It’s a rainy Tuesday afternoon and I’m not feeling particularly inspired. I’ve got short stories and Shakespeare to read, binary codes to sort out, internship opportunities to sift through and college transfer applications to start on.
The dreaded college essay; not something I ever thought I’d have to face down again. The ‘personal statement’, that 500-word document meant to encapsulate, glamorize and sell the athletic, socially-active, hard-working, family-oriented, goal-driven, community -involved, innovative, resourceful student that is you. Or, you know, so you want admissions officers to think. But how exactly do you non-boastfully cram all these thoughts and qualities into an essay so brief?
I think being a writer, far from being an edge in the essay-writing process, actually hampers your abilities to navigate through the Common App’s personal statement. Maybe it’s because on top of nervously and not-too-subtly attempting to shed light on all these stereotypically sought-after qualities, you have an intense need to spin a good story, too. Not just well-written, although that’s important also; you want to tell a story, involving progress and personal change and all that good stuff to grab a reader’s attention and keep them invested. And it all has to happen while carefully interweaving self-product-placement statements and constraining yourself to the word limit.
So that’s why I’m currently writing essay attempt #4 while staring out at a hazy slate-grey New York skyline and hoping through my desperate complaints to the cyber-world inspiration will somehow strike. Maybe?
I’ll let you know how it goes.