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Monday, February 9, 2009

How do I write a personal statement?

The personal statement is something that is practically uniform when it comes time for the college application process. In fact, some jobs are have now started using them. Ironically, applying for the position of the guy who reads the personal statements at the admissions desk does not require a personal statement.

The personal statement any given application asks you to write vary in length and subject matter. One could ask you to talk about why you wanted to attend this particular college or perhaps it could ask you to describe a crucial event in your life when you had to make a difficult decision. More often that not, however, the personal statement is going to look like this:

So does your mom know you’re gay?

This is a hard question to answer. On one hand, admitting that your mom knows about your homosexuality implies that you are, in fact, a homosexual. But if you answer no, because most admissions offices are demons of rhetoric, your answer implies that you are, in fact, still, a homosexual.

This puts in you in a predicament. Maybe you’re not gay but you don’t want to lie. Any respectable university holds their students accountable for their actions, so it’s entirely possible that a dean might burst, application in hand, into your history lecture and point at you. “You!” he would yell, his demanding voice echoing off all the test tubes and Bunsen burners that have no business being in your history lecture. “Prove to us your gayness!”

To this, I offer some sage advice. College isn’t for everyone.

I think that about covers it.

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