Personal statements are like movie previews.

August 1, 2010 at 11:33 pm (Applying to Law School)

Two months ago I began writing my personal statement.  As you may guess from my often lengthy, rambling blog posts, I’m a talker . . .errr . . .writer.  I like to write and I often have a lot to say.  Naturally, my first personal statement draft was four pages single space.  The majority of schools I am applying to require a double-spaced personal statement of no longer than two pages.  Houston, we have a problem.

20 re-writes and edits later, I have a 1,000 word snapshot of who I am.  Hopefully, in those 1,000 words, I can entice an admissions person to admit me to their law school.  Its stressful, I think I have a lot to say, and a lot of compelling reasons why I would make a good candidate for admission to “Prestigious University School of Law.”  But am I choosing the right snippets of my life?  Am I including the essentials?  Its starting to feel a lot like a movie preview.  The producer must entice the viewer of a 30 second blip that on Friday night, the previewed movie is the movie to go see.  This process has been crippling stressful.  Perhaps even more stressful than the LSAT (if you can believe that).  Two spoonfuls of raw cookie dough later, I’m left with a bloated tummy and still no confidence in my over-diagnosed personal statement.  If I had a dollar for every hour I spent pouring over this, staying awake at night fretting about it, I could probably skip law school all together and retire a millionaire.  What’s more ridiculous, is my knit-picky relationship with my personal statement.  While I’m certain everything is grammatically correct, I have now resorted to a thesaurus, playing with every word, swapping it out for slightly more studious words hoping to make it “sound” all the more impressive.  I’m sure that even after I submit my apps, I will still be stressing over the wording, context, syntax, etc.

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