Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Captain Muscles
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:04 am

Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby Captain Muscles » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:13 am

It was 8:00pm backstage at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood and I was nervously sitting on the couch, surrounded by a frenzy of activity. I was about to play the biggest show of my life. My band, ******* was slated to open up for Morbid Angel, a band whose music I greatly admired. This was an experience that I had looked forward to since picking up the guitar at age 13, playing with a respected band that had a worldwide following. However, as I sat on the dusty, beat up couch in the green room, I was not practicing guitar. I was studying biology, feverishly looking through my notes as I had my final lab exam the next week. Being a person who was always up for a challenge, I really wanted to get the highest grade in my class and even though this was a huge show, I needed to get in some last minute studying!

Looking at the ticking clock hanging on the wall, I realized it was time to for my band to take the stage, so I put my biology notes away, strapped on my guitar and prepared to take the stage. As we proceeded to play our songs, the crowd came alive and I remembered why music was such an important part of my life. As the crowd cheered us on, I felt that my years of constantly practicing scales and carefully refining my technique were finally paying off. But while the energy of playing live music in the packed club was electrifying, a bittersweet sentiment swept upon me.

I realized that this was going to be my last show with my band. I had been accepted to school at ****** and had decided to accept their offer of admission. Leaving Southern California for the wooded campus of ***** would not only mean a change of location but also a change of identity. As I shared the stage with my brothers for the last time, I realized that I was no longer going to be ********, Lead Guitarist of ********.

As I helped my bandmates pack our gear away, I reflected on all the good times we had experienced together. We had recorded an album together, shared the stage with many of our idols and shared many laughs together. Leaving my bandmates to go to school was one of the toughest decisions I ever made, but I knew that attending school at ****** provided me with a great opportunity to further my education in a new and exciting place.

Although I was initially a bit apprehensive when arrived in ********, I eventually saw a world of possibility open up before me. Being a part of a vibrant academic community both challenged and inspired me and I found myself embarking in a new academic direction. Although I had originally intended to study psychology, I eventually fell in love with the study of Politics, especially Political Theory.

To me, the similarities between my experience studying political theory and my experience studying music were profound. Just as I had enjoyed learning complicated musical techniques and incorporating them into the music that I wrote, I loved the challenge of having to decipher verbose texts and then applying the knowledge in the papers that I wrote. I was absolutely hooked and I made it a point to take every political theory class **** offered. I studied everything from Plato’s Republic to Discipline and Punish by Foucault and the experience gained in solving each academic puzzle proved invaluable to me.

But while my love for the study of Politics was a big part of my life at ******, I never abandoned my interest in music. I still remained committed to becoming a better musician so I took Music Theory and Jazz Improvisation classes to further expand my knowledge base. Having developed a reputation as a talented musician on campus, I had the opportunity to perform with many interesting and talented musical personalities who ultimately helped me become a more well-rounded and diverse musician.Of course, I still missed my old bandmates, but the determination, critical thinking skills, and teamwork I learned working together with them allowed me to confidently create a new life for myself in ****. I was beginning to realize that now, the discipline I had been developing constantly, honing my craft on my instrument - helped me in ways I could not have predicted. During the winter quarter of my senior year of college, I had to write a 40-page paper on Nuclear Deterrence Theory and I was also taking a difficult Ancient Political Theory class. I had about 80 pages of writing to complete in 12 weeks. While this seemed like a daunting task, I remembered how every song I ever wrote started off as a singular musical idea, which, when expanded upon, eventually became a whole song. By subdividing my work into small manageable pieces, I was able to complete the most rigorous academic quarter of my scholastic career with straight A's. Separate aspects of my creative life were beginning to work effectively together.

It was after this strenuous quarter that I began seriously considering going to law school. I felt that studying law was the natural extension of what I had learned by receiving my education in Politics. I looked forward to applying the critical thinking and analytical skills I had developed to real life legal situations. By studying Law, I figured I could find a challenging career that would stimulate me intellectually and offer me the opportunity to work with talented and inspiring individuals. I knew that Law School would be difficult but after handling my heavy workload, I felt confident I could do it. As graduation neared, I began to weigh my options and decide what my next move was going to be.

