2nd - I'll be the lamb, you be the lion. Tear me to shreds!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
tx1987
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:21 pm

2nd - I'll be the lamb, you be the lion. Tear me to shreds!

Postby tx1987 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:09 pm

Hey y'all - here's my second draft. I've already posted this in the thread with my first draft, but I want as many opinions as possible. I'm having a lot of trouble with the last paragraph, mainly b/c I'm not sure whether I'm giving enough reasons to be a lawyer that are independent of my mother (this is really hard b/c my reasons are intertwined with hers and the way she raised me) and because I really, really want the last line to be the one about following in her footsteps even when I couldn't walk. So, I've included two alternate ending paragraphs with this - which one is better? Also, do we have to title our personal statement and put our name and lsat account number on the top? Seems like a waste of lines...anyway, here goes:




“You can do it,” she said. “Just put one foot in front of the other.”
I looked down at the tiny woman who barely cleared my shoulder, the one who was literally supposed to catch me should I fall, and said with mortification, “No, I can’t.”
After all, I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. I had forgotten how to walk. Me - the girl who prided herself on rarely needing help and certainly never asking for it. But now, I was relying on a 5 foot, 100-pound physical therapist to make sure my face didn’t acquaint itself with the floor.
Three months earlier, my mother was driving my sister and I back to college when our car hydroplaned and flipped over. My sister walked away with a few scratches. My mother and I didn’t walk away at all – both my legs were crushed and my mother didn’t survive the accident. For almost two months, I was immobile. I had to drop out of the rest of the semester and was on bed rest. I was appalled that life went on for the rest of the world. How could it? How dare it?
I was stuck in bed, alone in the house for long hours until someone came home from work. If I needed something that wasn’t within arm’s reach, I would have to make do without it. Worst of all, I had to rely almost completely on others. Not only did I hate my dependency, I hated the stress it put on my family. I tried to go back to college the next semester, but after a physically and mentally exhausting week back, I realized my body just wasn’t strong enough yet. I needed to heal.
My physical therapy courses were grueling. Even simple things like lifting my leg or circling my ankles were excruciating. Initially, I was unable to bend my knees or even curl my toes without crying from the pain of it. Walking was a whole different story – a distant dream, it seemed to me. After about six weeks in a wheelchair, I graduated to a walker. I wasn’t strong enough for crutches for another six weeks. The day I took my first step without any aid was a quiet, bittersweet victory for me. The one person I would have wanted to walk towards was not there, but I could almost feel her looking down at me with pride.
Most people say thank you to their waiters, their baristas, and their doormen without thinking twice about it, but it seems like the people we truly need to be grateful to are the ones that are the last to know. I wish I had thanked my mother for raising me the way she did. She demanded excellence and perseverance, simply because she knew we were capable of it. And, because of her faith, my sister and I grew up accepting nothing less than that from ourselves. She was proud of us, and we have grown to be proud of ourselves.
Now, I’m proud to say that despite how hard it was – seemingly impossible to me – I fully recovered physically from the accident and, despite taking a semester off, still graduated from college in four years. From this experience, I’ve learned that it truly is the size of the fight in the dog that matters, and that I have a fair bit of fight in me. I’ve also learned humility – now I know that it doesn’t make a person smaller if they need help. In fact, I’ve gained more of an appreciation for mankind because of how freely people gave their assistance. I fiercely wanted to give something back, in any way I could.
For me, law school had always been “the plan” – my mom was a lawyer and I’ve always subconsciously followed in her footsteps. My mom loved speaking for those who didn’t have a voice – and she passed that trait, among many more, on to me. To be honest, my mom’s passion for the law and my passion for doing right, as idealistic as that sounds, were equally important to me in deciding to go ahead with “the plan.” She, being who she was, shaped me into who I am. My conscience and my desire for fairness in the world push me towards this path in my life. Even though my mom wasn’t trying to change the world and neither am I, we definitely haven’t ruled it out, either. Luckily, I’ve always found her footsteps easy to follow – even when I couldn’t walk.



