As inane as this sounds, writing a personal statement is exactly like gaining muscle. You always start off woefully skinny and bare (if you are a pitiable ectomorph like me), nothing to boast about. Once you get started the progress is actually pretty evident; you start surveying yourself in the mirror when you think no one’s looking, smirking at the bulges and veins: nothing very refined but you’re relieved that there’s anything there at all. You start eating more, and discriminately, because when you’re skinny any weight is good weight. You start piling on the kgs, you were 53 but now you’re passing 60, even 63. You’re gaining mass like never before, most of it is good lean mass but after a while much of it starts to look like flab. You’re 72kg when your target was really 67. You’re slightly over, but that was never unexpected. After all, fat and muscle come together; when you think you’re as muscular as you want to be, you start cutting. You stop eating so much rice. In fact, you stop eating carbs at all. You want to be toned but you could never have been that if you hadn’t started eating and working out in the first place.
I’m at 4446, substantially above the 4000-character limit. Some of it is actually pretty good stuff for two years of disused linguistic muscle (though much of the best parts were filched from the statement two years back). But it’s finally time to trim!