How to: Write a Personal Statement…or NOT
I have spent this weekend working on my grad school applications. A major part of the application is a personal statement. I find the process of writing a personal statement more challenging than being interviewed in person. I have difficulty selling myself on paper. Actually, I have difficulty selling myself period. This was the process I went through to write the first draft.
1. Check Facebook.
2. Open all admissions pages for the schools I am applying to. Create a word document with the descriptions of the personal statement(s) I need to write.
3. Check email.
4. Compile these descriptions into one sentence that describes the ultimate, all-encompassing, full-length statement that I must write.
5. Lay on the couch and moan about how I can’t do this.
6. Peruse Freshly Pressed on WordPress.
7. Text a friend about how miserable I am.
8. Open up a new word document. Title it: Personal Statement. Change the font to Tahoma.
9. Read all the funny, interesting Twitter accounts I unofficially follow.
10. Read my entire newsfeed on Facebook.
11. Upload my already prepared resume to all four application websites.
12. Write my opening sentence.
13. Have a conversation with my mom about my summer work experience.
14. Check Facebook.
15. Check email.
16. Write the first paragraph of my personal statement.
17. Eat watermelon. Go on a liking spree on the Photography and Art tags on WordPress.
18. Make a list of all the bands that I listen to that are from the USA in order to prove a point to a friend.
19. Edit the first paragraph of my essay.
20. Check all social networking sites again: email, Facebook, blog, and flickr.
21. Scour my brain for other internet things I can do to distract myself. Realize that there really isn’t anything that will hold my interest.
22. Finally focus in and write the majority of my statement.
23. Realize it is going to be way too long and freak out.
24. Get a glass of water.
25. Eat dinner.
26. Return and finish my first draft (this included a lot more social networking).
27. Consider editing and decide that I should wait until I’ve gotten a good night’s sleep. Write this blog post instead.
So, here you have it. My step-by-step plan to procrastinate your way through a personal statement. I now have a two-page, 1,300 word essay that I will be correcting and sweating over all week. Anyone interested in critiquing it for me?