ALTERNATE LAST PARAGRAPH - different sentence order:

For me, law school had always been “the plan” – my mom was a lawyer and I’ve always subconsciously followed in her footsteps. Luckily, I’ve always found her footsteps easy to follow – even when I couldn’t walk. To be honest, my mom’s passion for the law and my passion for doing right, as idealistic as that sounds, were equally important to me in deciding to go ahead with “the plan.” My mom loved speaking for those who didn’t have a voice – and she passed that trait, among many more, on to me. She, being who she was, shaped me into who I am. My conscience and my desire for fairness in the world push me towards this path in my life. Even though my mom wasn’t trying to change the world and neither am I, we definitely haven’t ruled it out, either.

alohashoyu
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:18 pm

Re: 2nd - I'll be the lamb, you be the lion. Tear me to shreds!

Postby alohashoyu » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:30 am

“You can do it,” she said, “Just put one foot in front of the other.”
I looked down at the tiny woman who barely cleared my shoulder - the one who was literally supposed to catch me should I fall- and said with mortification, “No, I can’t.”
After all, I really couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. I had forgotten how to walk. Me - the girl who prided herself on rarely needing help, and certainly never asking for it. Now I was relying on a 5 foot, 100-pound physical therapist to make sure my face didn’t acquaint itself with the floor.
Three months earlier, my mother had been driving my sister and me back to college when our car hydroplaned and flipped over. My sister walked away with a few scratches. My mother and I didn’t walk away at all. Both of my legs were crushed, and my mother didn’t survive the accident. I was immobile for almost two months. I was put on bed rest, and I had to drop out of school for the rest of the semester. I was appalled that life went on for the rest of the world. How could it? How dare it?
I was stuck in bed, alone in the house for long hours until someone came home from work. If I needed something that wasn’t within arm’s reach, I had to make do without it. [strike]Worst of all,[/strike]I had to rely almost completely on others. Not only did I hate my dependency, I hated the stress it put on my family. I tried to return to college the following semester, but after a physically and mentally exhausting week back, I realized my body just wasn’t strong enough yet. I needed to heal.
My physical therapy courses were grueling. Even simple things like lifting my legs or circling my ankles were excruciating. Initially, I was unable to bend my knees or even curl my toes without crying from the pain of it. Walking was a whole different story – a distant dream, it seemed[strike]to me.[/strike] Finally, after about six weeks in a wheelchair, I graduated to a walker. I wasn’t strong enough for crutches for another six weeks. The day I took my first step without any aid was a quiet, bittersweet victory for me. The one person I would have wanted to walk towards was not there, but I could almost feel her looking down at me with pride.
Most people say thank you to their waiters, [strike]their[/strike] baristas, and [strike]their[/strike] doormen without thinking twice about it, but the ones to whom we truly owe gratitude are often the last to receive it. I wish I had thanked my mother for raising me the way she did. She demanded excellence and perseverance simply because she knew we were capable of it. And, because of her faith in us, my sister and I grew up accepting nothing less than that from ourselves. She was proud of us, and we have grown to be proud of ourselves.
Now, I’m proud (consider switching out word, the word proud is repetitive) to say that despite how seemingly impossible it was,I made a full physical recovery from the accident and still graduated from college in four years, despite taking a semester off.[/color] From this experience, I’ve learned that it truly is the size of the fight in the dog that matters, and that I have a fair bit of fight in me. I’ve also learned humility; I understand now that needing help doesn't make a person smaller. [strike]In fact,[/strike] I’ve gained more of an appreciation for mankind because of how freely people gave their assistance to me, and I fiercely want to give something back, in any way I can.(Keep in present, because you didn't necessarily give something back yet, I'm assuming it's a desire that has continued into the present/future)
For me, law school has forever been the plan (Don't quote unless it's ironic; otherwise, if you're trying to create emphasis, capitalize it as something titular). My mom was a lawyer, and I’ve always subconsciously followed in her footsteps. Luckily, I’ve [strike]always[/strike](too many always- you had it three times in three consecutive sentences) found her footsteps easy to follow – even when I couldn’t walk. She loved speaking for those who didn’t have a voice- a trait that she passed on to me, among many more. By being who she was, she shaped who I am. Her passion for the law and my passion for doing right,[strike]as idealistic as that sounds,[/strike] are equally important in my decision to apply to law school. It is my conscience and my desire for fairness in the world that push me towards this path in my life. Even though my mom wasn’t trying to change the world, and neither am I, we haven’t ruled it out yet, either. (This is an awkwardly structured/worded sentence.)


