URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
kristina88
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URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby kristina88 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:00 pm

Thanks for all the help!
Last edited by kristina88 on Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tanicius
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby Tanicius » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:17 pm

Delete the first paragraph and it becomes much more interesting. You want to show the reader that this event had an affect on your life -- merely telling them so accomplishes nothing because there's no emotion in it.

kristina88
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby kristina88 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:25 pm

Do you think I should use it as a conclusion or delete it all together?

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Tanicius
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby Tanicius » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:47 pm

kristina88 wrote:Do you think I should use it as a conclusion or delete it all together?


Altogether. Everything you say in it will be understood without you having to say it, because it's just a summary of your PS.

kristina88
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby kristina88 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:51 pm

any other changes?

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jsoell
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby jsoell » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:10 pm

As I arrived home from my university, the aroma of chicken and rice made me feel at ease. Family dinners are tradition and this is one tradition I deeply miss while I am away at school. However, tonight was unlike any other night. I could feel the tension in the air and see the sadness in my mother’s eyes. This was the night my life would change forever. [[[THIS IS PRETTY DRAMATIC - IT'S ONE OF THOSE SENTENCES THAT I WOULD HIGHLIGHT AND THEN GO BACK TO AT THE END AND READ IT THROUGH WITH AND WITHOUT IT. IF YOU NEED IT TO SET THE TONE, KEEP IT. IF NOT, I'D TAKE IT OUT]]]

As we sat down for dinner, my mother turned to my sister and I. “Alex will not be joining us this evening”, she stated. This caught my sister and I [ME] off guard, and we inquired where Alex was. I could see the hurt building in my mother’s eyes, [COMMA NOT REALLY NECESSARY] as she told us that Alex had been arrested and was serving time in the juvenile detention center. During his time in the detention center several people saw my brother as a failure I used to be one of them. [REWORD THIS ---- MAYBE "While my brother was in the detention center, many people began to see him as a failure. I used to be one of them."]There are many things I wish could have been done differently in order to protect my brother, my family, and myself from this tragic experience.

While my brother was confined to the four walls of juvenile detention, I took it upon myself to help learn more about the experiences he would be subjected to. Being under 21 at the time of his incarceration, I was not able to visit my brother while in the detention center, instead I relied on my own research I conducted in order to learn more about the legal process. [that last sentence is saying that you were under 21 at the time. Are you saying that or that your brother was under 21?]

After [Since] Alex’s dismissal from juvenile detention, he is motivated to complete tasks that other teenagers take for granted. These goals include getting a driver’s license, graduating high school and getting accepted to college. Alex’s incarceration period has changed my identity for the better. From this experience, I have learned not to take anyone or anything for granted. I now have a new appreciation for my brother because he has survived through this experience and continues to set positive goals for himself. Although his goals may seem trivial, his desire to accomplish those goals has helped me to continue to set goals for my life.

[I HAVE TO RUN RIGHT NOW, SO I'M STOPPING THE PROOFING. ONE THING THOUGH - THIS IS ONE OF THOSE PS THAT I ALMOST FEEL LIKE THE ADMISSIONS FOLKS MIGHT RESPOND BY SAYING THAT THEY'RE MORE INTERESTED IN YOUR BROTHER THAN IN YOU. YOU SAY THAT YOU'VE BEEN OVERCOMING OBSTACLES, BUT THE STORY IS ABOUT YOUR BROTHER]

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dudester
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby dudester » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:21 pm

jsoell wrote:[strike]As I arrived home from my university, the aroma of chicken and rice made me feel at ease. Family dinners are tradition and this is one tradition I deeply miss while I am away at school. However, tonight was unlike any other night. I could feel the tension in the air and see the sadness in my mother’s eyes. This was the night my life would change forever. [[[THIS IS PRETTY DRAMATIC - IT'S ONE OF THOSE SENTENCES THAT I WOULD HIGHLIGHT AND THEN GO BACK TO AT THE END AND READ IT THROUGH WITH AND WITHOUT IT. IF YOU NEED IT TO SET THE TONE, KEEP IT. IF NOT, I'D TAKE IT OUT]]]

As we sat down for dinner, my mother turned to my sister and I. “Alex will not be joining us this evening”, she stated. This caught my sister and I [ME] off guard, and we inquired where Alex was. I could see the hurt building in my mother’s eyes, [COMMA NOT REALLY NECESSARY] as she told us that Alex had been arrested and was serving time in the juvenile detention center. During his time in the detention center several people saw my brother as a failure I used to be one of them. [REWORD THIS ---- MAYBE "While my brother was in the detention center, many people began to see him as a failure. I used to be one of them."]There are many things I wish could have been done differently in order to protect my brother, my family, and myself from this tragic experience.

