Originally Posted by sya
Unless you are a really creative writer, stick to answering the prompt. Why optometry?
Most essays will have some or all these: had to wear glasses at a young age, parents/relative is an optometrist, shadowing, volunteering, mission trips, eye problem, did a study on the eye... etc. What makes them unique is your own personal experiences and feelings. Focus on expressing your interest in the field and add personal touches and your essay will be unique and personal on its own.
I agree with the two people above. It also helped me to check out a book from my local library about writing personal statements for grad school. It was written with regards mostly to med school, business school, and law school as it talked about all of those areas and included samples for those schools. But all professional/grad schools are asking you similar questions...just related to their fields. The book had a lot of ideas about how to take a unique angle and what you needed to be sure to express in your essay.
Here's the book I used:
I read it cover to cover and then sat and thought about my essay for awhile before writing it. I also think I wrote two very distinct ones using different angles, then sat and thought about them for awhile, edited some more, chose one angle in the end, edited it a lot more, etc haha. It's a long process!