|Daniel Day-Lewis (retired)||06/18/17|
|^ . . ^ El Gato ^ . . ^||06/18/17|
|Pina Toro III||06/18/17|
|cargo cult king||06/18/17|
|the challenge of a heterosexual relationship||06/18/17|
|lovable coin trader||06/18/17|
|tech founder telling you to learn from failure||06/18/17|
|lovable coin trader||06/18/17|
|tech founder telling you to learn from failure||06/18/17|
|The Meanest Yay!||06/18/17|
|cargo cult king||06/19/17|
|Thomas Smith, your landscaper||06/19/17|
|baby boomer espousing benefits of home ownership||06/19/17|
|Light Black Poaster||06/19/17|
about their life and career. applications basically require you to have this -- personal statements, the "yale 250". so narcissistic.
Daniel Day-Lewis (retired)
And people devise all sorts of "challenges" they had to overcome. My aunt's best friend had cancer it was devastating and taught me resilience.
Thought you meant XO plasters lol
my statements of purpose were just a series of blank bumps
That's like blank bumping ur own poasts.
The basic premise of The Denial of Death is that human civilization is ultimately an elaborate, symbolic defense mechanism against the knowledge of our mortality, which in turn acts as the emotional and intellectual response to our basic survival mechanism. Becker argues that a basic duality in human life exists between the physical world of objects and a symbolic world of human meaning. Thus, since humanity has a dualistic nature consisting of a physical self and a symbolic self, we are able to transcend the dilemma of mortality through heroism, by focusing our attention mainly on our symbolic selves. This symbolic self-focus takes the form of an individual's "immortality project" (or "causa sui project"), which is essentially a symbolic belief-system that ensures oneself is believed superior to physical reality. By successfully living under the terms of the immortality project, people feel they can become heroic and, henceforth, part of something eternal; something that will never die as compared to their physical body. This, in turn, gives people the feeling that their lives have meaning, a purpose, and are significant in the grand scheme of things.
^ . . ^ El Gato ^ . . ^
Great book, must read.
Pina Toro III
blame women for this.
you cant be a normal heterosexual male who just wants to have a tolerable job and a nice family who enjoys watching sports in his free time.
This is a sample personal statement that got someone into a T3 school with bad numbers:
I sit and I play. I play until it is too dark to read my music. Then comes that indescribable moment, sought by all musicians, when thinking becomes subordinate to instinct. The music is no longer just sound, but poetry spoken from within.
I love to play French horn at dusk. Before I begin to play, I imagine the most beautiful conglomeration of sounds and expressions traveling through the air. I take a deep breath and immerse myself in the music that I love so much.
Playing a Strauss concerto or a Beethoven sonata represents, for me, the culmination of countless hours of practice and hard work deciphering fingerings, tempos and pitches. In this transcendent moment, though, when I play in the darkness of the room, I think not of the fingerings and the intervals that I need to execute, but rather of the expression and interpretations that make the music mine. I play late into the night with nothing on my mind other than trying to make each note I play the most beautiful and sonorous sound. I hear the ethereal tone of my horn echoing off the walls and saturating the air.
There is something intoxicating about dwelling in a single moment in time. Hours spent trying to perfect a note that is born in the soul and travels through the air to live no more. The endless pursuit of one moment of perfection ultimately not mine to have and to hold. My life is spent pursuing these moments.
In college, I found that my fascination with musicality and expression translated easily to literature. When I first read *Lolita, *I recognized in Nabokov’s writing the same lyricism that I always strive for when playing French horn. I saw the same passion I so often feel “in the moment of music.” I immediately fell under the spell of Nabokov’s enchanting prose and artfully chosen words. It was the most beautiful story I had ever read—the story of a grown man, head over heels in love, driven to murder by forbidden concupiscence. I began to empathize with this man, thinking to myself, “How terrible to love someone so much… someone so unattainable.” And just like that, I found myself rooting for a pedophile.
Perhaps it was my passion for music that allowed me to fully see this side of Nabokov’s “hero.” Life is rarely black and white. I found that I could empathize with someone who was desperately trying to hold onto something so poignantly beautiful, something that could never last, while at the same time being completely aware of his gaping flaws.
As I learned reading *Lolita, *Nabokov’s clear love for and mastery of language, while incongruently romantic, is at the same time capable of transforming the depths of one’s perception and understanding of the world. There is a power in words, not only to entertain and enlighten, but also to persuade, convince and even transport. I have seen this power manifested in the plea of an applicant for political asylum, in the argument crafted on his behalf and in the judge’s ultimate decision, which can bring a human being out of danger and to a new life. It is this power of expression and my desire to master it that draws me to the law.
it is so strange that the admissions essay is its own genre now. why are you required to write some bullshit flowery prose that is clearly full of half-truth and embellishment? all of the "good" essays include some moment where the protagonist has some profound realization, but nothing in life is ever like that. what gives? do admissions people actually like this shit?
summary: the law is like beethovens music.
