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  • Writer's pictureIvy Essay Guild

Who are you on Oct. 31?

Have you ever noticed how people’s Halloween getups are an expression of who they wish to be? Mothers become witches, revealing their hats, brooms and cauldrons! Office clerks become superheroes, unveiling the blue tights beneath their brown slacks! The already flamboyant get EXTRA flamboyant and, in an act that either defies or defines this Halloween theory, the dads just pull on last year’s Walmart ghost mask and dutifully follow their kids.

Halloween is the only day in the American calendar year where we have license to express to the world our idealized version of ourselves. Kinda awesome and kinda spooky, no??

Besides Halloween, one of the rare occasions when we are expected to show an idealized version of ourselves is in preparing the college application. Everyone becomes a star in the Common App! Everyone puts on their finest costume and makeup! And rightly so. Your college application is an appropriate place to highlight all of your outstanding qualities and all the things you’ve done in life that make you special. However, your personal statement should be more than this, more than your favorite Halloween costume. Your personal statement should be your Halloween costume but with the added self-awareness of why it is your Halloween costume.

If you’re struggling to write your personal statement right now, consider taking this year’s Halloween costume as a starting point of inquiry and brainstorming. What did I wear and why? Who did I present myself as on Oct. 31? Who did I present myself as on Nov. 1? How are they the same and how are they different?

Lisa Love ^ Hamid Karzai and Swashbuckling Sam

Titania and Art Daddy The grand magi of Tibet and a yeti.


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