Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I'm really glad I've been writing this blog for the past year and a half. It's definitely helped me get better at starting writing projects, which is especially important this semester.

None of my personal statements for the various neuroscience graduate programs can be quite the same. Columbia asks for everything in under 500 words, Harvard in 1000, and UCSD in 2500 (the others don't have word limits, so I can just go with the best version for those). Right now, I've got 970 words, and a little bit more to add. So I can hit 1000 easily. But paring it down to 500 is difficult because all the transitions and the flow will be gone from my piece. I'm going to have to completely rewrite my statement for that one.

Today, though, I'm working on a completely different application. It's for TeachForAmerica. I was planning on applying, but it seemed far away in the future. And then I had a meeting with one of the recruiters on Monday morning, and he reminded me just why I wanted to apply in the first place. So now I'm weighing whether I should try to get it done by today's deadline, or wait for the December deadline. The latter would lead to interview weeks coinciding with interviews for grad schools. It would also be nice to find out by January if I'm in or not.

But then again, my career goal involves going to grad school and doing research. It's not as though TFA will just be a hobby, because I'm very interested in education, but my contribution to the field in the end is probably not going to be from the level of the teacher. So I would also have to decide by January, before I found out whether the grad schools that would allow a 2-year deferral have accepted me. All in all, I'm thinking now that I should probably go with the December deadline.

It'll take longer and be more busy, but at least I'll be able to see all my choices when I decide.

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