Please critique my personal statement!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
yung
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:39 pm

Please critique my personal statement!

Postby yung » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:09 pm

In the year 1997, every little boy’s dream was to become Michael Jordan, I was the eccentric one. My dream was to become Jan-Ove Waldner.
At the age of ten I left my familiar home town in Taiwan and entered a land which was to become my new home, a place that I had only seen in story books, The United States of America. I must be completely honest; I did not like this place at all. I could not understand English; I was disgusted by the chunks of meat they called burgers; and most of all - I found no interest in the ball game where two groups of men jumped up and down just to get a chance to touch a big orange ball. I did not want to conform to the American culture. I wanted to find my own thrill – something more individual, something much faster.
And so I began my journey to search for my true passion. It was during this period that I caught my first glimpse of the love of my life, a sport with an elegant name—table tennis. During my period of "search for self" my dad taught me many sports: soccer, baseball, football, basketball, and others. None of them caught my eyes for more than three seconds. Just when I was about to give up, my destiny hit me… the ping-pong ball smacked me right on the face.

When I lost my very first game of table tennis to my dad on our dining room table, I felt a burning, consuming ambition for victory; I started to play table tennis every day. The ball’s bright orange color burned like a match in the expanse of my mind. But all of these were microscopic in comparison to the exhilaration I felt when I watched the finals of the Table Tennis World Championship. Before that day, table tennis was an "interest" of mine. After that match it became my life.

I watched as Waldner tossed the ball in the air to serve, my blood flowed disobediently to gather for a meeting on my face, pounding words into my head – "This is your passion, this is your life."
The swiftness and touch exhibited by Waldner left me speechless. It was beyond brilliant. The only word that could describe his performance was perfection.
I wanted to be just like Waldner. That was my goal for the past 6 years. But during the 2005 Junior Olympics in New Orleans I came to the realization that I have made a colossal mistake. I no longer have my own style; I am but a lousy imitation of Waldner. Even though he had always been my role model, I have never believed that one should change oneself to be more like someone else. I have grown into the shadow of Waldner’s spirit.
This reality has shattered my dream of ever becoming his competitor. I decided to hang up my paddle after Junior Olympics to decide the course of my fate. I didn’t know if I should try to grow out of Waldner’s shadow or just give up on my longtime passion. This conflict I had within myself left me torn apart with every move I made. After four months of not playing table tennis, I decided to once again blow the dust off my paddle. The moment I held the wooden handle, something clicked inside of me and I heard the nostalgic words floating back to me from my past, "This is your passion, this is your life." Now, I truly understand the meaning of such words.
It has been an uphill struggle to find my own brand of elegance, but with each battle, I discover another part of my identity. I seek to establish my own name, to understand my own potential, and most importantly to construct a brand new path in the world of table tennis. If one day, I should meet Jan-Ove Waldner face to face, I hope to look him in the eyes as an individual, and not a reflection of his originality.
Just as I have never given up on my love for table tennis, I have never doubted my decision to enter law school. It was as early as the freshman year of high school that I have announced to my family that I have decided to be a lawyer. My parents were shocked by my decision; they have always thought that I would pursue a career following the footsteps of my other relatives, in the field of medicine. I knew, however, that a career in medicine was not something that I could stay passionate about my whole life. A career in law did indeed sound like an eccentric career choice for an immigrant who speaks English as a second language. B since the moment that I made that choice, I have been passionate to see it through.

A paragraph of why the law interests me? And what aspects of the law? – needs help working on this paragraph or should I just leave it out?

As time went by and I learned more and more about what it takes to become a lawyer, the more I realized that I was meant to go to law school and become a lawyer. I did not become discouraged like many other college students when I learned about the amount of work that has to be put into law school in order for me to succeed. Instead I became even more determined to go to law school, to prove that I can succeed. I have heard many students groan when professors assign legal decision in their classes, but I have always been intrigued by the reasoning behind the decisions. When I wasn’t able to understand the case the first two times reading it, I have always been willing to read it a third or fourth time. I believe that if the determination to succeed and a passion for the subject that we are studying is any determination of a good candidate for law school, then, I will indeed be a great candidate.



Please tear it apart

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jrobby6
Posts: 183
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:25 pm

Re: Please critique my personal statement!

Postby jrobby6 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:20 pm

Ok, let me start of by stating that you need to understand how semi-colons are used. The essay is flooded with semi-colon errors. Same goes for comma's.

yung wrote:I found no interest in the ball game where two groups of men jumped up and down just to get a chance to touch a big orange ball.

Basketball? I know your trying to use a little imagery but just be simplistic...just say basketball. Using that sentence just makes everything come out too wordy and really corny.

Watch the change of verb tenses throughout the essay as well.

Interesting topic though...hope this helps

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MF248
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:25 am

Re: Please critique my personal statement!

Postby MF248 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:42 pm

jrobby6 wrote:Ok, let me start of by stating that you need to understand how semi-colons are used. The essay is flooded with semi-colon errors. Same goes for comma's.

yung wrote:I found no interest in the ball game where two groups of men jumped up and down just to get a chance to touch a big orange ball.

Basketball? I know your trying to use a little imagery but just be simplistic...just say basketball. Using that sentence just makes everything come out too wordy and really corny.

Watch the change of verb tenses throughout the essay as well.

Interesting topic though...hope this helps


This.

Also, some general help tracking the events is needed. Such as when you start off talking about 1997 and people's dream to be Michael Jordan, then you switch to when you moved to America at the age of ten -- I'm not sure which is first on the timeline. Also, same thing when you talk about being like Waldner your goal for the past 6 years, but then you start talking about how this stopped when you came to a realization in 2005. Was this your dream for the past six years (2004-2010), or the six years prior to 2005 (1999-2005)?

Also, I don't think the story line about how you wanted to be like someone else for such a long time but then had an epiphany about how you wanted to be a unique individual does not come out as strong as you would like. I think you may have the thoughts together in your head on why this is a powerful experience but it isn't being expressed as well as it can be to the reader.

In general I think the narrative gets lost in the details a little bit, and the turn to talk about law is pretty sharp. It also felt a little wierd that you kept building up table tennis as your passion & destiny and then say "oh yeah, law is also my passion". I don't know if you need it, but you definitely need a better transition for it.

Don't conclude with an If/Then statement about why you'd be good. This isn't an LSAT question. If you want to include something like this just say "X is why I will be a good law student" or "I will be a good law student because of x".

I think the bits about how other college students react to the law school courseload isn't too relevant but not too irrelevant. I think the part about you reading cases for classes should either be eliminated or made clearer. Maybe you should just focus on that as an example of why your willing to do the work required for law school and skip all the stuff talking about other students and why their deterred.

You've got an interesting story to work with, but take your time and go through a couple revisions -- you'll get there.

yung
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:39 pm

Re: Please critique my personal statement!

Postby yung » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:54 am

Hey thanks a lot guys! I will start editing now! Year 1997 was the year that I moved to the US, i'll try to make it more clear. Also I have been worried about the twist to law being too sharp! I was hoping people won't realize i lol Thanks again! Any other opinions will be greatly appreciated!




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