Masuk bakul, angkat sendiri

…literally translates into “enter basket, lift yourself“. 

Motivated. Strong. Energetic. Responsible. Fun-loving. Individual. Aspiring.

Words of self-promotion are so over-used and contrived. Somehow along the way, we’ve been told that’s what employers and school admissions are looking for. But really, that’s how everyone describes themselves in these painful personal statements. How else are we supposed to do it?

Extremely unmotivated part of the crowd. Prefers lazing around on the couch reading and crocheting over traveling to see the world or being social. Hates fun and prefers mundane everyday conversation. Only thinks inside the box and does what has been done. Extremely boring and lacks creativity. Cannot catch or throw a ball to save my life.

I would hire some who has the guts to submit this as their personal statement. I’m so bored of filling up form after form and writing statement after statement about why I deserve this scholarship/job/position. People are supposed to decide whether or not we’re worthy of something valuable based on the good things we say about ourselves? I feel like my self-perceptions are somewhat inaccurate – but then again, see the irony of that statement? I suppose that that’s what recommendation letters are for. But really, they are simply echoes of what we have said about ourselves.

One of the top in _______. Creative. Intellectual. Inspiring.

And even in interviews, we present ourselves as if we have it all together. How we can turn our weakness into our strength. How we can handle difficult situations professionally and solve problems quickly. How I’m different from the ten people before and after me. It seems like all we do in these applications is present the best version of ourselves. And I’m skeptical about how often this version of myself ever surfaces. Probably only when I’m curled up crocheting, having ice-cream, and watching TV with Fuzz on my lap. Which I imagine is not exactly the ideal working situation. Most of the times I’m just doing whatever I can to try to hide my tiredness and crabbiness. Until I decide whether or not to take up tedious grad school applications, I will suck it up, complete my Thesis Fellowship application and forget about how I’ve just described myself as an outstanding individual.


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