While my brother was confined to the four walls of juvenile detention, I took it upon myself to help learn more about the experiences he would be subjected to. Being under 21 at the time of his incarceration, I was not able to visit my brother while in the detention center, instead I relied on my own research I conducted in order to learn more about the legal process. [that last sentence is saying that you were under 21 at the time. Are you saying that or that your brother was under 21?]

After [Since] Alex’s dismissal from juvenile detention, he is motivated to complete tasks that other teenagers take for granted. These goals include getting a driver’s license, graduating high school and getting accepted to college. Alex’s incarceration period has changed my identity for the better. From this experience, I have learned not to take anyone or anything for granted. I now have a new appreciation for my brother because he has survived through this experience and continues to set positive goals for himself. Although his goals may seem trivial, his desire to accomplish those goals has helped me to continue to set goals for my life.

[I HAVE TO RUN RIGHT NOW, SO I'M STOPPING THE PROOFING. ONE THING THOUGH - THIS IS ONE OF THOSE PS THAT I ALMOST FEEL LIKE THE ADMISSIONS FOLKS MIGHT RESPOND BY SAYING THAT THEY'RE MORE INTERESTED IN YOUR BROTHER THAN IN YOU. YOU SAY THAT YOU'VE BEEN OVERCOMING OBSTACLES, BUT[/strike]THE STORY IS ABOUT YOUR BROTHER]

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jsoell
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby jsoell » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:25 pm

question for dudester ---- Was that you saying that you disagreed with the edits?

kristina88
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby kristina88 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:46 pm

do the lines mean you don't like the essay?

deadatheist
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby deadatheist » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:47 pm

Tanicius wrote:
kristina88 wrote:Do you think I should use it as a conclusion or delete it all together?


Altogether. Everything you say in it will be understood without you having to say it, because it's just a summary of your PS.


yes completely, completely delete altogether.

ps- your mom turned to your sister "and me"
the grammar needs to be checked!

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dudester
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby dudester » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:12 pm

kristina88 wrote:do the lines mean you don't like the essay?


To be honest, I don't think this essay will get you accepted anywhere. Here's why:

The police arrested my 14-year-old brother in October 2008. Although he was released from juvenile detention center eight month later, the impact of his incarceration is everlasting. This experience tested my emotional strength and courage. (How?)It has taught me lessons (What lessons?) about the complexities of the legal system and has evoked my interest and drive to pursue a law degree. This experience has provided me with the maturity and wisdom (You better be ready to back this up. You can't just piggyback on your brother's experience.) that will bring a distinctive perspective (If only adcoms had a penny for every time they've read this cliche) to the BLANK law school.
As I arrived home from my university, the aroma of chicken and rice made me feel at ease. Family dinners are tradition and this is one tradition I deeply miss while I am away at school. However, tonight was unlike any other night. I could feel the tension in the air and see the sadness in my mother’s eyes. This was the night my life would change forever.(Again, you're making a very strong statement, so you have to back it up.)
As we sat down for dinner, my mother turned to my sister and I. “Alex will not be joining us this evening”, she stated. This caught my sister and I off guard, and we inquired where Alex was. I could see the hurt building in my mother’s eyes, as she told us that Alex had been arrested and was serving time in the juvenile detention center. (This bit makes me think that you may have skewed the time line a little too much. Nobody noticed your mom was distraught before sitting down for dinner? Nobody asked where Alex was before your mother mentioned he wasn't going to join you that night? Learning he wasn't going to join you caught you "off guard", so you were surely expecting him. Was Alex arrested, tried, sentenced and sent to a juvenile detention center in 24 hours? My point is that if you're going to go for impact, you have to make sure the story makes sense.)(During his time in the detention center several people saw my brother as a failure I used to be one of them) (Why? Or, more importantly, what changed?[)/color]. There are many things I wish could have been done differently [color=#0000FF](What's your argument here? If you can't mention at least some specifics, then Alex was sent to juvie simply because he committed an offense.) in order to protect my brother, my family, and myself from this tragic experience.
While my brother was confined to the four walls of juvenile detention, I took it upon myself to help learn more the experiences he would be subjected to (What do you mean? He was sent to juvie, not to Guantanamo Bay.). Being under 21 at the time of his incarceration, I was not able to visit my brother while in the detention center, instead I relied on my own research I conducted in order to learn more about the legal process (So what "evoked" you interest in the law was not what your brother shared with you about incarceration, but your speculation about what that must have been like?).
After Alex’s dismissal from juvenile detention, he is motivated to complete tasks that other teenagers take for granted. These goals include getting a driver’s license, graduating high school and getting accepted to college. (This has nothing to do with you.) Alex’s incarceration period has changed my identity (How?)for the better. From this experience, I have learned not to take anyone or anything for granted (Is that it?). I now have a new appreciation for my brother because he has survived through this experience and continues to set positive goals for himself.(Good for him) Although his goals may seem trivial, his desire to accomplish those goals has helped me to continue to set goals for my life.(How can his desire to get a driver license be what motivates you to keep setting goals for yourself?)
Not only have I witnessed a firsthand account of the legal system in action, Alex’s incarceration has inspired me to tackle a new challenge in life; becoming a lawyer. The legal system Alex went through has provided me with a desire to understand the deeper legal structures of the law. (This just doesn't make sense.)
Being a lawyer requires one to be an advocate for their client (Adcoms know this.). During this experience I have worked to not only be an advocate for my brother, but for my family as a whole (This came out of nowhere.). In my life, I am only personally satisfied when helping others.(Yet you didn't even mention if and how you helped your own brother cope with his incarceration.) By becoming a lawyer, I hope to use my experiences to help other troubled teens similar to my brother. (See previous comment)
I have been through many obstacles in my life(You didn't mention a single one of them), and I know that while attending Law School, many more curveballs will be thrown at me. This experience has taught me lessons about the complexities of the legal system and has evoked my interest and drive to pursue a law degree. This experience has provided me with the maturity and wisdom that will mold me into the lawyer I will be tomorrow. (You just reminded me that I have learned absolutely nothing about you.)

