Posted by: epsyck | October 9, 2007

I wrote this for a job application (don’t ask, it had more essays than I wrote for even my 9 college applications in high school). I’m proud of it. It’s me. Is it what they want? I have no clue! They were splendidly unspecific. So I wrote me.

6)    I would have to describe myself as a bit of a contradiction. I attend  one of the seven sisters, something I am very proud of. I excel in more domestic pursuits, as I have said previously. But I also seriously considered joining the Marine Corps when I graduated from high school (something which college friends don’t believe to this day – and I most likely would have joined had an acute medical problem not stopped me). I cannot recite quotes from poets and statesmen and philosophers the way many of my classmates can – I simply don’t have the ability to remember sound bites from history. But I can have an intelligent conversation on almost any topic and hold my own in most debates. I do not pretend to know everything about everything – and certainly not everything about even my chosen specialty, but I am always striving to learn something new, one more bit of information that will allow me to better understand the world I live in. I have not excelled in my coursework the way some of my classmates have. I will never have a perfect score on an exam or be valedictorian. But for all of that, I feel that I have learned more than some of those people who have received As in all of their classes. While recognition and the symbolic pat on the back given by a high grade or a promotion are always appreciated, I do not require them to be happy. Doing my job well, fulfilling my obligations, and being proud of my work means more to me than a 3.8 overall GPA ever could. I’m not afraid of hard work or of pushing myself to my limits, even if that means that I might receive, dare I say it, a B or B-. If I have done my best, learned, and perhaps learned a better way of doing something so as to do better in the future – it has been worth it. As I mentioned earlier in another question, I love to travel. I am lucky that my parents always allowed me to see things, to do things that my peers didn’t do. I traveled across the country without my parents when I was 12 – something that I consider to be a life changing experience. I realized that I was stronger than I thought and the lessons learned from that have stayed with me to this day. I have built on them, traveling domestically as well as internationally, and constantly learning that life is an adventure that is best greeted with open arms and a contingency plan. I find that the things that are most challenging in life tend to be those that are also the most enlightening, and the most gratifying. I continue to make self discoveries every year, every month, maybe even every hour. I learned that I can in fact live in Russia for two months (and even longer if I had a reliable cell phone and internet access) and get along not only in daily life, but even in political conversations. I don’t know if this is quite the description I’m expected to write. Perhaps I should have written about my habit of going above and beyond in the jobs I’ve had, or that I’m very responsible and reliable and trustworthy. All of those things are true, but I feel that those qualities are nothing to brag about. They are the bare minimum. I have been raised to believe that I am not owed anything by anyone, that I will always have to earn my place in the world. And for that I am grateful. Because that upbringing, along with my realization that when life gives you lemons you really do have to make lemonade (or if life gives you a horrific snow storm and a flight delay you can always make a new friend in the airport), I have found myself ready to tackle pretty much everything life has thrown at me. I won’t pretend that sometimes I’m overwhelmed, or that I haven’t shed a few tears along the way, but everything I’ve gone through, good and bad, has made me who I am today. And as much as I think that sometimes I would have changed things, when it comes down to it, I am proud of the person I’ve become, of the rules I live by, and therefore wouldn’t change a thing.

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