Please help with my PS and share your first impression

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
william wallace
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Please help with my PS and share your first impression

Postby william wallace » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:44 pm

I have something in common with both our current president and a previous commander in chief. I was born in Hawai'i and I was raised in Arkansas. Hawai'i’s mixture of many different races and ethnicities, each with its own distinct culture, has made the state somewhat of a melting pot. These include Indigenous Hawaiians, Japanese and Filipinos, among others. The close proximity and frequent interactions among people from these different groups have resulted in a true demonstration of multicultural diversity. Observing this diversity while living in Hawaii stimulated my interest and motivation to travel and discover even more cultures.

While I wasn’t able to travel much during high school in Arkansas, I still observed diversity due to the large Hispanic population of the state. In my high school summer landscaping job, I was the only English-speaking employee under our supervisor. Yet, due to studying Spanish since the eighth grade, I had the responsibility of communicating work orders to the Hispanic crew. In return, I was able to learn about their interesting Hispanic culture. This early contact with Spanish speakers and the longing to communicate with them on deeper levels led me to select Spanish as the language I wanted to continue learning. I also learned that the Hispanic population in the United States was projected to increase exponentially, which gave me hope that I would actually be able to use this skill later on in my life.

For the past year and a half, I have been living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This has given me the opportunity to live on my own and immerse myself in a completely new culture. I’m employed to teach English as a second language for a language institute as well as for my private students. My clients are typically multinational corporations whose employees need to learn English. Part of my work draws on my ability of being sensitive to the local culture, now knowing the importance behind kissing my students on the cheek before and after each and every class. I also must assess each student’s strengths and weaknesses and tailor classes to their needs. I spend my Saturday afternoons in a local neighborhood, Recoleta, walking around and speaking only English with one of my students, Marcelo. These weekly three hours allow him to improve his speaking ability, while I get to discover another part of this exciting country.

My desire to move to Buenos Aires was to expand my understanding of Latin American culture and become fluent in Spanish. Achieving Spanish fluency has allowed me to completely assimilate into the culture of Buenos Aires, just as assimilating into the city’s culture has allowed me to attain Spanish fluency. I make an effort to interact with people who solely speak Spanish, ranging from my Spanish professors to all four of the landlords I have had in Buenos Aires. The very first important word I learned was boludo, which carries the English equivalent of our colloquial “dude” or “man.” In a feeble attempt to sound more like the locals, I began using this word, without knowing its full meaning. One morning, I stepped onto the 152 bus, and recognized my bus driver from before. He had smiled until I asked him how much it cost to go a certain distance, using the word boludo in my sentence. Instantly, he gave me a disgusted look and sternly advised me not to use that word. I later found out that it can have a very offensive meaning, and should only be used between friends.

My Argentina experience has been eye opening, but it does not stand alone in influence. Perhaps the ultimate influence on my life was my father’s seven-year battle with prostate cancer, and eventual death from the disease during my senior year of high school. During this time I became more mature and developed an increased understanding of perseverance and determination. He spent his final few months in the local Hospice Center. These were very hard times for me and forced me to look more seriously at my life. I was determined to make my father proud, but more importantly; I was determined to be successful and dedicated to my studies and my future. Through the whole ordeal, I overcame hardship and did not let this situation halt my personal growth.

I was visiting my father at the Hospice Center during what we knew would be one of his final days. I asked him “Dad, do you have any advice for me?” He told me he wanted me to work hard for whatever I desired. In addition to my initial interest in exploring new cultures, my father’s hopes for me to follow my aspirations propelled my passion and lack of hesitation in moving to Argentina. Now they drive me to pursue what I desire next, a career in either international law or immigration law.

When I commit to furthering my education, whether in a language or a new course of study, I see it through to the end. I plan to use my language skills in a career in international law or immigration law. I am motivated to learn more about the dynamic processes of international law. Although my travel and immersion experiences have already broadened my scope, I know that what I have seen and done represents only a tiny portion of what our world has to offer. I am enthusiastic to participate in more of it.
Last edited by william wallace on Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:03 am, edited 7 times in total.

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kittenmittons
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Re: please read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby kittenmittons » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:46 pm

FREEDOM! from wall of text

william wallace
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Re: please read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby william wallace » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:53 pm

What?

evergirl23
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Re: please read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby evergirl23 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:54 pm

william wallace wrote:What?


