Tag Archives: apply to colleges

Do I need to share past trauma in my college essays?

As the college application process becomes more competitive every year, students are looking for ways to make their applications stand out from the rest. One way to do this is by writing a compelling personal statement that showcases their personality, strengths, and achievements. However, there is a common misconception that to write a successful personal statement, a student must have experienced personal trauma or hardship. This is simply not true.


While it’s true that some students may have experienced personal trauma that has shaped them into the person they are today, this is not a requirement for writing a strong personal statement. In fact, many successful personal statements are about everyday experiences, hobbies, or passions that have shaped a student’s character and influenced their goals and aspirations.


It’s important for students to understand that personal story that highlights the hardships that they may have faced does not define them or their ability to succeed in college. Admissions officers are looking for students who can contribute to their campus community, and who have the potential to succeed academically and personally. A personal statement is an opportunity for a student to showcase their unique qualities and strengths, regardless of their life experiences. The whole idea is to share a facet of the student’s life that can really paint a compelling portrait of the personality and character.


So, what should a student write about in their personal statement if they haven’t experienced personal trauma? Here are our insights and ideas:


Share your personal journey:

Begin your personal statement by sharing your personal journey, including your background, experiences, challenges, and achievements. Highlight how these experiences have shaped you into the person you are today and how they have influenced your desire to attend college.


Highlight your unique qualities:

Share your unique qualities, skills, and talents that make you stand out from other applicants. This could include your leadership skills, creativity, problem-solving abilities, or any other characteristics that demonstrate your potential to contribute to the college community.


Discuss your community involvement:

Share your involvement in your community, such as volunteer work, community service projects, or leadership roles in clubs or organizations. Explain how these experiences have helped you develop a sense of civic responsibility and a commitment to making a positive impact in your community.


Share your future goals:

Discuss your short-term and long-term goals and how attending college will help you achieve them. Highlight your aspirations and what you hope to accomplish during your college years and beyond.


Address challenges and adversity:

If you have faced challenges or adversity in your life, discuss how you have overcome them and the lessons you have learned. Share how these experiences have shaped your character and resilience, and how they have prepared you for the rigors of college life.


Discuss your cultural or diverse background:

If you come from a diverse cultural or ethnic background, share how it has influenced your perspectives, values, and identity. Discuss how your cultural background has shaped your worldview and how it has prepared you to thrive in a diverse college environment.


Reflect on your interests and hobbies:

How do you choose to spend your free time? Share your passions and hobbies and how they have influenced your personal growth and development. Discuss how these interests have shaped your character, skills, and goals, and how they will contribute to your college experience.



In summary, a student does not need to have personal trauma to write a compelling personal statement for college applications. Admissions officers are looking for unique qualities and strengths that a student can bring to their campus community. Best of Luck and happy writing!

Insights into Business Programs

Business management as an undergraduate major is important and sought after by many high school students; however, this major is only available in selective four-year colleges. Admission is relatively challenging as business also counts as an impacted major along with computer science, economics, engineering, and psychology.


As per the National Center for Education Statistics, colleges conferred about 2.0 million Bachelor’s degrees in 2019–20. Business studies were the most popular undergraduate major and made up for 19 percent (387,900 degrees) conferred that year and the number continues to grow.


Types of Business Degrees

A BBA (Bachelor’s in Business Administration), includes more business-specific courses and fewer general education requirements. The basic business requirements for the first few semesters include classes in data analysis, basic accounting, accounting, and business strategy. In a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in business, students take more liberal arts and social science courses along with some business requirements. A BS (Bachelor of Science) in business includes courses that lean a little more on STEM subjects like statistics, advanced math, and economics.


There is no better or worse scenario in any of these degrees, and there are no fixed classes; it is just dependent on your long-term goals, the college that you choose to go to. After the general requirements are met, depending on each college, students have the option of choosing electives focusing on business entrepreneurship, accounting, finance, HR, marketing, logistics, practical training, and other related fields.


The variety of business degrees offered

Just to give an example, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business offers a variety of business degrees that are very specialized and address the need of the changing global landscape. For example, you can participate in the Business Administration, Management Entrepreneurship and Technology program or the Global Management program. In the admission year of 2021-2022, there were 2,976 sophomore and transfer applicants, and 356 (or 11%) were accepted. Before the admission year of 2022-2023, Haas School of Business didn’t not accept first-year undergraduate applications. This was the first year that the Haas School opened admission directly to high school students.


On the other hand, there are undergraduate business management programs that welcome direct admission for high school students, such as the one at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University (SCU). It offers a sampling of generic business requirement classes with the choice to funnel up to a major such as accounting, marketing, finance, management, and more. The acceptance rate for SCU was 29% into the Leavey School of Business with the average GPA between 3.6 to 3.9.


Level of preparedness for admission to a business undergraduate

Students intending to study business need to prepare and take classes like economics, statistics, and other business electives in their high school (and outside) that showcase their interests and skills in the subject. Summer activities can also be planned around exposing themselves to a business environment, be it a part-time retail job or an internship.


After you graduate from college – MBA?

With business degrees, graduates work as market research analysts, accountants, and management analysts. Earning a bachelor’s degree generally takes four years for full-time students. Average salaries vary depending on the major and the industry. Students can also earn degrees in specific industries, like healthcare administration, hospitality management, or supply chain management.


After a bachelor’s degree in business, some students choose work for a few years before they consider working towards an MBA (Master’s in Business Administration). Some business schools stress having work experience and will only consider applicants who have worked full-time. To get into an MBA program, students need to pass the GMAT, a standardized business-school admission test.

Not sure what schools are the best for you? Contact us today to schedule a 1-hour personalized college planning session.

The Truth Behind Powerful College Essays

Learn from Insight Education’s 24 years of college admission experience and write compelling college essays to stand out!


College essays portray your story to the college admission officers. The last thing you want is for your unique narrative to get lost in the sea of hundreds of similar stories. In this webinar, Insight Admissions Counselor will share valuable tips and advice on ways you can stand out with your college essays.


Date/Time: Tuesday, July 18 from 5:00pm – 6:00pm (Pacific) | 8:00pm – 9:00pm (Eastern)

Location: Online via Zoom

RSVP for your FREE tickets now



As you dive into the essay writing process, get the best insights on what makes a compelling college essay! We will cover:

  • An overview of college essays, including Personal Statement and Why essays
  • Common mistakes and topics to avoid
  • How to level up your college essays and stand out!


Can’t wait until the event to meet with us? Contact us today and schedule your 1-hour personalized college planning session!


We are looking forward to meeting you! 

Team Insight