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I get questions all the time. Here’s a popular one I receive from applicant…

Q: I think my personal statement story is a little mundane, but it’s all I have. How can I make it stand out?

A: Great question! Don’t automatically refer to your essay as “mundane.” Sure, some stories are often submitted, but there are ways to make yours different. I like it to this: Maybe you hear a joke, and then hear it again and again. By the 50th time, you no longer laugh at the punch line because you know it. But them something interesting happens, someone tells you that joke again, but this time, they bring a new energy to it, they use inflections, physical gestures, and while you’re listening to this joke for the 50th time, you forget you know the punchline. You’re just so entertained, the journey is worth it. So when the familiar punchline comes, you don’t care – you laugh anyway.  This approach can be applied to your story.

Maybe open the essay in the middle of your story, then start from the beginning and work your way back to it. Maybe linger a bit in the story at an especially fun part. Just do something that freshens your story up. Trust me, the reader will forget they’ve read a version of this essay before and applaud that fact that you did it in a different way.