BenJ wrote:rookhawk wrote:Regarding the previous post: I'd think with his stats that he didn't take his personal statements and essays seriously. Or more to the point, his soft-skills and personality were sorely absent from his applications.
I definitely didn't fully understand the importance of the PS at the time: not in terms of writing a good one, but in terms of presenting a story. I'm awful at writing about myself. I've improved enough to have written a decent PS for law school, but I used to simply stare at the page and have no idea of anything to say. I think part of my problem was a lack of focus at the time, too, since I had a fair degree of diversity in softs but nothing remotely resembling any sort of theme and no leadership positions. I mean, it's not like I don't know that I made those sorts of mistakes on my apps, it just seems in retrospect surprising that the numbers didn't mitigate it somewhat at some of the schools listed (I did get into others of similar caliber to some, so the list is not fully representative). I certainly didn't do anything douchey on the applications--not even close.
I did screw up the Yale alumni interview, though, in rather spectacular fashion. It's one of the things that still really embarrasses me, actually. So that rejection was understandable if a bit stinging anyway. I have a bad habit of saying things ranging from the stupid to the downright moronic without thinking about it.
Anyway, I think I ended up being a good fit for the school I ended up at, so any ill-will is merely nerves brought back up by the stress of law school apps.
On an aside, there was a girl from my HS who was rejected from NYU but accepted at Princeton. She was an amazing singer, so Princeton may have been looking for singing talent. I don't know her numbers to say if she was otherwise Princeton caliber or at a level at which it was reasonable for NYU to reject her, so it could be either a surprising rejection or a surprising acceptance.
Yeah, UG is much less straight numbers than law school is. It seems elite caliber schools get tons of valedictorian/4.0 GPA/near-perfect SAT scores, so softs play a much larger factor. These schools all seem to want some sort of struggle against adversity story, and they want everyone to be a leader/tops at some activity/extremely accomplished in some field. I knew plenty of people in your situation, with scores approaching yours who ended up at places like University of Florida because they were just smart and didn't have a ton else to offer (I'm not saying that you don't, these were just the kids I knew).