But yo ...
... since I broke the news a couple months ago I've been overwhelmed by the questions coming from people I don't even know asking for my advice. Was there anything I've done differently to get in? I don't think there's a definitive answer to that question. However, I can say that apart from my recommendation letters, my statement of purpose may have been one of the most important factors in distinguishing my candidacy.
So for those of you who are going through applications for grad school, I'd like to offer you some advice on how to write a solid statement of purpose. ♡.
1. OPEN WITH A STRONG HOOK
Remember that you're going to be reviewed by actual people. They're probably going through the motions with other applicants, so you've got to make a connection with them that's written in human language.
My first paragraph involved a conflict and solution scenario based on a technical oversight that I had at work. I basically said, Hey – this crazy shit happened and this was how I resolved the issue using concepts: A,B, and C. But I took the risk of throwing a joke in there so I can only assume that at least somebody at the decision table must've been shook.
2. ADDRESS YOUR SHORTCOMINGS
My freshman year of college was messy. I was 16 and overwhelmed and I barely went to my Intro to Anthropology class. So I got a D.
I couldn't ignore this problem so I mentioned the difficulties I had balancing my social and academic life at the time. But I kept it brief.
If you think your credentials are going to be an issue, then emphasize on how you've changed. And you can do that by showing real, proven results of your road to success. Reference any notable improvements that you've made since and you should be good.
3. BE SPECIFIC AND CONCISE
When it comes to explaining why you think you'd be a good fit for your program of interest, you can't afford to beat around the bush. Don't be vague. And don't just put a string of adjectives together for the word count. Saying that you'd like to go to Starfleet Academy because it's an 'amazing school' with 'a lot of great opportunities' sounds uninspiring. And lazy.
Which courses offered in the curriculum interest you the most? How do you plan to apply yourself, if accepted? Are there any professors you care to work with? These are some questions you can address in your paper, and you can do so successfully by proving that you actually give a damn.
4. DON'T SOUND ARROGANT
If you only care to describe your list of accomplishments and how you think you're so smart and above it, then why the hell are you applying to grad school?
You ought to convey a willingness to learn. Let the admissions committee know that – yes, ok, you're not a dummy – but you still have room for growth and the program you wish to attend has the tools available for your advancement. Let them know that not only do you intend to contribute to your field of study upon graduating, but that you are capable of completing the workload successfully.
5. WRITE SEVERAL DRAFTS
This should go without saying. Leave no grammatical errors in your statement of purpose. Proofread it, have someone look it over. And never, ever settle on your first draft. Keep editing. Keep writing. Do whatever it takes to make that thing look sharp.
♡. ASK FOR HELP!
Contact an advisor. Speak with someone who's been through it all. Get a feel for what you're getting yourself into. The resources available out there are plenty, so don't shy away from help.
+ Hnnn dassit. Hope that covered enough to be somewhat useful ye. ;]
I've been dragged to every festival since the move and lol ...
... it really is like living in a vacuum while the rest of the world burns.
A passerby came up to me to share her fries and I'm like ...
... I know you mean well but this never happens outside the bubble whoisyou. 💕.
A close-up of the tiddies I then wore to a picnic and biking ;}
There's a joke in there somewhere.
The spine in these strings mang ...
Which was surprising. Especially since:
- My knowledge of the New York Stock Exchange, finance, and global economics is rather limited.
- And my editorial process has always been primarily focused on our nation's politics, with some minor dabbling in world news.
- So I spent all of last week thinking: Why me?!
They took one look at us, made a quick call upstairs, and let us through the turnstiles no questions asked. The tower also had this really inconvenient system where the elevators weren't universal; they were assigned to specific floors: some odd and some even. It's not unheard of but it can be an inconvenience when you're not paying attention. So we did get lost on our way up.
We were then led by a secretary into an empty briefing room where my colleague and I were left to our own devices until our scheduled appointment. And surprisingly these guys were on time. They were dressed rather casually, in jeans, and seemed no older than their respective late 30s and 40s.
Throughout our conversation I could already sense that their entire business model was a vanity project. It felt very spur of the moment — as if these guys had one day decided that they'd coattail their fascination of developing a start-up company.
And there was one interesting exchange where I felt like I was being given an additional task. And that was to give some purpose to their main objective.
We didn't get to cover most of what my Editor in Chief had prepared for this meeting, so instead our Q&A revolved around my generation's perspective and how these execs could best appeal to the 'young entrepreneur' interested in having a piece of the world's capital market.
I felt like I was the one being interviewed.
And I went home feeling like I keep having the same conversations with these people. Despite how self-involved they tend to be they always seem to look for some kind of validation from me and my demographic, as if my personal opinion offers some importance to their self-worth.
They seem to have this undertone of being unfulfilled with their lives, sort of like the really insecure Nice Guy™ in its final and successful format — in that they don't view other people as individuals but as a means to an end. They lack original thought. And they tend to gravitate towards the unique with an intent to take from them.
It's very telling.
And with my future goals in mind I came out of this experience thinking — that's not the kind of person I'd ever want to be.
Took the day off to close a deal on my new apartment. But I forgot to eat.
And thereby upsetting every mother I know in the process.
I've got so much on my plate right now that I feel as though my future plans have been throttled.
But — good news? In a few weeks' time I'll be moving into my new place in the upper borough, twenty minutes away from work. So far I'm already in love with my new neighbors. And I've got more outdoor space I can't wait to remodel into a flower garden. There's no mistaking that I'll miss living by the coast and the surfing culture we've got here. But good God it's been a nightmare to commute.
Sidenote: Also taking a break from Instagram. It's been my secret trash bin for a while now and I miss paragraphs.
— Just two weeks ago I was running on 3 hours of sleep ...
... and on one particular night I'm dragged to the bar. And the bartender took one good look at me he just knew I didn't care to drink. But he engaged anyway. And - by no margin of error in my guess - he read my mind, worked the table, and made me lemonade. /bey
I went home that night without a care in the world about my responsibilities the next morning. And my 3-hour sleep shift went to an end.
A toast to the internal screaming about my flight on Wednesday.
Knowing that I've got a short window to decide if I want to relocate to California has contributed to one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make. I'm at a crossroads between excitement and fear; and it's an intuition that's very much in line with the reality of my situation. Not knowing what to expect and having to make adjustments to this big of a switch is kind of terrifying. I've still got packages waiting and a laundry list of responsibilities to cover. But first, I have to get some stuff out of my system and celebrate.
Where we then said some things at the table. Even gave ourselves a good cry.
And oh. - a toast to the old gods and new beginnings - je vous aimes tous. ♥.