What makes super heroes so interesting to us? Is it their laser beams, flying ability, or super strength? Maybe we are fascinated by their gadgets instead, or their chiseled heroic physique. We are captivated by neither of those things. Instead, it is there journey to heroic fame that makes them unique. Who is Superman without the tale of Krypton or Batman without the backstory of his parents? We are fans because of all that these heroes have overcome, we are fans because they encountered challenges in their path and crushed them under their feet without breaking stride. The legend makes the hero and without it, the hero is one dimensional and less interesting.

You are not one dimensional. However, some colleges want you to be so that makes their decision of whether to accept you or not easier. The SAT and your academic marks on a piece of paper make you one dimensional. It is your personal statement that makes you multidimensional. I remember struggling with what to write for my statement. I didn’t know how to show all of my dimensions in only 500 words. I had so much to tell. At the time I was in charge of about three clubs, heavily involved in two others and trying to organize a tri-state wide debate conference. I was ostensibly a hero, but my legend needed to be told. I didn’t necessarily need to record in bullet proof fashion all of my “heroic” accomplishments, all of that was on my common app. I also knew that there were students all across the country that had the same or better accomplishments. Imagine if you will, the Super Hero Academy receiving both Superman’s and Batman’s personal statements in the mail. Superman clearly might have a longer list of battles or wars won. However, what may separate Batman’s application is his story of difficulties in his triumph. Bruce Wayne is human and doesn’t have all of the supernatural abilities that Clark Kent does. This difference might certainly intrigue the Super Hero Academy a bit more thus the reason why so many superhero fanatics hold the Dark Knight in such high regard.

The point is tell your tale, your legend. You didn’t come into this college process with bulletproof skin, the ability to see through walls, or fly faster than a speeding bullet. You came into this without the help of the supernatural, only with a forever burning tenacity. This tenacity has brought you you to this point over the peaks, valleys and super villains that a life behind the college curve threw at you. You are a hero, with a story that can make your personal statement legendary, use that to your advantage. Instead of talking about how many clubs you started, politicians you’ve met or how many people you’ve saved from burning buildings, talk about what you overcame in you journey to becoming who you are. That story is legend and you are as well.