Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Me? Me?! Me!

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So it's time to start applying to university scholarships.

The question:
"Describe your involvement...", "How have you contributed...?", "Describe yourself in 400 word--"

The dilemma

I have enough trouble writing intros about myself on my past domains (and even the one in the sidebar --> is horrible)... the thing is, I have trouble putting my thoughts down on paper. I struggle to find the words that represent EXACTLY what I'm trying to get across. In fact, it took me 4 minutes to write that sentence.

That's not even the main issue though. My main issue with this is the fact that I hate talking about myself. I don't like talking about my accomplishments, the clubs I'm in, and basically just promoting myself in general. Of course, I realize that they need to, well, KNOW you before they give you the scholarship, but I feel like I would be boasting, because compared to many others, I haven't really done that much. And the thing is I have to make it seem extremely hardcore.

I also find descriptions written by oneself to be, well, I guess the word I'm looking for here is something close to untrustworthy. You can't lie about marks (well, maybe), but you can certainly lie about accomplishments. Scholarship applications don't require any proof that you are in fact, for example, the president of a youth charity or the treasurer of the student council. Experiences can be fabricated.

Most scholarships ask for reference letters from close adults, which I think is an excellent idea. I personally believe that my accomplishments aren't impressive, but to have an honest adult vouch for me would give me more credibility.

Yes, I am in fact filling out a scholarship application form right now, and I still have no idea what to say...

What has been your experience with writing personal statements? Do you have any advice for me in filling out scholarship applications?


10 comments so far.

  1. Amanda on September 29, 2009 at 10:22 PM

    None actually - entrance to uni here in Aus is entirely based upon academic results, without any need to write personal statements.

    However, I'm sure the experience you have blogging (how much more personal can you get!) will serve you well in writing them. Good luck!

  2. Shiying! on September 29, 2009 at 10:51 PM

    Just accept that applying for a scholarship is like whoring yourself out for crack. But replace the whoring, with strongly promoting what you've done in the last 4 years, and crack with money for your edumacation.

    p.s My conformation word is Phsymo. D:

  3. Kaylee on September 29, 2009 at 11:23 PM

    Oh god. I have to start applying for that stuff, don't I. FML.

    It will probably be easier after the first time? You'll be able to adapt your response instead of starting from scratch.

  4. setsanto on September 30, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    You're going to get the Queen's and Toronto ones. Then you'll be able to go to the University of your choice!

  5. Adam on September 30, 2009 at 9:59 PM

    I can empathise! I'm hopeless at writing things about myself, and I haven't really been involved in many things I'd be able to write down for something like that.

    As Amanda mentioned, entry to university here is based solely on academic results for nearly every course, and the same applies to scholarships, I think. I'm lucky in that regard, but as a result am unable to give any advice :P

  6. Manda on October 1, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    I hated writing college application essays, too. The only advice I can give you is the best advice I got: always write from the heart. Don't write something because you think it'll make you look better despite not having any personal interest in it. Write something that is YOU, and even if what you are writing about isn't as "impressive" the change in tone will make all the difference.

  7. support club co-president on October 1, 2009 at 4:00 PM

    so i feel like you're advertising the facts that experiences can be fabricated, but i'm not gonna turn into the ethics police so uhh skipping that.

    As the second member of your personal support team the other member having allready commented I have to say that I agree you'll get them and that also you are an awesome person, you work hard and you acheive things because of it. meaning you can afford to be slightly boastfull every once in a while.

    as you know i have no experience writing this kinda crap but i can say i'll definitely be worse at it then you cause i've done way less.

    also as i was writing this the light on my ipod turned on and then off without me touching it weird. MLIA

    my verification word is wreefugs something about that seems weird to me if you switch the w anf f it becomes freewugs i don't know what a wug is but if it's free that's cool.

    omg the ipod thing just happened three more times. i think it's trying to talk to me through morse code.

  8. Enzo on October 3, 2009 at 6:51 AM

    I hate writing those application essays! I remember doing those to apply for high school. Mine sucked. :P I didn't know what they want to know about me. Whenever we do theme papers in our school that has to be about us, I usually focus on just one (or two) aspects of me. Problem is, college wants to see me in a nutshell, and I can't give that. LOL

  9. Emsz on October 4, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    Thankfully I have never actually had to write them. I had to sort of write them for my entrance into medical school, but those also so had to include other people's thoughts about me, and it could only be 400 words long, so I perhaps wrote 50 words about myself :P

  10. Meg on October 11, 2009 at 1:00 PM

    I've never been good at writing about myself either, but you just have to figure it out for yourself. None of the advice or pointers I was given were really that helpful in the end, but if I had to list the two most important things to keep in mind: Write well, and be true to yourself while writing. But you've probably already got that down!

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