Need your reaction re: Supplement - Single Mother, Non-Trad

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Need your reaction re: Supplement - Single Mother, Non-Trad

Postby helloitslaura » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:21 pm

Last edited by helloitslaura on Sat May 14, 2011 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Need your reaction re: Supplement - Single Mother, Non-Trad

Postby rw2264 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:37 am

helloitslaura wrote:Please provide me with your reaction - does this stir your emotions at all? I know I might have to do some mechanical cleanup, but I want to first get a read on the content. This was really hard to do without crying because it's so highly personal. Any comments and I will return the favor!

My freshman year of college concluded at an extremely low point in my life. At 17, I was emancipated from my adoptive parents for a variety of painful reasons, and I entered my first year of college without anyone’s support, financial or otherwise. Throughout my freshman year I was overextended, disorganized, and grasping – I even neglected to take the administrative steps to properly withdraw from a section of a class which I could not take due to a work conflict. This oversight earned me a big fat “F”, which haunts me on my transcript, ten years later, to this day causing my cumulative gpa to nose-dive from a 3.7 to a 3.1. Since then, however, I have paid my way through college as a full-time mother and full-time Honors Student.
At times it feels as if my pursuit of an undergraduate education is a demonstration of Zeno’s Paradox, but not once did I allow personal challenges to derail my college plans. I did not permit myself to lose sight of my goals when I experienced personal family trauma, worked 60-hours a week to support myself, became a mother rather unexpectedly, nor when my husband filed for divorce shortly thereafter. Personal challenges only further galvanize my resolve.
I only took a short break after having my son in July and six months later I enrolled full-time. In the 2008 spring semester, after working a full day as a paralegal and attending evening classes, I would make the most use of my sleepless nights by nursing my child in my arms with my books open in my lap. At these times I was the most at-peace, reveling in the impossible beauty of my child’s tranquil repose, while taking another step closer to finishing college. That sleep-deprived inaugural semester at Temple University I earned a 4.0 and I could not have been more pleased.
The late Randy Pausch poignantly expressed to millions that brick walls exist to “to show how badly we want something.” This idea is ever-present in the daily trials and tribulations of single motherhood. My days at times feel as if I’m forever pushing a rock uphill, as I confront setbacks and sacrifices daily. I rely on an unwavering dedication and unflinching belief that the small sacrifices are ultimately “worth it”, and that setbacks exist as opportunities to demonstrate resilience. Being a mother provides me with the inspiration and sustenance to ford through chaotic waters and being a parent means that my aspirations are much more than endeavors for personal success; they are opportunities to forge a meaningful existence for myself and those most important to me. I remind myself that Sisyphus is a myth; if he was a single mother, not only would his boulder reach the top but he would have done it while carrying an infant and singing a lullaby.
Because I was adopted at 4 years old, I have virtually no knowledge of myself or my heritage but this has never hindered my convictions of who I am as a person. I am ambitious and focused, organized and committed, mercilessly efficient and consistently resilient. I have come a long way from being a girl who was in an orphanage until she was 4. I have come a long way from a girl whose parents could not afford to send her to college. I try, every single day, to be a positive example to my child and to be the kind of parent that I wish that I had had. I am relentless in my pursuit of goals and achieving my dreams, and I will succeed in law school at Beasley because I am worth considerably more as an applicant than my numbers suggest.

the topic is good. i think you could discuss more specifically the family crises you faced, not necessarily at length, but just to avoid saying "various reasons." i don't know if you need to work in metaphors, quotes or philosophical references in a supplement. adcomms already have a lot to read and i think it should be concise as opposed to wordy and PS-like. unless you mean this to be your PS? i guess i'm confused by your use of the word supplement.

i hope you're also including a GPA addendum that deals very specifically with the effects of all of this on your grades. it will matter.

i like it--i'd wanna let you in knowing you can work full time, go to school full time and raise a child by yourself. i know writing an intense PS can be really emotionally taxing--i was fighting back tears while writing mine. but its comforting to know all the things you've been through might help you get into law school.

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Re: Need your reaction re: Supplement - Single Mother, Non-Trad

Postby JazzOne » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:10 pm

Great story and topic. The literary references feel contrived to me; this genre of writing is simply not conducive to allusion. There were a couple spots where you need to use the subjunctive mood. Talk more about your struggle and perseverance and how that will translate into success in law school. Finally, don't say that you have no knowledge of yourself because you were adopted; that's going to far. It's enough to say that you lack knowledge of your heritage and ancestry. I don't think that kind of knowledge is necessary to knowing yourself. Good luck. Numbers?


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Re: Need your reaction re: Supplement - Single Mother, Non-Trad

Postby legalized » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:04 am

Definitely banish that sentence in the first paragraph about your F and the downward drop in grades to the addendum.

And maybe move that first sentence to somewhere else in the paragraph like right before the last sentence. Just feel the 2nd sentence is more of an eye-grabber if I was reading statements left and right and yours hits my desk at #101.

That's all I have for now. Might read the rest later.


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Re: Need your reaction re: Supplement - Single Mother, Non-Trad

Postby Derrex » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:20 am

I'm not an expert, but I think you would do better not going over grades or gpa. The first paragraph looks good for an addendum, but in a personal statement, I don't think fits. In general, I find personal statements read kind of awkward when it goes "I got this grade this semester" or "I achieved a 4.0 this semester". Nothing against that itself, but its really a part of your transcript/addendum. One of the things I was warned about when writing my PS for grad school was that not to turn it into resume/transcript 2.0.

Focus on what you gained from school and how it affected you (PS), not how your outside life affected your school performance (Addendum).

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