This is a really good paper, and very sad. I can tell you spent a lot of time on it. The only thing I am concerned about is that it says a lot about why your mom was a lawyer, and little about why you want to become a lawyer, other than you "subconsciously follow in her footsteps". It makes it sound like your decision is not an active one. I would make a larger statement in the conclusion, such as your mother inspired these traits in you, and that your perseverance has strengthened these qualities by making you more determined to do something meaningful with your life, etc. Furthermore, the structure is kind of scatterbrained- you start off with physical therapy, go to the accident, talk about becoming dependent, go back to the physical therapy, make a statement about saying thank you, etc. I think that you could make the paper a little more coherent by switching around a few paragraphs, such as putting the thank you paragraph directly before the conclusion. Overall, it's a really good personal statement, and I know that by making a few small corrections, you'll make it a great one. :) Good luck! I hope all this helped.

alohashoyu
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:18 pm

Re: 2nd - I'll be the lamb, you be the lion. Tear me to shreds!

Postby alohashoyu » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:30 am

Oh, and I always put my name and my LSAC number in the headers of my PS, just in case. I'm not sure about titling, though.

tx1987
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:21 pm

Re: 2nd - I'll be the lamb, you be the lion. Tear me to shreds!

Postby tx1987 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:23 pm

Thanks for your edits...they really helped me out! I've re-arranged some of the paragraphs in the last part. Does this make it flow more? I also added a couple of lines here and there:

Despite how hard it was – seemingly impossible to me – I fully recovered physically from the accident and, despite taking a semester off, still graduated from college in four years. Most people say thank you to their waiters, their baristas, and their doormen without thinking twice about it, but the ones to whom we truly owe gratitude are often the last to receive it. I wish I had thanked my mother for raising me the way she did. She demanded excellence and perseverance simply because she knew we were capable of it – giving up was never an option. Because of her faith in us, my sister and I grew up accepting nothing less than that from ourselves. She was proud of us, and we have grown to be proud of ourselves.
From this experience, I’ve learned that it truly is the size of the fight in the dog that matters, and that I have a fair bit of fight in me. I’ve also learned humility; I understand now that needing help does not make a person smaller. I’ve gained more of an appreciation for mankind because of how freely people gave their assistance to me, and I fiercely want to give something back, in any way I can. If it were not for these people, I don’t think I would have emerged with all the pieces of me intact. I want to help others stand back up on their own two feet, too.
For me, law school has forever been The Plan. My mom was a lawyer, and I’ve always subconsciously followed in her footsteps. Luckily, her footsteps were easy to follow – even when I couldn’t walk. She loved speaking for those who didn’t have a voice – a trait that she passed on to me, among many more. By being who she was, she shaped who I am. Her passion for the law and my passion for doing right are equally important in my decision to proceed with The Plan. It is my conscience and my desire for fairness in the world that push me towards this path.
My accident and subsequent recovery have strengthened my resolve to do something meaningful with my life, and I know now that I have the commitment and strength to do it. As a lawyer, my mother wasn’t trying to change the world, and neither am I. But, I definitely haven’t ruled it out as impossible, either.

nouseforaname
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:25 pm

Re: 2nd - I'll be the lamb, you be the lion. Tear me to shreds!

Postby nouseforaname » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:30 pm

Wow. I was really moved by this essay.

I'm incredibly sorry for your loss.


I actually liked the original ending better than the alternate. I think it flowed a little better. But the alternate is good as well.




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