writing tips

“Cool Story, Bro”: How to Tell A Worthwhile Story in Your Personal Statement

“Cool Story, Bro”: How to Tell A Worthwhile Story in Your Personal Statement

By Ryan Kelly

“Cool story, bro.”

Hang out with young people long enough, and you might just hear this phrase. As Urban Dictionary notes, it’s a sarcastic expression “used to indicate one's disgust or indifference towards a tl;dr story.” In case you’re wondering, “tl;dr” stands for “too long; didn’t read.”

The Art of Writing A Most Meaningful Essay

The Art of Writing A Most Meaningful Essay

By: Ryan Kelly

Imagine writing 730 pages to narrate the events of one day.

In Ulysses, James Joyce uses 18 chapters to traverse the novel’s 24-hour timeframe. The story flashes back and forth, alludes to myths, includes cheeky puns, and fluctuates between prose and Leopold Bloom’s stream-of-consciousness. In the end, you’re left with a deep impression that resonates - a book that’s even more comprehensive than it seems.

Savvy Pre-med's Ultimate Guide to Writing Your Medical School Personal Statement

Savvy Pre-med's Ultimate Guide to Writing Your Medical School Personal Statement

By: Ryan Kelly

The personal statement is a cruel beast - but what kind of beast?

For some, it might be a leviathan with countless tentacles going in every direction. For others, a sphinx or a centaur - some hybrid monster that can’t decide what it wants to be. Or perhaps it’s a hydra whose new heads keep growing no matter how many you cut off.

How to Know Your Personal Statement is Finished

How to Know Your Personal Statement is Finished

By: Ryan Kelly

“Voila! Magnifique! It’s perfect - my masterpiece, my opus - it’s finally complete!”

I’ve never once heard these words come out of a pre-med’s mouth. Since the personal statement is challenging and the stakes are high, pre-meds usually struggle to know when their essays are finished.

This doubt can cause them to overthink, share their essays with too many people, and make unnecessary changes that reverse their progress.

One Surprising Habit to Improve Your Self-Discipline

One Surprising Habit to Improve Your Self-Discipline

By: Ryan Kelly

People tend to view their strengths and weaknesses as unchangeable - certain superpowers or fatal flaws that are hardwired into their genes and personality.

Think about it - how many times have you heard someone say, “I’m not a math person” or “Me and technology just don’t get along!” These statements aren’t facts; they’re just stubborn refusals to change or do what’s uncomfortable.

Should You Write Your Personal Statement While Drunk?

Should You Write Your Personal Statement While Drunk?

By: Ryan Kelly

Plenty of writers have lauded the effects of alcohol. Some use it to cope with their solitary and thankless job; others use it as a way to lubricate the brain and help ideas flow more freely. It can even be used as a tool while writing your personal statement for medical school.

Does alcohol really help your brain as a writer? According to Medical Daily, drinking alcohol decreases your working memory but does indeed enhance your creative abilities.

21-Day “Write Everyday” Challenge

21-Day “Write Everyday” Challenge

You've heard us stress the importance of good writing in your medical school application, and being a good writer, just like staying in shape, takes training and practice.

Would you show up to a marathon without a single day of training? Of course not. Unless you enjoy passing out from physical fatigue, you’ll probably start practicing months in advance.

For your application, this is the time to start training. We're putting you, and ourselves, to the test by kicking off the 21-Day “Write Everyday” Challenge.

Caution! Medical School Personal Statement Don’ts

Caution! Medical School Personal Statement Don’ts

By: Ryan Kelly

Sometimes it’s more about what you don’t say than what you do.

Google “Personal Statement Don’ts” and you’ll get a host of obvious advice: “Don’t have any typos” or “Don’t discuss political topics like abortion.”

This article aims to go deeper. We’ll focus on specific mistakes that plague average personal statements. Steer clear of these pitfalls:

Average vs Compelling Personal Statements

Average vs Compelling Personal Statements

By: Ryan Kelly

Compelling stories. An authentic voice. Sharp editorial discernment.

When pre-meds start writing their application essays, they often lack these intangible qualities that will make them stand out. Sure, you’ve gotten good grades in your science classes, amassed hundreds of volunteer hours, and earned a good MCAT score. But the act of making yourself come to life on paper, to write a personal essay, will feel as foreign to pre-meds as binge drinking and slacking off.