Answering some of the questions I wrote in would help make the essay more about you and less about you brother.

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Zapatero
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby Zapatero » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:20 pm

^^Yep. This essay sucks. Also, things like this...

Being a lawyer requires one to be an advocate for their client


...just sound terrible, not only because it's so obvious, but because your pronouns don't agree. You're sending this to Harvard.
Last edited by Zapatero on Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:22 pm

As a general rule, asking for feedback on a PS less than 24 hours before you're going to submit it is a really bad idea. It'll take a lot longer than that just to get enough decent feedback, let alone use that feedback to write a much better PS.

Throw this out and start over.

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vanwinkle
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Re: HARVARD PERSONAL STATMENT..SUBMITTING TODAY!!

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:33 pm

This looks identical to the one you submitted yesterday in this thread:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=105925&p=2488320#p2488320

I can't see any changes you made since then. Starting new threads to get new advice on the exact same thing a day after you just asked for advice on it is not great behavior, and it's certainly not going to get you much additional help.

MichelFoucault
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Re: HARVARD PERSONAL STATMENT..SUBMITTING TODAY!!

Postby MichelFoucault » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:39 pm

kristina88 wrote:THOUGHTS.....?

The police arrested my 14-year-old brother in October 2008. Although he was released from juvenile detention center eight month later, the impact of his incarceration is everlasting. This experience tested my emotional strength and courage. It has taught me lessons about the complexities of the legal system and has evoked my interest and drive to pursue a law degree. This experience has provided me with the maturity and wisdom that will bring a distinctive perspective to the BLANK law school.

As I arrived home from my university, the aroma of chicken and rice made me feel at ease. Family dinners are tradition and this is one tradition I deeply miss while I am away at school. However, tonight was unlike any other night. I could feel the tension in the air and see the sadness in my mother’s eyes. This was the night my life would change forever.

As we sat down for dinner, my mother turned to my sister and I. “Alex will not be joining us this evening”, she stated. This caught my sister and I off guard, and we inquired where Alex was. I could see the hurt building in my mother’s eyes, as she told us that Alex had been arrested and was serving time in the juvenile detention center. During his time in the detention center several people saw my brother as a failure I used to be one of them. There are many things I wish could have been done differently in order to protect my brother, my family, and myself from this tragic experience.

While my brother was confined to the four walls of juvenile detention, I took it upon myself to help learn more the experiences he would be subjected to. Being under 21 at the time of his incarceration, I was not able to visit my brother while in the detention center, instead I relied on my own research I conducted in order to learn more about the legal process.

After Alex’s dismissal from juvenile detention, he is motivated to complete tasks that other teenagers take for granted. These goals include getting a driver’s license, graduating high school and getting accepted to college. Alex’s incarceration period has changed my identity for the better. From this experience, I have learned not to take anyone or anything for granted. I now have a new appreciation for my brother because he has survived through this experience and continues to set positive goals for himself. Although his goals may seem trivial, his desire to accomplish those goals has helped me to continue to set goals for my life.

