Thursday, January 16, 2014

Making a statement

As the year ticks to an end, other things are ramping up. This is just the way of life.

Well in my life, as the year ends and work slows down for a microsecond before picking up again in the new year, going full speed ahead towards integration and new projects, colleagues, and situations...I need to get my grad school application in.

I'd gotten all my ducks in a row several weeks ago, before I went home for Thanksgiving. Having read the application how-to PDF guide several times, one day, I sat down at my laptop and started filling the thing out. Figured I could rip it out in a few hours and be done with it. Have everything tucked away by the time I was eating turkey with my family.

As I was happily typing in all the information they had said they would ask for, I pushed a button to get to the next screen.

BOOM. I was met with this:

What the what!?! You mention nothing of this "personal statement" in your how-to application PDF guide! What do you mean I still have to make a statement despite the fact that you're asking for references, my work history/CV/resume, academic transcripts, and all the location information you can possibly collect on me? You're going to interview me later! You can ask me all your questions then!

But apparently not.

Not only was this not mentioned in the guide, I was at a loss in how I would fit in all the answers to their questions, which could be found on my major prospectus page, in less than 3000 characters:

You're asking me to answer five very important questions, in 3000 characters or less. That's 600 characters each, including spaces. Oh, and no special characters, because that might ruin your application.


I had me some work to do.

So one night, when I was between The Hunger Games book 1 and 2 and couldn't sleep (it was already 4am), I had a brilliant flash on what I would write. I scribbled the entire idea down in a notebook near my bed and then continued on with The Hunger Games book 2. Needless to say I didn't sleep until 7:30am. Terrible idea.

But what resulted from that brain lightning strike was the beginnings of my personal statement. Something that hopefully college admission advisers will like in a few weeks when I finally submit it (fingers crossed that I can finish it before Christmas and the new year, when things will get hectic again).

Who am I? Why do I want to go back to school? Why do I want to go to this school in particular? Why this major? Why this major at this particular school?

Why why why.

And here that was the question I wanted them to help me answer. Just about a different subject.

And so the second step in my journey really begins. The first was meeting the universities and getting the right school and major decided. Check. The second will be turning in my application completely and waiting for the reply. The third will be getting through the gauntlet of the personal interview. Then waiting for the response again. Could take up to 7 weeks from the time I turn in the first application OR from when the deadline closes for them to get back to me. But that's okay because time is finally on my side (I need to delay my decision until I have more information).

So I go forward. And I look forward, to what else will be in the future.

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