My morning consisted of a hurried walk and a gnawing tardiness. I stared longingly at those gliding across campus on bicycles and skateboards as my pace quickened. Speed walking turned to intermittent galloping, as class was desperately close to starting and I had yet to enroll.
Aside from the particular disruptive shame engendered by arriving late to class, the sanctity of the first day made it all the worse. I missed the pleasantries and introductions, the icebreakers and shared awkwardness. When I finally arrived, I greeted my instructor with a smile and a hushed hello, hoping to make my transition from latecomer to class member as indistinct as possible. What happened next caught me off guard: with the infectious rhythm of sweet tea and pecan pie, Dr. Kopolow asked me to introduce myself—a standard request, to be sure, but for one in which I was nonetheless unprepared. Because for the first time ever, I was not “Bobbie, the baseball player.”
For more than two years at the Westeros University, I was a student-athlete, a centerfielder on the baseball team, which is to say that for more than two years, my schedule scoffed at the suggestion of twenty-four hour days. During the fall, we ran sprint after sprint until the sun rose, and then we ran some more, stopping with only enough time to rush to class; class, in turn, ended with only enough time to rush back to practice. And under the pressure of expectations and pre-season polls, spring brought with it practices that wore on well past nightfall as weeks became defined by travel destinations and the line between student and athlete became increasingly subsumed by wins and losses.
Eventually, my injuries mounted and conspired against me, taking with them as they healed not only the baseball career I put everything into, but also an oversized chunk of my identity. I had spent my life competing for success in a sport defined by failure. My journey had taken me from the mountainous roads of Londonderry, Vermont to the quaint beaches of Cape Cod, through hospitals and into surgery. Dr. Kopolow's’ simple question, then—Who are you?—became probing, because these experiences had defined my life; my helmet and bat didn’t just protect me behind home plate, it was the outward shell of recognition that I was able to drape myself in for every introduction and icebreaker thus far.
“Hi, I’m Bobbie,” I said in a half-hearted stutter, “I used to play baseball here.” It felt like a defeat—a blowout loss to Essos State, but on an intensely intimate scale because I was the only player on the field. My shoulders slumped as I took my seat, splintered by the biting irony of introducing myself in the past. But if I was no longer a baseball player, who was I?
As time passed and the semester progressed, this question remained with me, growing in import as the link between student and athlete became increasingly thin. Distance allowed for introspection, though, and I realized it was not so much the game of baseball itself that I missed most, but the competition and the daily struggles—the feeling of being pitted against my ideal self over and over, pitch by pitch, sometimes with success, more often with failure, but always with the unceasing desire to redefine how good I could be. Strangely enough, I found this feeling again in the most unlikely of places: an essay contest.
I picked up a flyer after class one day, delighted by the prospect of telling my former teammates I was going to write about how a poem made me feel—and “For the Union Dead” did just that. Reading it for the first time, I was inspired by Lowell’s ability to conjure life through ink, each line living and breathing, each break a meditative gasp for air. What I enjoyed most, however, was the fact that my interpretation of it was born through argument, between nothing more than the “yellow dinosaur steam shovels” and myself. I spent weeks drafting and refining and sculpting my essay, cajoling the words into harmony. A minor tweak in hitting mechanics became a subtle change in sentence structure; the search for efficiency of footwork was now a search for economy of phrase. I was competing again, not through batting average or runs batted in, but through words and ideas, and I was enamored by the dual familiarity and newness of it all.
Eventually I submitted my work, which was then chosen as one of three winning essays. In doing so, I’d found an answer to the question I stumbled over just a few months before: I’m a jock who likes poetry, alliteration, and the art of critique; a former baseball player who is as amazed by the vital lyricism of Isabel Wilkerson as I am of the hitting prowess of Alex Rodriguez. I was always these things, but it wasn’t until I removed my catcher’s mask that they came into focus. So, while I may not be an athlete any longer, I know that the competitor still remains; forged through experience, I am confident that this drive to succeed will help me excel in law school and in life.
I sat, pondering both the murky nature of the grey slush on the floor and my own murky future as my university applications sat on an admission officer’s desk somewhere.
Then I took an elbow to the face.
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry!” Looking up, I beheld a kind smile squeezed between the passengers sardined in the aisle of the bus. Her name was Belle, and that cloudy afternoon I learned that she—like me—wrote mystery novels and that she had a learning disability that prevented her from reading lengthy texts.