Not only have I witnessed a firsthand account of the legal system in action, Alex’s incarceration has inspired me to tackle a new challenge in life; becoming a lawyer. The legal system Alex went through has provided me with a desire to understand the deeper legal structures of the law.

Being a lawyer requires one to be an advocate for their client. During this experience I have worked to not only be an advocate for my brother, but for my family as a whole. In my life, I am only personally satisfied when helping others. By becoming a lawyer, I hope to use my experiences to help other troubled teens similar to my brother.

I have been through many obstacles in my life, and I know that while attending Law School, many more curveballs will be thrown at me. This experience has taught me lessons about the complexities of the legal system and has evoked my interest and drive to pursue a law degree. This experience has provided me with the maturity and wisdom that will mold me into the lawyer I will be tomorrow.


This is improper use of the construction. You use "John Doe and I" when it is the subject of the sentence. If your mother turned only towards you, you would say "My mother turned towards me and said..." You would not say "My mother turned towards I".

Just as in the correct usage of that construction: You would say "I went to the store" and not "Me went to the store". Therefore you would say "John Doe and I went to the store, and not "Me and John Doe went to the store."

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Cavalier
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Re: HARVARD PERSONAL STATMENT..SUBMITTING TODAY!!

Postby Cavalier » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:47 pm

You're not getting into Harvard with that personal statement.

Miracle
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby Miracle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:09 pm

dudester wrote:
kristina88 wrote:do the lines mean you don't like the essay?


To be honest, I don't think this essay will get you accepted anywhere. Here's why:

The police arrested my 14-year-old brother in October 2008. Although he was released from juvenile detention center eight month later, the impact of his incarceration is everlasting. This experience tested my emotional strength and courage. (How?)It has taught me lessons (What lessons?) about the complexities of the legal system and has evoked my interest and drive to pursue a law degree. This experience has provided me with the maturity and wisdom (You better be ready to back this up. You can't just piggyback on your brother's experience.) that will bring a distinctive perspective (If only adcoms had a penny for every time they've read this cliche) to the BLANK law school.
As I arrived home from my university, the aroma of chicken and rice made me feel at ease. Family dinners are tradition and this is one tradition I deeply miss while I am away at school. However, tonight was unlike any other night. I could feel the tension in the air and see the sadness in my mother’s eyes. This was the night my life would change forever.(Again, you're making a very strong statement, so you have to back it up.)
As we sat down for dinner, my mother turned to my sister and I. “Alex will not be joining us this evening”, she stated. This caught my sister and I off guard, and we inquired where Alex was. I could see the hurt building in my mother’s eyes, as she told us that Alex had been arrested and was serving time in the juvenile detention center. (This bit makes me think that you may have skewed the time line a little too much. Nobody noticed your mom was distraught before sitting down for dinner? Nobody asked where Alex was before your mother mentioned he wasn't going to join you that night? Learning he wasn't going to join you caught you "off guard", so you were surely expecting him. Was Alex arrested, tried, sentenced and sent to a juvenile detention center in 24 hours? My point is that if you're going to go for impact, you have to make sure the story makes sense.)(During his time in the detention center several people saw my brother as a failure I used to be one of them) (Why? Or, more importantly, what changed?[)/color]. There are many things I wish could have been done differently [color=#0000FF](What's your argument here? If you can't mention at least some specifics, then Alex was sent to juvie simply because he committed an offense.) in order to protect my brother, my family, and myself from this tragic experience.
While my brother was confined to the four walls of juvenile detention, I took it upon myself to help learn more the experiences he would be subjected to (What do you mean? He was sent to juvie, not to Guantanamo Bay.). Being under 21 at the time of his incarceration, I was not able to visit my brother while in the detention center, instead I relied on my own research I conducted in order to learn more about the legal process (So what "evoked" you interest in the law was not what your brother shared with you about incarceration, but your speculation about what that must have been like?).
After Alex’s dismissal from juvenile detention, he is motivated to complete tasks that other teenagers take for granted. These goals include getting a driver’s license, graduating high school and getting accepted to college. (This has nothing to do with you.) Alex’s incarceration period has changed my identity (How?)for the better. From this experience, I have learned not to take anyone or anything for granted (Is that it?). I now have a new appreciation for my brother because he has survived through this experience and continues to set positive goals for himself.(Good for him) Although his goals may seem trivial, his desire to accomplish those goals has helped me to continue to set goals for my life.(How can his desire to get a driver license be what motivates you to keep setting goals for yourself?)
Not only have I witnessed a firsthand account of the legal system in action, Alex’s incarceration has inspired me to tackle a new challenge in life; becoming a lawyer. The legal system Alex went through has provided me with a desire to understand the deeper legal structures of the law. (This just doesn't make sense.)
Being a lawyer requires one to be an advocate for their client (Adcoms know this.). During this experience I have worked to not only be an advocate for my brother, but for my family as a whole (This came out of nowhere.). In my life, I am only personally satisfied when helping others.(Yet you didn't even mention if and how you helped your own brother cope with his incarceration.) By becoming a lawyer, I hope to use my experiences to help other troubled teens similar to my brother. (See previous comment)
I have been through many obstacles in my life(You didn't mention a single one of them), and I know that while attending Law School, many more curveballs will be thrown at me. This experience has taught me lessons about the complexities of the legal system and has evoked my interest and drive to pursue a law degree. This experience has provided me with the maturity and wisdom that will mold me into the lawyer I will be tomorrow. (You just reminded me that I have learned absolutely nothing about you.)