You will have better luck if you edit your original post to add paragraphs. The essay is already too long, without spacing it is pretty much unreadable.

william wallace
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Re: please read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby william wallace » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:09 pm

kittenmittons and evergirl:

Thank you so much for your advice. I have changed it to include paragraphs and now I need to cut some parts out to make it shorter. Trying to decide what I should take out. So now, it may be easier to read and respond to. Thanks!

william wallace
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Re: please read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby william wallace » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:49 pm

is it too much of just an autobiography? I feel like I may need to just focus on one thing. Thoughts anyone?

memaha
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Re: please read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby memaha » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:39 pm

I think this reads too much like a autobiography, like you are worried about, and also like a resume. You start the essay talking about how you have ties to both Hawaii and Arkansas and discuss how these differences have made you want to discover new cultures and new perspectives.
So why are you discussing your UG life and your work with your father's firm in so much detail. I think you can talk about those two issues in much less space (which would therefore make your essay not too long).
Also you keep harping on exposing yourself to new experiences and such, but do not really discuss these new experiences beyond your new job in Buenos Aires and your study of the Spanish language.
Show the committee the new situations, don't tell them. It feels like you are just listing events and going through the motions.
The loss of your father can also be explored more to add intrigue and depth (btw, sorry for your loss).

Hopefully I'm not being too harsh and this makes sense! HTH!

CMDantes
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Re: please read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby CMDantes » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:43 pm

I would make this more concise and specific to one or two issues/events that highlight the message you are trying to get across. It feels like it wanders too much.

william wallace
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Re: please read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby william wallace » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:58 pm

Thank you guys so much for your help. You aren't being too harsh at all! I need the constructive criticism! Thank you so much for your condolences.

I have revised it a lot so far based on your comments. I took out the part about my UG experience and working for my father and the part about working in IT Staffing. Does it still read at all like an autobiography? Should I take out or shorten the part about working in landscaping with Hispanics?

Okay, I do keep harping on exposing myself to new experiences. I discuss teaching English in Buenos Aires and studying Spanish. So you think I should say more about new experiences? Should I tell more about studying in Spain? I backpacked in Europe on the way to Barcelona. Should I mention that? Or is it too typical? I do mention that Spain, but not in any detail. Should I talk about traveling around in Argentina and going to waterfalls in Iguazu? Tango class? Dealing with problems of being a foreigner? Or should I find something else that has nothing to do with Spanish or my travels? Living in Argentina is definitely my most relevant new experience, so it's hard to think of other big ones.

Maybe I should write more about living in Hawaii and contrast it with Arkansas. I definitely don't it to sound like going through the motions. Does it still wander? I feel like the second paragraph is going through the motions. I wanted to give the admissions officers a glimpse of what I do, but it's just kind of boring.

I also think I say the word "Spanish" way too many times (just counted, it's 16 times). So I just replaced it with "the language" and now it's down to 10. Still too many.

Thank you for your input thus far. Good luck to all of you. How are your Personal Statements coming along?

Best

william wallace
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Re: please help read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby william wallace » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:09 pm

I have made a lot of changes and it's a lot better now. Please let me know what you think about the updates

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soaponarope
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Re: please help read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby soaponarope » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:07 pm

william wallace wrote:I have made a lot of changes and it's a lot better now. Please let me know what you think about the updates



Get rid of the boludo story... and your father came out of nowhere. Keep your statement focused, and tight.

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Gefuehlsecht
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Re: please help read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby Gefuehlsecht » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:10 am

This can be condensed much more. You were raised in Arkansas. You were interested in Spanish. You moved to Argentina and became fluent in Spanish. Out of nowhere appears your father who suffered from cancer. Finally, you decided to become a lawyer and work in immigration law.

Do you see the problem? The chain of events in your statement doesn't really follow. Try to work on that.

I'd suggest though that you pick an interesting event which happened during your travels and make a personal statement out of that. How did your skills help you in that situation? Don't go on about the fact that you're fluent in Spanish. That's great, but not _that_ special.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: please help read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby quickquestionthanks » Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:07 am

I don't understand this PS at all. Tell a narrative, make it tight, make sense. We're not interested in the racial composition of the states you've lived in. The story about your father is much more compelling. Make it all about that perhaps. I think sometimes people have a tendency to think of a catchy title or phrase or, in your case, an opening sentence and become married to it. Don't do that, it is not in your best interest and only results in a forced structure or flow.

To me it sounds like you're obsessing about race and culture, but I'm like Stephen Colbert, I don't see color, so all discussion of it seems unnecessary to me. One part did stand out: their interesting Hispanic culture sounds a little demeaning. change it to say "their culture"

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DeSilentio2728
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Re: please help read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby DeSilentio2728 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:39 am

I have something in common with both our current president and a previous commander in chief. I was born in Hawai'i and I was raised in Arkansas. Hawai'i’s mixture of many different races and ethnicities, each with its own distinct culture, has made the state somewhat of a melting pot. These include Indigenous Hawaiians, Japanese and Filipinos, among others. The close proximity and frequent interactions among people from these different groups have resulted in a true demonstration of multicultural diversity. Observing this diversity while living in Hawaii stimulated my interest and motivation to travel and discover even more cultures.

