criticize away. :)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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dollparts
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:28 pm

criticize away. :)

Postby dollparts » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:21 pm

This is my PS... I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!


I was born in a building without plumbing; my mother was assisted by only a midwife and a high pain tolerance. This building without running water was my home, located in a small town of about 100 people called XXXX, Montana. Nestled at the base of the Tobacco Root Mountains in Montana, my hometown sometimes seems like an imaginary location. A town that reached its high point during the gold rush, it is often classified as a ghost town. There are no stores or gas stations; the center of commerce is a lone bar.

Since there was no school in my town, I attended school in a similar town about six miles down the road. Being a rural school, it was poorly funded and had a hard time enticing good teachers. Due to limited resources, the school didn’t provide much in the way of extracurricular activities, and educational quality was not high. Often graduates of my high school attended college for a term or so, but ended up dropping out due to lack of funding, unplanned pregnancy, or lack of academic preparation. Despite the struggles of others in a similar situation, I decided that college would be my chance to move beyond my limiting community. I recognized that I was at a disadvantage, with my family having little money and attending a high school that offered a low quality of education. Acutely aware of these obstacles, I spent my high school years pouring myself into all of the meager educational and cultural opportunities that my school and community offered, with the hopes of procuring a scholarship that would allow me to attend college. I was overjoyed when [College] in XXXX, Oregon provided me with a scholarship large enough to make attendance financially feasible for me. I left the sheltered community I grew up in for a city with which I was unfamiliar with joy.

[College] proved to be an eye-opening experience for me. While I often felt unprepared for the academic rigor in comparison to my classmates, I also noticed that in some ways, my background provided me with some very useful skills.

The first skill I noticed was my unique approach to problem solving. In my childhood, we went grocery shopping fairly infrequently, because the nearest shopping opportunity was about 60 miles away. This meant that I had to learn to plan ahead, and when I failed to do that, I had to be resourceful. Although sometimes my resourcefulness experiments failed (for example, mint extract should not be used as a substitute for vanilla extract when baking cookies), I learned to examine my available resources, and make do with what I had. This ability to analyze alternate uses for my resources has been an asset during college.

Another skill that I discovered I had was listening to and understanding arguments. During my childhood, I had almost always been the only liberal-leaning individual in a strongly conservative community. While I certainly didn’t identify that as a positive thing at the time, I’ve come to recognize that it was a fantastic learning experience. It forced me to really examine my beliefs, truly understand opposing points of view, and identify weak points in arguments.

Another positive aspect that my background provided which was particularly noticeable at [College] was my awareness of the value of my education. Since neither of my parents is a college graduate, I do not take my ability to attend a university for granted. I recognize that I am lucky to have gotten the opportunity to attend college, and the fact that my hard work, resulting in a large scholarship, allows me this opportunity makes me more aware of the importance of my education, and work that much harder.

Now that I’ve gained some distance from the circumstances in which I grew up, I can recognize and appreciate the skills that I gained from the experience. Looking back upon my childhood, I now recognize that the unique situation in which I grew up prepared me in many ways for my life, and will be useful as I embark on my path of legal education.

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rw2264
Posts: 314
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:59 am

Re: criticize away. :)

Postby rw2264 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:46 am

dollparts wrote:This is my PS... I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!


I was born in a building without plumbing; my mother was assisted by only a midwife and a high pain tolerance. This building without running water was my home, located in a small town of about 100 people called XXXX, Montana. Nestled at the base of the Tobacco Root Mountains in Montana, my hometown sometimes seems like an imaginary location. A town that reached its high point during the gold rush, it is often classified as a ghost town. There are no stores or gas stations; the center of commerce is a lone bar.

Since there was no school in my town, I attended school in a similar town about six miles down the road. Being a rural school, it was poorly funded and had a hard time enticing good teachers. Due to limited resources, the school didn’t provide much in the way of extracurricular activities, and educational quality was not high. Often graduates of my high school attended college for a term or so, but ended up dropping out due to lack of funding, unplanned pregnancy, or lack of academic preparation. Despite the struggles of others in a similar situation, I decided that college would be my chance to move beyond my limiting community. I recognized that I was at a disadvantage, with my family having little money and attending a high school that offered a low quality of education. Acutely aware of these obstacles, I spent my high school years pouring myself into all of the meager awkward use of the word educational and cultural opportunities that my school and community offered, with the hopes of procuring a scholarship that would allow me to attend college. I was overjoyed when [College] in XXXX, Oregon provided me with a scholarship large enough to make attendance financially feasible for me. I joyfully left the sheltered community I grew up in for a city with which I was unfamiliar [strike]with joy[/strike].

[College] proved to be an eye-opening experience for me. While I often felt unprepared for the academic rigor in comparison to my classmates, I also noticed that in some ways, my background provided me with some very useful skills.

The first skill I noticed was my unique approach to problem solving. In my childhood, we went grocery shopping fairly infrequently, because the nearest shopping opportunity was about 60 miles away. This meant that I had to learn to plan ahead, and when I failed to do that, I had to be resourceful. Although sometimes my resourcefulness experiments awkward failed (for example, mint extract should not be used as a substitute for vanilla extract when baking cookies), I learned to examine my available resources, and make do with what I had. This [strike]ability to analyze alternate uses for my resources[/strike] resourcefulness has been an asset during college.

Another skill that I discovered I had was listening to and understanding arguments being able to listen to arguments is not a skill. During my childhood, I [strike]had[/strike] was almost always [strike]been[/strike] the only liberal-leaning individual in a strongly conservative community. While I certainly didn’t identify that as a positive thing at the time, I’ve come to recognize that it was a fantastic learning experience. It forced me to really examine my beliefs, truly understand opposing points of view, and identify weak points in arguments.

Another positive aspect awkward word to use that my background provided which was particularly noticeable at [College] was my awareness of the value of my education. Since neither of my parents is a college graduate, I do not take my ability to attend a university for granted. I recognize that I am lucky to have gotten the opportunity to attend college, and the fact that my hard work, resulting in a large scholarship, [strike]allows[/strike] has allowed me this opportunity makes me more aware of the importance of my education, and work that much harder. this sentence is too long and should probably be broken in two or just shortened by using more concise language

Now that I’ve gained some distance from the circumstances in which I grew up, I can recognize and appreciate the skills that I gained from the experience. Looking back upon my childhood, I now recognize that the unique situation in which I grew up use something other than grew up here, it was used in the previous sentence prepared me in many ways for my life, and will be useful stronger language! will be an asset! will continue to set me apart from others! as I embark on my path of legal education.


i think its good, you have an interesting story, just be more concise. grammar is not necessarily your problem, but awkward wording is. this is your only opportunity to show adcomms how good of a writer you are, don't pass it up.

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dollparts
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:28 pm

Re: criticize away. :)

Postby dollparts » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:18 am

Thanks so much. I definitely have a tendency to use way more words than I need and it often makes my writing awkward, but since it makes sense in my head I don't always notice it enough to fix it. Anyway, I really appreciate it. :)

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KmissP
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:16 am

Re: criticize away. :)

Postby KmissP » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:26 pm

I'm a Montana girl, too, though I grew up "in town" (Stevensville).

I'm going to PM you some editing suggestions.




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