I've written a number of personal essays for myself and coached high schools students through the application process, and I can say that this is very good advice. If you're going to write about difficulties in high school, don't write about them as if they are excuses for your marks, write about them as if they were obstacles (or opportunities) that you made use of to grow.Of course, if your difficulties are relevant to your personal essay, then go for it. Just make sure you focus on your efforts to overcome those difficulties. You need to let them know that you're not gonna do the same thing in college that you did in high school.
Exactly. Turn it into a challenge that you have actively faced, and learned things from. Try and spin it as an obstacle that has given you the traits universities love to see: determination, perseverence, and a hard work ethic. Explain how it has affected your outlook in life, and perhaps inspired you to make the best of your current situation and better yourself by attending university. Basically, if you mention it, spin it into something positive.If you're going to write about difficulties in high school, don't write about them as if they are excuses for your marks, write about them as if they were obstacles (or opportunities) that you made use of to grow.
Also exactly. How many gajillion of these things do univ staff need to read? It should be in addition to your resume, not just a summary of it. It's about you as a person, not your accomplishments.A personal essay is personal, so write about something that they can't find in any other part of your application (for example, personal feelings toward one of those accomplishments, or something interesting).