In the months following I watched as friend after friend received their acceptances to outstanding universities. I was nervous about what made me one of the last to be accepted; my grades were much the same as theirs. “What was wrong with me” I often pondered, “how am I different?” As for Belle, we chatted occasionally when we arrived early to school and at lunch in a maintenance corridor that no one ever visited. Mostly I listened. I heard about how her disability made even basic assignments difficult, how she worried about her father’s health, and how the boy in her drama class was harassing her—I confronted a vice principal personally to ensure that this was stopped. When my nervousness about my applications really got to me one day, I asked her. “Do you ever think that maybe you’re not all that?” She responded “Well, I’m not all that.”
Coming from a family that puts a great deal of emphasis on success and prestige, I could barely comprehend her response, so I asked her why she thought that. To which she responded, “I have a learning disability. I’m only in grade nine, and I’m barely passing my courses so I’m probably not going to be all that. It’s not a condemnation. I just probably wasn’t born to be great. Most aren’t.” After that, we just stared at each other for a moment, and then she began to recite this poem:
"Tis true my form is something odd, But blaming me is blaming God;
Could I create myself anew
I would not fail in pleasing you.
If I could reach from pole to pole
Or grasp the ocean with a span,
I would be measured by the soul;
The mind's the standard of the man."
After she finished, we sat in the empty hallway, staring ahead at the wall, both pensive. At that time, I only had a vague idea of what she was trying to say.
By June my acceptances finally came, and I faced a dilemma of whether to leave my girlfriend for an Ivy League school or to stay and attend our local college. My family was vocal that they wanted the Ivy league and truthfully, I did too. Belle, however, decided the issue with only one wise sentence: “If it’s meant to be, what you leave behind will return to you.” With that my decision was made.
After the year ended I lost touch with Belle, but once in a while I would look her up. Eventually, I stopped searching. The night before I took my last exam, I saw a documentary about Joseph Merrick, a deformed man universally known as “The Elephant Man” who spent his life as an exhibition. The documentary ended with a recitation of Belle’s poem to me. This reminded me to look her up, at which point I found her Facebook profile only to see that it was covered with people saying their farewells. From what I could piece together she died of cancer. That night was spent crying in the hallway outside my apartment.
I left Belle behind, and she did not return to me, but her words did. I was blessed by her brief presence in my life. At fourteen, she had an uncommon grace and maturity that I at twenty two could not possibly approach. Sometime that night I came to understand her poem and her message to me of striking a balance between striving and humility, letting go of one’s own anxieties, and accepting one’s own limitations. I don’t yet live up to that standard of hers—few could in this world—but I do remind myself of it daily in the hopes that one day I will truly demonstrate her uncommon grace in my every action.
"AMAZING PERSONAL STATEMENT" "TOP 3 EVER FROM FORMER HLS ADMISSIONS PERSON"
My feet skid on the ground, one after the other. It was clumsy, but it succeeded in stopping the bike. As I craned my neck to look behind me at the long, tree-lined road, the helmet I had haphazardly buckled fell to the right side of my face, letting the breeze pass through what felt like a heat wave just north of my forehead. I had covered maybe 250 feet, roughly the length of a city block, in a mere 30 seconds. It wasn’t quite a success, but it was progress. I picked up the bike and repositioned it so that it faced the abandoned road that had become my training ground for the day I spent teaching myself how to ride a bike, and I embarked down it again. This isn’t a tale from my childhood; this was a little over a year ago. At 22 years old, I taught myself how to ride a bike.
When I was seven, I asked for my first bike for Christmas. On Christmas morning, my dad rolled in a pink bicycle with a white basket and shiny bell. Five years later, he rolled that very same never-been-ridden bike out the front door, and into the Goodwill store. At 12 years old, I begged for another bike, and
my parents begrudgingly gave me an all-black roadster they had intended me to grow into. I just gave that bike away last week, the tags and plastic casing still intact. That I asked for bikes but never asked to learn
how to ride them, and that my parents gave me bikes but never taught me how to ride them, can be
explained by one simple fact: I lived on a hill, one of San Francisco’s famous seven hills no less; riding a bike outside just wasn’t appealing. As active as my family was growing up, bike riding had simply never been a part of my childhood.
It was not until the week before my first day as a legal assistant at Google when I committed once and for all to finally learn how to ride that baffling apparatus. Having just graduated from college and returned from a post-grad travel excursion, I began to prepare for my first day. While daydreams of meeting my team drifted through my mind, I realized that I hadn’t considered one important thing: the Google bikes. With a campus that spreads over a mile, the Google bikes are the primary mode of transportation on campus. When I interviewed, I remember seeing dozens of Googlers perched on these bikes, breezing down Charleston Avenue with their laptops occupying the basket in front.
