There are two essays that must be completed as a part of the PMYF application. The first one is a Personal Goals Essay, and the second one changes from year to year; for 2022, the second essay, the Personal Experiences Essay, is: “Pick one experience in your own life and explain how it has influenced your development.”

Every essay is carefully reviewed by the grading committee, so the student will want to take this part of the application as seriously as all the other parts. Pointers for this include: Use complete sentences and be grammatically correct. Strive for quality, not quantity. And be thorough – personal goals should need to also include lifetime goals. What college? What major course of study? What is the preferred occupation upon graduation? Where would a post-collegiate job be found? Is marriage in the future? How about a family? What social and community activities are of interest? Sure! That’s a lot to squeeze into 100 words – but, again, this is about quality, not quantity. Smart writing is important.

For the Personal Experiences Essay, pick one and only one experience. Multiple experiences indicate an inability to follow the instructions. More is not better! Spend several sentences explaining the experience, then build a bridge of explanation that further describes how this influence has been valuable to overall development. Another good piece of advice – have someone proofread what was written. A second set of eyes can be invaluable to ensuring that the essay is well done and meaningful.