Eventually, I graduated from ****** and decided to return to Southern California. Although I had seriously considered going to Law School directly after college, I felt the need to take a break from academics and gain some real world experience. I started working full time at my family business, a ****** company specializing in *****. Working in the ******* was vastly different from life in ****** but was also very rewarding: being able to provide clients with a memorable experience felt good, and gave me first-hand inter-personal communication experience with a diverse group of people.

As years went by, I enjoyed working in the family business. I had learned the ins and outs of the various aspects of running the company and I felt a sense of pride in providing our customers with great service. Working in a family business was challenging but ultimately rewarding, knowing that I was helping to continue the legacy of a company my father had founded.

Still, I felt something was lacking. I realized that I deeply longed for the intellectual challenges I had experienced while studying in a formal academic environment. While working at the sports travel company was challenging, I missed the academic discourse that occurred in class and the spirited discussions that would occur during study sessions. I realized that if I wanted to feel that sense of intellectual stimulation again, I would have to further my education.

I thought to the future and wondered how I could synthesize my passion for music and academics. I realized that is was time to go to law school and fulfill my intellectual potential. I searched for an amalgamation of career, my interest in music and academics and decided that Entertainment Law would be a great fit for me.

Hence, I am applying to the JD program at ******. An education from your university would open up many doors for me by giving me an excellent opportunity to develop my analytical and critical thinking in the study and practice of law. I strongly welcome the challenge from your institution’s experts on the law and the academic atmosphere that your school of law provides.

Bankhead
Posts: 1124
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:50 am

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby Bankhead » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:26 am

Captain Muscles wrote:It was 8:00pm backstage at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood and I was nervously sitting on the couch, surrounded by a frenzy of activity. I was about to play the biggest show of my life. My band, ******* was slated to open up for Morbid Angel, a band whose music I greatly admired. This was an experience that I had looked forward to since picking up the guitar at age 13, playing with a respected band that had a worldwide following. However, as I sat on the dusty, beat up couch in the green room, I was not practicing guitar. I was studying biology, feverishly looking through my notes as I had my final lab exam the next week. Being a person who was always up for a challenge, I really wanted to get the highest grade in my class and even though this was a huge show, I needed to get in some last minute studying!

The subject matter is fine I guess, but the writing quality is poor.
A bit cliche. Were you really studying Bio while you were waiting to go on stage? Is high school really so demanding? Jesus.
I'm not sure I would use "Morbid Angel", as likely you are communicating to a bunch of stiffs.


Looking at the ticking clock hanging on the wall, I realized it was time to for my band to take the stage, so I put my biology notes away, strapped on my guitar and prepared to take the stage. As we proceeded to play our songs, the crowd came alive and I remembered why music was such an important part of my life. As the crowd cheered us on, I felt that my years of constantly practicing scales and carefully refining my technique were finally paying off. But while the energy of playing live music in the packed club was electrifying, a bittersweet sentiment swept upon me.

"Looking

I realized that this was going to be my last show with my band. I had been accepted to school at ****** and had decided to accept their offer of admission. Leaving Southern California for the wooded campus of ***** would not only mean a change of location but also a change of identity. As I shared the stage with my brothers for the last time, I realized that I was no longer going to be ********, Lead Guitarist of ********.

As I helped my bandmates pack our gear away, I reflected on all the good times we had experienced together. We had recorded an album together, shared the stage with many of our idols and shared many laughs together. Leaving my bandmates to go to school was one of the toughest decisions I ever made, but I knew that attending school at ****** provided me with a great opportunity to further my education in a new and exciting place.

Although I was initially a bit apprehensive when arrived in ********, I eventually saw a world of possibility open up before me. Being a part of a vibrant academic community both challenged and inspired me and I found myself embarking in a new academic direction. Although I had originally intended to study psychology, I eventually fell in love with the study of Politics, especially Political Theory.

To me, the similarities between my experience studying political theory and my experience studying music were profound. Just as I had enjoyed learning complicated musical techniques and incorporating them into the music that I wrote, I loved the challenge of having to decipher verbose texts and then applying the knowledge in the papers that I wrote. I was absolutely hooked and I made it a point to take every political theory class **** offered. I studied everything from Plato’s Republic to Discipline and Punish by Foucault and the experience gained in solving each academic puzzle proved invaluable to me.

