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Does personal insecuirty have to be "explained" in a personal statement?

My essay is about how I overcame insecure instincts that tried to keep me from a volunteering experience. The experience ended up being worthwhile and made me a more confident person.

Here's an issue that an editor friend brought up. While I described the experience of insecurity in what I felt was enough detail (e.g., "I'm such an awkward person, I thought."), my friend said that it didn't constitute a compelling internal obstacle. She suggested that I add an explanation for why I was so insecure.

While I can certainly understand her reasoning, my issue is that my experience with insecurity was more like personality trait, like shyness. It's really difficult to explain. In any case, I think showing how I got over this internal personality issue is more important than why it existed in the first place.

So what do y'all think?


  • samantha.ashley92samantha.ashley92 Alum Member
    1777 karma

    Hello! The thing that came to mind when I read this was an essay I read about a student's shyness and social anxiety. The essay was meant to show how she overcame these problems, and how much she has grown from her solution (a job requiring a lot of social interaction). Basically, my thought is that if you decide to talk about insecurities and shyness, you should show admissions committees that this will not be a problem in your career. Otherwise, I could see this topic hurting you. I know that didn't really answer your questions, but I thought it might help.

  • aubrey.hepleraubrey.hepler Member
    edited January 2018 4 karma

    In my experience, I found that more people deal with insecurity then society lets on. Personally, I have dealt with varying levels throughout my 31 years of living. When I share my experience with others who may also be struggling, I have found that structuring the conversation around "what I used to be like", "what happened" and "where I am today" is most effective. As a result, the conversation is growth for me and hopefully the other person benefits too. Life is good-- the struggle is real.

    Hope this helps!

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