While I wasn’t able to travel much during high school in Arkansas, I still observed diversity due to the large Hispanic population of the state. In my high school summer landscaping job, I was the only English-speaking employee under our supervisor. Yet, due to studying Spanish since the eighth grade, I had the responsibility of communicating work orders to the Hispanic crew. In return, I was able to learn about their interesting Hispanic culture. This early contact with Spanish speakers and the longing to communicate with them on deeper levels led me to select Spanish as the language I wanted to continue learning. I also learned that the Hispanic population in the United States was projected to increase exponentially, which gave me hope that I would actually be able to use this skill later on in my life.

For the past year and a half, I have been living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This has given me the opportunity to live on my own and immerse myself in a completely new culture. I’m employed to teach English as a second language for a language institute as well as for my private students. My clients are typically multinational corporations whose employees need to learn English. Part of my work draws on my ability of being sensitive to the local culture, now knowing the importance behind kissing my students on the cheek before and after each and every class. I also must assess each student’s strengths and weaknesses and tailor classes to their needs. I spend my Saturday afternoons in a local neighborhood, Recoleta, walking around and speaking only English with one of my students, Marcelo. These weekly three hours allow him to improve his speaking ability, while I get to discover another part of this exciting country.

My desire to move to Buenos Aires was to expand my understanding of Latin American culture and become fluent in Spanish. Achieving Spanish fluency has allowed me to completely assimilate into the culture of Buenos Aires, just as assimilating into the city’s culture has allowed me to attain Spanish fluency. I make an effort to interact with people who solely speak Spanish, ranging from my Spanish professors to all four of the landlords I have had in Buenos Aires. The very first important word I learned was boludo, which carries the English equivalent of our colloquial “dude” or “man.” In a feeble attempt to sound more like the locals, I began using this word, without knowing its full meaning. One morning, I stepped onto the 152 bus, and recognized my bus driver from before. He had smiled until I asked him how much it cost to go a certain distance, using the word boludo in my sentence. Instantly, he gave me a disgusted look and sternly advised me not to use that word. I later found out that it can have a very offensive meaning, and should only be used between friends.

My Argentina experience has been eye opening, but it does not stand alone in influence. Perhaps the ultimate influence on my life was 'the day I visited my father....connect to next paragraphmy father’s seven-year battle with prostate cancer, and eventual death from the disease during my senior year of high school. During this time I became more mature and developed an increased understanding of perseverance and determination. He spent his final few months in the local Hospice Center. These were very hard times for me and forced me to look more seriously at my life. I was determined to make my father proud, but more importantly; I was determined to be successful and dedicated to my studies and my future. Through the whole ordeal, I overcame hardship and did not let this situation halt my personal growth.

I was visiting my father at the Hospice Center during what we knew would be one of his final days. I asked him “Dad, do you have any advice for me?” He told me he wanted me to work hard for whatever I desired. In addition to my initial interest in exploring new cultures, my father’s hopes for me to follow my aspirations propelled my passion and lack of hesitation in moving to Argentina. Now they drive me to pursue what I desire next, a career in either international law or immigration law.

When I commit to furthering my education, whether in a language or a new course of study, I see it through to the end. I plan to use my language skills in a career in international law or immigration law. I am motivated to learn more about the dynamic processes of international law. Although my travel and immersion experiences have already broadened my scope, I know that what I have seen and done represents only a tiny portion of what our world has to offer. I am enthusiastic to participate in more of it.

***Start by deleting everything in bold, and then rework the rest. Spanish dominates your PS so concentrate on how you wish to use your knowledge of Spanish to become a good immigration lawyer and learn more about the Latin American culture. You do not necessary have to become this, but your PS should be clear and specific. I, also, think that your transition to briefly discussing what your father told you can be an effective ending if you so choose (though others may say it’s off topic).*** All I got for tonight.

william wallace
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Re: please help read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby william wallace » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:22 pm

Okay. I am completely changing the first paragraph. That was partially for my PS to UH and they want to know of your ties to the state. However, the rest of that PS was completely different. The one I have posted was my general one. It is terrible. It doesn't have and sense of flow. I guess it needs to be more specific. I'm trying to think of a specific event.