But while my love for the study of Politics was a big part of my life at ******, I never abandoned my interest in music. I still remained committed to becoming a better musician so I took Music Theory and Jazz Improvisation classes to further expand my knowledge base. Having developed a reputation as a talented musician on campus, I had the opportunity to perform with many interesting and talented musical personalities who ultimately helped me become a more well-rounded and diverse musician.Of course, I still missed my old bandmates, but the determination, critical thinking skills, and teamwork I learned working together with them allowed me to confidently create a new life for myself in ****. I was beginning to realize that now, the discipline I had been developing constantly, honing my craft on my instrument - helped me in ways I could not have predicted. During the winter quarter of my senior year of college, I had to write a 40-page paper on Nuclear Deterrence Theory and I was also taking a difficult Ancient Political Theory class. I had about 80 pages of writing to complete in 12 weeks. While this seemed like a daunting task, I remembered how every song I ever wrote started off as a singular musical idea, which, when expanded upon, eventually became a whole song. By subdividing my work into small manageable pieces, I was able to complete the most rigorous academic quarter of my scholastic career with straight A's. Separate aspects of my creative life were beginning to work effectively together.

It was after this strenuous quarter that I began seriously considering going to law school. I felt that studying law was the natural extension of what I had learned by receiving my education in Politics. I looked forward to applying the critical thinking and analytical skills I had developed to real life legal situations. By studying Law, I figured I could find a challenging career that would stimulate me intellectually and offer me the opportunity to work with talented and inspiring individuals. I knew that Law School would be difficult but after handling my heavy workload, I felt confident I could do it. As graduation neared, I began to weigh my options and decide what my next move was going to be.

Eventually, I graduated from ****** and decided to return to Southern California. Although I had seriously considered going to Law School directly after college, I felt the need to take a break from academics and gain some real world experience. I started working full time at my family business, a ****** company specializing in *****. Working in the ******* was vastly different from life in ****** but was also very rewarding: being able to provide clients with a memorable experience felt good, and gave me first-hand inter-personal communication experience with a diverse group of people.

As years went by, I enjoyed working in the family business. I had learned the ins and outs of the various aspects of running the company and I felt a sense of pride in providing our customers with great service. Working in a family business was challenging but ultimately rewarding, knowing that I was helping to continue the legacy of a company my father had founded.

Still, I felt something was lacking. I realized that I deeply longed for the intellectual challenges I had experienced while studying in a formal academic environment. While working at the sports travel company was challenging, I missed the academic discourse that occurred in class and the spirited discussions that would occur during study sessions. I realized that if I wanted to feel that sense of intellectual stimulation again, I would have to further my education.

I thought to the future and wondered how I could synthesize my passion for music and academics. I realized that is was time to go to law school and fulfill my intellectual potential. I searched for an amalgamation of career, my interest in music and academics and decided that Entertainment Law would be a great fit for me.

Hence, I am applying to the JD program at ******. An education from your university would open up many doors for me by giving me an excellent opportunity to develop my analytical and critical thinking in the study and practice of law. I strongly welcome the challenge from your institution’s experts on the law and the academic atmosphere that your school of law provides.

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Snwboarder78
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:05 am

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby Snwboarder78 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:28 am

Very impressive story for a PS. I really liked your introduction and how you easily transitioned between music and academics and linked back to them. I do think that the part you put in to explain why you didn't go to law school right away would help explain the gap between college and law school, I am not sure that it doesn't fit in an addendum more appropriately. It sort of seemed to break the flow of your story and raised questions rather than providing a clear logical link in your desire to attend law school. Perhaps you could use an experience during the work as to how it better prepared you for law school if you want to keep it in.

Captain Muscles
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:04 am

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby Captain Muscles » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:32 am

"The subject matter is fine I guess, but the writing quality is poor.
A bit cliche. Were you really studying Bio while you were waiting to go on stage? Is high school really so demanding? Jesus.
I'm not sure I would use "Morbid Angel", as likely you are communicating to a bunch of stiffs"

It was for community college.

And yeah, I am also questioning the use of Morbid Angel.

But it is a true story.

Bankhead
Posts: 1124
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:50 am

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby Bankhead » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:35 am

Captain Muscles wrote:"The subject matter is fine I guess, but the writing quality is poor.
A bit cliche. Were you really studying Bio while you were waiting to go on stage? Is high school really so demanding? Jesus.
I'm not sure I would use "Morbid Angel", as likely you are communicating to a bunch of stiffs"

It was for community college.

