Grad School Applications vs Online Dating Profiles

I have a month and a half before I have to submit my grad school application. There are several steps to the application, but one of the most important pieces is my statement of intent.

A statement of intent is a paper on who you are in an academic and career sense. Why you deserve to be in grad school, what has led you to this decision, etc. Its purpose is to persuade admissions that you will be a good choice for the school and will serve your career field positively in the future. Heavy, right? Tell me about it!

Many say it is the hardest thing you will ever have to write, so far… it is shaping up that way. It could be because I detest talking about myself. If you’ve just met me, you’re likely going to be talking about yourself all night and not even realize it. But, I can’t pull that trick on the grad school admissions board.

When I got to thinking about it… this application has a lot of similarities to online dating profiles- which I have also been writing these days.

Both pieces you’re trying hard to sell yourself. You’re trying the present your best self, that self you could be if you actually did those activities you listed more than once.

The purpose of writing both the statement and the profile is to stand out from the pack and have someone choose you. Whether they choose your CV from a pile of 100 other or choose to message you rather than the 300 other women who have your similar traits and demographics. It’s almost like a cat show.

The statement is about your future- where you will be and where you are going in the next few years. And, depending on what you’re looking for in the dating scene, you could be thinking about your future, where you’ll be in the next 10 years, and who you’ll be with.

And finally, the uncertainty. I’m submitting my statement to the University online. Once I press send, I have no control over it anymore. I’ll be on pins and needles for months with all sorts of doubts popping up in my mind- I’m not smart enough… I don’t have enough experience behind me… Did I even submit it properly?!? With the online profile… so much uncertainty all the time. What is interesting? What do I even like to do? Do people care about the fact I like coffee way too much? Which photo- the candid or the selfie?

Which ever way you look at it, talking about yourself is something you have to master at some point in your life. I haven’t figured out the secret of how to do that yet, but I’m getting there.

However, I DO know I’m taking the statement of intent incredibly serious and for good reason. The online dating- with all the lame pickup lines and dick pics, not taking that seriously in the least. With very good reason.


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