Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The SOP that never will be.

All grad school applications require an SOP or statement of purpose, a piece of writing that allows the selection committee a tiny peek at your past, the person you are now and the future you visualize for yourself and your work.

Although SOPs are thus an excellent way for the committee to decide whether you will be a good grad student, there is a lot that cannot be said in an SOP. Though I possess the kind of background and ambitions that a committee would look for, like dedication and love for my subject, a burning desire to pursue a doctoral degree in a particular area of interest, some incidents in my life that developed these desires and this love and dedication in me, there are still many other reasons for my fierce desire to pursue a PhD that cannot be given. So, here it is, the rest of the story- the SOP that never will be:

I want to be in a grad school so that I may have a better and more secure future. In my present situation, i.e as just a postgraduate, I am unable to find a job or gain the respect that the effort and time that went into earning this degree deserve. Thus, I wish to gain a doctoral degree so that I may then be assured of a job and the respect that a PhD holder invariably receives.

Another reason why I wish to join a doctoral program, also related to a secure future is my love for my beloved. As stated above, our future right now is neither predictable nor pleasant. Therefore, we cannot be together unless we feel that we won't be jeopardizing any opportunities the future might hold for each other and which might have been available to us had we been single and unfettered. A doctoral degree will grant us peace of mind and the freedom to be together.

The highest degrees ever held by anyone in my family have been master's degrees. There is no PhD in the family. I wish to be the first one in the family to ever hold a doctoral degree. There are many people who would be jealous of this achievement and it would be my pleasure to provide them with the opportunity to be jealous.

Whenever my Mom wants to encourage me to do something, she invariably adds this piece of caution, "Do not stumble in front of those who will laugh at you when you do." This is a huge step for me and I do not intend to stumble. I hope the selection committee will take this statement of purpose as an indication of the brutal honesty and ruthlessness that I will be demonstrating in my research and grant acceptance into the doctoral program.

1 comment: