spearheaded a project or learned an important lesson, but the narrator is where your personality really comes across. Is your writing funny, sarcastic, serious?

Final Tip

Narrator-You can interact with on Character-You! Here’s an example:

“When I was a kid, I always wanted to be an astronaut. I don’t know how I got that idea—I can’t even ride a rollercoaster without risking losing my Disney gumbo.

Try it out!

Let us know in the comments if this helped you with your personal essay!