Never has writing about myself been so hard

I’ve been working on my law school personal statement since the middle of July, and it’s been the longest time I’ve ever spent on two pages in my life. The first few brainstorming sessions were so agonizing. What in the world am I supposed to write about? How do I get a bunch of old admissions committee members to pay attention to my story and my life for a few minutes? About a month passed where I’d write topics and try to write a couple bullet points and none of it would stick. I thought everything I wrote was cheesy or would turn out cheesy if I tried to write about it.

The thing that made it hard for me was that the change I’ve gone through as a person, the person I am now, isn’t a result of one or two crazy life experiences like it is for some. I read a bunch of the essays from 55 Successful Harvard Law School Application Essays, and some of them were so impressive. Impressive because of how eloquently they wrote about an experience that deeply impacted them, but also because they could do it in 5 paragraphs, 600 words! Some weren’t impressive in the way they were written, but they became impressive because of their content. I realized after reading them that there is no magic formula to a personal statement that will lead to an acceptance. There’s the typical “Asian person regurgitating her resume” essay. There’s the studying abroad and becoming fluent in a language essay–some boring, some very captivating. There’s the unique identity essay–the Norwegian, the half-Italian, half-Chinese, the Eastern European Jew. There’s the crazy work experience and “I know exactly why I want to go to law school” essay. These all gave me ideas about how I could structure my essay. But once I got rough paragraphs and chunks onto paper, and the more I began to write and discard, write and discard, the more I began to green-light the sections about my experience as a PK and serving at church.I knew it would be a must-have section of my PS, but having it take up the majority of it was something I didn’t plan.

It’s been hard coming up with specific anecdotes and scenes to show how I’ve matured and developed as a result of being a PK. I really, really hope that the end product will be somewhat of a interesting read. I want them to see me as a deep person with a compelling story, that even though I didn’t start my own business or non-profit, even though I didn’t do Peace Corps in Africa, even though I didn’t write a senior thesis on some obscure, dying language on a remote island, even though my most significant work experience was reading fatal accident reports from Georgia, and even though I didn’t even go on missions overseas, I am still a mature and well-spoken and intelligent person and will add something valuable to their entering class.

So I will do my best on this essay and leave the rest to God. I’m really at the mercy of the adcoms once I send in my apps. For the top schools, the essay will be what pushes me over the fence, because there is nothing special in my resume. I’m excited to see where God will lead me next and am looking forward to great things in this next year.

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One response to this post.

  1. Have you checked out our site? You might get some pointers.

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