When it comes to writing a college admissions essay – whether personal or supplemental – experts advise students to follow the same rules: find. Put the reader in medias res, that is, in the middle of things. Today's tips focus on the personal essay. Be thoughtful, but not fretful. Keep the “personal” in personal essay. Don't try to guess what the reader wants to hear. Feel free to be funny or creative – but don't overreach. Tell us something we don't already know. Ask for input (but not too much).