And yeah, I am also questioning the use of Morbid Angel.

But it is a true story.


Sorry I will finish tomorrow. My web browser is acting up for some reason so I'm unable to offer paragraph by paragraph advice/criticism.

I will say in general that I'm not a fan of you talking about such a large period of your life. It basically reads like you are regurgitating your resume. I would advise you to stick to one story/accomplishment.

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Snwboarder78
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:05 am

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby Snwboarder78 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:39 am

Bankhead wrote:
Sorry I will finish tomorrow. My web browser is acting up for some reason so I'm unable to offer paragraph by paragraph advice/criticism.

I will say in general that I'm not a fan of you talking about such a large period of your life. It basically reads like you are regurgitating your resume. I would advise you to stick to one story/accomplishment.


You might be able to put something like a world renowned band or some other description instead of Morbid Angel. But depending on the person that reads it, I suppose it could be seen as adding a diversity to the class. Depends how safe you would want to play it I imagine.

I also agree with Bankhead that you should focus onto one part of the story.

deadatheist
Posts: 234
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 2:55 am

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby deadatheist » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:39 am

you had me at morbid angel in the 2nd sentence.

i'll come back to offer some insight if others don't give too much soon. right now i'm thinking your intro might be better if sentences were cut into 2, 3 shorter ones... doing so would increase the pacing (and prob represent your nervousness better).

It was 8pm at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood. Backstage, I was nervously sitting on a dusty couch. A frenzy of activity surrounded me there in the greenroom. On stage, I could hear ... . I was about to play the biggest show of my life.

that's nothing perfect at all, just an idea imho. gl

deadatheist
Posts: 234
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 2:55 am

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby deadatheist » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:47 am

Captain Muscles wrote:"The subject matter is fine I guess, but the writing quality is poor.
A bit cliche. Were you really studying Bio while you were waiting to go on stage? Is high school really so demanding? Jesus.
I'm not sure I would use "Morbid Angel", as likely you are communicating to a bunch of stiffs"

It was for community college.

And yeah, I am also questioning the use of Morbid Angel.

But it is a true story.


yeah... but you might be better off teasing the adcoms, and letting them imagine the band/music if you say something like "a world famous band" instead of say, associating yourself with a death metal (?) band - a genre some adcoms likely won't know or "get" or appreciate, and in all honestly, probably won't recognize? you're best off actively describing yourself than of this other band anyways. just my 2 cents.

Bankhead
Posts: 1124
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:50 am

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby Bankhead » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:51 am

Damn, I just checked out Morbid Angel on youtube... I didn't know who they were. Pretty big stuff. That's impressive that you got to open for them! (though I still wouldn't include their name in the PS)

Captain Muscles
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:04 am

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby Captain Muscles » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:59 am

"yeah... but you might be better off teasing the adcoms, and letting them imagine the band/music if you say something like "a world famous band" instead of say, associating yourself with a death metal (?) band - a genre some adcoms likely won't know or "get" or appreciate, and in all honestly, probably won't recognize? you're best off actively describing yourself than of this other band anyways. just my 2 cents."

Good call. I should probably omit the name of my band as it is of the Death Metal genre.

Not to mention the fact that one of the schools I am applying to is a Jesuit school!

By the way, I think my statement is too long!

Captain Muscles
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:04 am

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby Captain Muscles » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:14 pm

bump!

umichgrad
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:53 am

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby umichgrad » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:37 pm

I really like the story, and I think the opening paragraph certainly grabs the reader's attention more than many I've seen. That said, you need to make every single sentence count. This is not a chapter from your autobiography, it's a concise and themed essay selling yourself to the admissions committees. As it reads right now, it sounds a bit too much like a story and not enough of an essay.

Good luck, I think it's a great draft!

DukeHopeful
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:14 pm

Re: Please help Captain Muscles with his personal statement.

Postby DukeHopeful » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:46 pm

Captain Muscles wrote:By the way, I think my statement is too long!


Absolutely. I just plugged it into Word, and you have four pages. Most schools will take 2, with some letting you have 3. That's a LOT of editing, and all the more reason to focus in on one specific story or aspect.

I also agree with leaving the name of the bands/genre open.




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