Help me decide on a story for my Personal statement?

I’ve learned and changed a lot from all of these, but I can’t chose!! please help me, I’d love to know your thoughts.

  1. trip to korea last summer, first time I traveled without family, it was only me and friends
  2. My mom passed away due to suicide when I was 10. (how much details should I mention and too personal?)
  3. I took a computer science course last year which is part of why I want to major in engineering

This is just my personal opinion and I am no expert. I think sharing about the loss of your mother would humanize you and make your personal statement meaningful. However, I might omit any details surrounding her passing and keep it focused more on you, your reaction and how you changed. I would also like to say that I am very sorry you experienced that loss. I think the trip to Korea sounds like a privileged kid’s experience…who cares…a lot of kids travel and many more would like to but can’t afford to. The Computer Science class is a good backup but its predictable and common. Again, just my thoughts for whatever they are worth. Good luck.

Just a thought, you could connect what you learned from the death of your mother with your computer science course – I don’t know, maybe you hope to prevent suicide through your work with computers, or make self-help more accessible? I’m really sorry for your loss. I’d just want to make sure you don’t look like you’re using your mother’s death as a sob story, but more about how you grew or acted as a positive force in the world.

I know this is probably rote advice, but I’d choose whichever you feel would show what you’d want an acquaintance–maybe someone you met at camp once–to know about you.

But if you’re looking for what would be the most interesting, I can see them all working really well. Here are my impressions. You’d have to try harder not to make #1 cliche. With #2 you’d have to be careful to show how you’ve grown rather than simply how hard the circumstances were. #3 could be sweet and it would be easy to show your intellectual curiosity. #4 could be interesting too, and it would be an interesting way to show a unique perspective on the world. All great topics!

Agree with #1 and #2.