Letter of Recommendation

If you have ever applied to a college, or graduate school, you may have had to get one of these things; a letter from a teacher or employer, explaining who you are, or telling the school why they should accept you. To me, this entire process is useless.

First, you have to figure out the best three people to ask. You may also want a few back ups, in case those people say no. Anyway, you need to pick teachers, school faculty, employers, etc, who you think may actually remember you, and know you well enough to give the school a good idea of who you are. Depending on the school you go to, this could be very difficult.

Then you have to actually ask them, which can be a little awkward. “Hey. I had your class three years ago. I don’t know if you remember me, but would you mind spending a bunch of time and effort on me?” It’s sometimes suggested that you write some long winded email telling them what classes you had with them, and what grades you got, and your other involvements, and basically tell them what to write about in this letter of recommendation. This is why I say it’s a useless process. If I’m telling my professors what to write about me, why don’t I just write it myself?

Then, if and when they say yes, they have to write nice things about you. I doubt many professors would be willing to write a negative letter of recommendation about you. So they will just talk you up, saying how you were an excellent student who always did well on assignments, and never came late without a good excuse.

So if no one will write a bad letter, what’s the point? If they are just going to make you sound inhumanly amazing, why bother? I mean, how much information do schools actually get out of these letters of recommendation? And if they don’t really use them, why put everyone through this terrible process?

Then, once they have agreed to write a letter for you, you have to hope that they do it in time to turn in your application by the deadline. Otherwise, you’ll have to bug them to write it. It’s just a terrible experience for everyone.

I say do away with this stupid process, and just interview the student. Or let the student write about why they should be accepted.

Is it just me? Do letters of recommendation make sense to other people? Am I just stressed out with this idea because I’m experiencing it now and it hasn’t been easy?



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