Visualization can unlock your greatest power as a writer.
The best writing, in my opinion, is visual.
Serious writing professors will tell you, "Show it, don't tell it." Do you really understand what they mean?
Say you're writing about fear. You could say, "We were really scared." That's telling.
Or you could visualize WHAT was scaring you. Maybe, "An axe pounded against the door. It began to splinter. Then we saw a maniacal face."
People are visual creatures. We can have an emotion based on something we see for only a split second.
Your goal in writing essays is to inspire emotion.
Make the reader care about you.
Let them see you clearly.
Let the reader share an experience with you. If it moved you to tears, it might just move them too.
When you're zeroing in on a story for your personal statement, put yourself back into that moment. See it clearly. Capture the images that made you feel something.
Let the reader walk with you through that experience, through the sights and sounds and smells that made you feel it so strongly.
With simple language, you can evoke complex feelings. Your best shot at doing that is to keep it vivid, and visual.
Give it a try: share your essay with a trusted reader and note their reaction. Let me know how it goes.