You are intelligent, articulate, and deserving. I have no doubt that you would impress any committee or administrator who is fortunate enough to meet you. Unfortunately, long before the meeting, many will evaluate your body of academic work, elements of your work ethic, your character, as well as your ambition and desire to succeed . . . by reviewing your application. That is why it is imperative that what you submit represents you well and that you put your best foot forward.
The difference between a good application and a great one is simply time spent. The process should be started early; what is presented should represent you well; and make sure that what you present is neat and legible. Many times, applicants are tempted to write one essay and submit it for a variety of programs and applications. There are times that this is appropriate, however, make sure that the essay does not ask for specific information. Thus, ask someone whom you trust to review the application, including the essays and personal statements.
Finally, asking someone to write a recommendation for you should never be taken lightly. The first question that should be asked is can this person write a strong recommendation without reservations. Be mindful that although you may have a good and solid relationship with the recommender, it means neither that you can casually ask for a recommendation nor assume that the person will agree to do one.
Many opportunities are either lost or diminished because the application process was rushed. Constantly remind yourself of what is at stake and what can be gain . . . and lost. It serves no purpose to work diligently and purposefully through the majority of your academic career only to submit an application that is beneath your standards and ability. The road is always easier to travel and the journey more exciting when at first you put your best foot forward.
Hold Fast Dreams