--> divine angst: personal statement hell

Thursday, July 29, 2004

personal statement hell

Yesterday, I met with one of my professors (took a class with him post-BA) who will be writing me a rec and helping me edit my personal statement.

He was not nice about the stuff I showed him yesterday. It was sort of discouraging. He was absolutely correct, of course, but not at in the least bit pleased with anything I had written down to show him. This makes me a little sad. Not that he was honest, but that everything that flows from my pen isn't automatically wonderful!

I always wanted to be an artist. I just never had the right skills for it. I could never be a creative writer, because I can't come up with stories. I thought I wanted to be an actress, but then it turned out that I stunk at acting. So I starting doing set design, which I was decent at, but only in a nurturing, educational environment—which professional theatre is not.

But surely my personal statement can be artistic, right?

What my wonderful, supportive prof told me was spot on:
"Law professors will be reading this. They do not care about extended metaphors, nor do they care about the literary-ness of your work. They want to see who you are, why you want to go to law school, and what you have to offer. Do not tell us how your desire to go to law school is like learning to cook. Do not compare this search for your passion to 'finding your personal oyster.' Just put on paper who you are, why you want to go to law school, and what you have to offer. It does not have to be boring, but it needs to be straightforward."

Good advice for the wanna-be artist in me. Particularly since my strengths are in sensible, clear, easy-to-read writing. Why do I always try to make things harder on myself?