• Instagram
  • LinkedIn

"You were born an original. Don't die a copy."| A UCLA & Rice Uni Student's Advice on College Essays


We had the opportunity of interviewing Joyce, an alum from UCLA and student at Rice University about: Application Essays


Here are some of Joyce's qualifications:

  • a professional violinist

  • a YouTuber who shares valuable advice about her violin experiences

Here are some important words she shares

  • "The best thing you can do for yourself is to start early."

  • "I avoided reading other people’s essays until I had my own idea down. "

  • "If you start your personal essay with an idea that you’re storytelling, the essay will come off much more genuine and revealing of your personality. "

  • "I focused more on my character flaws and how I’ve overcome or built on it through personal examples."



Q: When did you find time to write your college essays in your schedule?

A: I started early! As soon as the prompts came out, I began brainstorming and focused on putting the idea on paper. The best thing you can do for yourself is to start early. Personal statements are exactly what they are— personal! I tried not to get bogged down on content early on.




Q: What did you avoid when writing essays?

A: Honestly, I avoided reading other people’s essays until I had my own idea down.




Q: How did you get inspiration when writing your essay?

A: My writing strategy is to word vomit. I tried to write out every possibility and idea that came to mind in regards to the prompt. If you start your personal essay with an idea that you’re storytelling, the essay will come off much more genuine and revealing of your personality.






Q: Did you focus on your whole life or just an important part of it? If you talked about your whole life, how did you condense it?

A: I focused on talking about an important part of my life and specifically highlighting character development and important lessons I learned from failure. I’m assuming that the admissions panel isn’t interested in your life story, but rather about how you as a person can contribute to the overall community at the school. I focused more on my character flaws and how I’ve overcome or built on it through personal examples.




Think you know someone or are someone that can give some advice? Fill out this form here!

Have more questions based on what you’ve read? Submit them here!