Answering some of the questions I wrote in would help make the essay more about you and less about you brother.


One of the best edits I have seen on TLS so far!

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PDaddy
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby PDaddy » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:20 pm

I am cautious about anyone posting his/her personal on TLS, LSD, etc. instead of in a PM because the adcoms patrol the boards. when they get the application(s) of people who have openly posted them, it is possible that their statements, even if well written, will be given less merit because the adcoms know the applicant had a lot of help. We should maintain the illusion that statements and essays are completely our own work, just as we do that every school we apply to is our "dream school".

Many or most people get help with their satatements, and should. But IMO you don't want to expose what components of the statement were enhanced through the suggestions of others, especially if those others were strangers on TLS who also applied to the same schools. If those segments are the best written, your points for a good statement might go down the drain.

I am not saying that this necessarily DOES happen, only that it can.

I am all for helping and getting help with applications. But applicants may want to get their suggestions in PM's or via private e-mail.

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fl0w
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby fl0w » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:21 pm

this essay is about your brother. write something about YOU. I don't think you can use this at all.

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vanwinkle
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:23 pm

fl0w wrote:this essay is about your brother. write something about YOU. I don't think you can use this at all.

What's really funny is that you're not the first person to say this, and yet just a few minutes ago she created yet another thread on this PS without changing it at all.

It seems obvious she doesn't want actual advice, she wants someone to tell her that this is good enough so she can submit it.

Miracle
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby Miracle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:29 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
fl0w wrote:this essay is about your brother. write something about YOU. I don't think you can use this at all.

What's really funny is that you're not the first person to say this, and yet just a few minutes ago she created yet another thread on this PS without changing it at all.

It seems obvious she doesn't want actual advice, she wants someone to tell her that this is good enough so she can submit it.


I saw that.
Last edited by Miracle on Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: HARVARD PERSONAL STATMENT..SUBMITTING TODAY!!

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:32 pm

Cavalier wrote:You're not getting into Harvard with that personal statement.

+1. Time to start over (and actually take people's advice this time).

4910
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Re: HARVARD PERSONAL STATMENT..SUBMITTING TODAY!!

Postby 4910 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:33 pm

deadline is monday, better start rewriting it

EzraStiles
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Re: HARVARD PERSONAL STATMENT..SUBMITTING TODAY!!

Postby EzraStiles » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:36 pm

First: Do a grammar check. Don't ask us to evaluate your essay unless you're going to put in some work to make it presentable. You should put forth something that you expected to turn in, and I refuse to believe that you consider this a finished product, what with all the awkward phrases and grammatical errors.

Second: This essay has nothing to do with you. It is all about your brother and his hardships, and you seem to think you've had it difficult by association. I don't really care if that's how you feel or not, I can just say that is exactly how it feels as an objective reader, which is what you're going to get in whatever admissions office you send this to.

I figure if you're going to spam us with your shit essay I'll have to resubmit an actual criticism on your threads.

EzraStiles
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Re: URM Personal Statment..Going to Send to Harvard TODAY!!

Postby EzraStiles » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:37 pm

First: Do a grammar check. Don't ask us to evaluate your essay unless you're going to put in some work to make it presentable. You should put forth something that you expected to turn in, and I refuse to believe that you consider this a finished product, what with all the awkward phrases and grammatical errors.

Second: This essay has nothing to do with you. It is all about your brother and his hardships, and you seem to think you've had it difficult by association. I don't really care if that's how you feel or not, I can just say that is exactly how it feels as an objective reader, which is what you're going to get in whatever admissions office you send this to.

I figure if you're going to spam us with your shit essay I'll have to resubmit an actual criticism on your threads.




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