With a pit in my stomach, I decided to no longer just accept what I had once thought to be my non-cycling fate. I got in my car, and drove up to Sonoma County, to a town with which I was very familiar but where no one would recognize me. When I arrived, I rented a bike from the nearest bike shop
and walked it two blocks away to a quiet road deeply hidden within a surrounding vineyard, strapped on my helmet, and kicked off.
For those first few pedals, I played it safe. My palms were already sweaty from nerves and as soon as I felt myself gaining speed, I immediately put my feet on the ground. After thirty minutes of this, I was flustered. Learning to ride a bike was harder than I expected; I was frustrated with my lack of any real gains, and I was embarrassed to be in this position in the first place. Up until this moment, I had succeeded in accomplishing practically anything I set my mind to with relative ease. Riding a bike presented a challenge that was going to take considerable effort, and I’d have to keep at it long after that day ended. This was almost enough to get me to quit right there, but I contemplated what it would mean if I went home: further evidence that I wasn’t capable of something I desperately wanted to learn.
From that point on, my attitude changed. I grew more patient, acknowledging that each unsteady pedal was progress. The intuitions I lacked for how to balance began to come together as I learned that speed actually increased stability; a common understanding for most, but an intuition I had to develop. I found myself a little more fearless with each pedal, trusting my body to keep me upright just a little longer each time. The result was a few pedals at a time, then a few more, until finally I was able to take what I considered my first bike ride.
Riding down that tree-lined street felt exhilarating, and I savored both the sense of accomplishment and sense of freedom I felt on the bike. I’m sure that whatever image I had of myself in those moments, riding through the wind, effortlessly peddling on the bike, more closely resembled someone attempting to bike after a day of wine-tasting. Nevertheless, it felt good. After a few hours and more than a few scrapes, I wheeled the bike back to the shop and proudly reported that I had actually learned. I drove back to San Francisco feeling ready to face my first day, knowing that even though it would take time before I felt truly confident on a bike, I had proven to myself that I was capable of something that I never thought possible.
OP is dead on. wtf is it with these personal stories? had a phone interview not too long ago where the guy rattled off this elaborate and perfectly constructed story of his life, then asked me for mine. i guess this just adds to the requirements of the job hunt BS now.
cargo cult king
these essays ITT are unbearable to read, I would not want to meet these people
the challenge of a heterosexual relationship
"Story" used to mean "history" but now means "story" in the colloquial sense.
No, fucking libs, you can't just make shit up!
thread is like fucking CATNIP for me
I hate how UMC professional types always have a narrative that is structured so NO MATTER WHAT THEY do, it was the PERFECT next step, and led them to the PERFECT job and how it is just PERFECT they did x y z because .....
I just want ONCE just fucking ONCE someone at brunch to admit to having FUCKED UP their life, just once. But they can't, because it's the NARRATIVE.
PROTECT | THE | NARRATIVE
lovable coin trader
"so yeah, working in the corporate group even though I wanted to work for the ACLU is the best thing that could have ever happened to me, because now I have such interesting work, and I even get to do 20 hours of pro bono work for the ACLU every other year that doesn't begin with a 2! I am so glad it worked out this way, I really like it here."
tech founder telling you to learn from failure
sounds like you haven't developed your personal brand yet, bro
wanna tell me urs?
lovable coin trader
CR. Its a symptom of our culture of narcissism. With every passing year people become less able to hold up mirror and give themselves an honest assessment. Even failure to have some self-righteous narrative now is bad mark.
i do not feel comfortable talking about myself and my qualities; it'd feel ridiculous and absurd to weave some kind of story about a time in my life. how do people do this?
Cr. I wrote my personal statement about how I was applying to law school to work in corporate law and how I thought I'd be well suited to that job. Ljl
The annoying part is that everyone globs onto one of like 3-4 narratives that DOMINATE American life these days. it's fucking annoying because if you deviate in the slightest way, you are shunned
tech founder telling you to learn from failure
The only personal stories I take seriously are ones based on terrible decisions and the failures they resulted in. That way I know the writer has truly developed as a person.
russ. new applicant. same narrative. russ.
And for every job you have to explain how it's your "passion" to work there, that your life has essentially been a long and purposeful procession toward that exact opening.
The Meanest Yay!
This is why I love this place. Nobody irl ever talks about this shit and accepts this crap without blinking. I've literally never had a job interview where I wasn't completely depressed right after because of what I had to say to "advance."
I really like it here.
cargo cult king
every cunt who works in HR and every shitboomer supporting this bullshit needs to be crucified
Thomas Smith, your landscaper
baby boomer espousing benefits of home ownership
you guys sound like you hang out with some really annoying, fake people
Light Black Poaster
what's my arc, Paulie???