Not just humor, but the overall tone of your application essay is remarkably important. It's also difficult to get right. When you are asked to write about your accomplishments, those 750 words on how great you are can make you sound like a braggart. Be careful to balance your pride in your achievements with humility and generosity towards others. You also want to avoid sounding like a whiner -- use your essay to show off your skills, not to explain the injustices that lead to your low math score or failure to graduate #1 in your class.
In today’s ultra-competitive admissions process, your personal statement has never been more important. Unlike standardized test scores and GPAs, an admissions essay can truly set your application apart from those submitted by the thousands of applicants you’re competing with. Even near-perfect scores and grades are not enough to earn you admission at the most elite schools and programs today. That’s because the average applicant is significantly more qualified today than he or she was a decade ago. With so many qualified applicants competing for a limited number of spots, admissions committees have turned to other elements of the application to make difficult decisions about who to accept and who to reject.
Identity : This is the pivot of the prompt. However you address this prompt, you are being asked about your identity. You are asked to address the fundamental nature of how you see yourself as a person. Who are you? What are you? What makes you, well, you? Admissions officers want to be able to say, “hey, I understand who this kid is and where he came from, because the kid understands this about himself and is able to communicate it in a clear, compelling fashion.” So, this essay must address your identity, however you define it.