I could write about teaching English and how it is so piecemeal and how I had to use organizational skills to be successful and that it's REALLY hard to make ends meet teaching English in the country (most people leave after about 4 months) but that I made it work. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that seems general and weak. It is really hard to do and you have to adapt to every day because of cancellations, I spend about 3 hours a day traveling to different businesses. But I don't know.

Maybe I could write about the challenge of supporting myself in a foreign country in general.

In both of these, I would write a lot less about learning Spanish. They can see that on my resume. I will mention it, but it's not as unique as many people speak Spanish. Although some say they do but they really don't.

The other idea would be to focus more on overcoming adversity with my father's battle with cancer. Tell the story.

I think you are right - I was married to my catch phrase. I wanted to make it work so badly. But it always felt forced to transition to the next part. Thank you for spotting that and making me aware of it.

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DeSilentio2728
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Re: please help read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby DeSilentio2728 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:42 pm

I spend my Saturday afternoons in a local neighborhood, Recoleta, walking around and speaking only English with one of my students, Marcelo.

This is your specific event. Write a short 500 word PS detailing your experience helping this specific student learn English while walking through the streets of Recoleta. I think something strong could come out of this.

william wallace
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Re: please help read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby william wallace » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:14 pm

“XXXXXX, sit down. I need to talk to you about something serious.” My father’s tone matched his statement’s message following his visit with his oncologist. I sat down in our computer room where I am presently typing. As I sat down and embraced myself for even more bad news, the phone rang. My father answered and harshly advised my mother’s friend that it was a bad time to call and that he had something important to tell me. He would never speak to someone that impolite way. I knew this was bad. Then came the news. “The doctor’s just gave me 12 to 15 months to live.” This was my junior year of high school.

During the six years prior to this day, my father had battled courageously with prostate cancer. The doctor’s had expunged all methods of combating the aggressive nature of his cancer with radiation, chemotherapy, and lifestyle changes. While only delaying his death as opposed to curing his disease, it did give us more time with him. However, on this day, our family had a clear picture of his dire life expectancy. All hope for a recovery was gone. The doctor’s prediction turned out to be accurate as he passed away in a Hospice center the weekend after my senior football homecoming.

In those seven years I faced a great deal of adversity. However, aside from delaying an AP Biology test the week of his funeral, I never used this as an excuse to fall behind in my studies or to give up my hard work. I excelled in high school, earning above a 4.0 and attended Arkansas Boys State. I also kept working hard in football, earning various honors. Additionally, I continued volunteering at Easter Seals. Somehow, volunteering helped me endure this seven-year nightmare. The whole ordeal forced me to mature at a young age.

I actually felt immense relief when he passed away. He was out of pain, and the healing process could finally begin. I was glad that I had continued to persevere despite the circumstances, especially when I began to receive scholarship offers from universities across the country.

On his deathbed, my father never specifically told me what he wanted me to do with my life. However, he did repeatedly tell me that he wanted me to work hard for whatever I desired and not to let anything hold me back from doing something purposeful if I so desired it. This has motivated me in many ways. While away from home at college and still working to heal my emotional wounds, I drew upon my father’s wishes and my own memories of prior resolve in order to stay on track. When facing difficult situations in college, I would typically step back for a moment and remember all that I had been through. Afterward, the new challenge would seem much less daunting.

Perhaps this can most vividly be shown by my most recent endeavor. For the past year and a half, I have been living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The decision to move to a foreign country for an extended period of time is not an easy one. While comparisons usually don’t serve a purpose, we have a natural tendency to compare ourselves to those around us. It was very uncommon among my peers in Arkansas to venture out like this, and few understood the decision. I wanted to perfect my Spanish, which I knew would help me in the future based on the projected increase in Spanish speakers in the US. I thought about my father’s wishes. Was this something purposeful that I desired? Yes. Should I work hard for it? Yes. Should I let anything hold me back? No. I had already faced hard times and met them valiantly. The decision to venture out was much easier to make when I remembered this. While I was still obviously fearful, fear didn’t affect my ultimate decision.

Once again, the results have paid off as I am now fluent in Spanish. I also have tremendously enjoyed seeing the world from different perspectives. I have learned so much from interacting with locals as well as with individuals from all over the world in this international city. Discussing economics with locals has given me great insight into Argentina’s fascinating economic history. Interacting with my classmates from Spanish classes has been eye opening. Some have voiced support in our governments’ actions, while others have offered dissonant viewpoints. I truly value the ability to see issues from multiple perspectives, and my determination to seek these views out has helped tremendously in this regard.

With a glimpse of my background shared, I would now like to discuss my reasons for applying to the XXXXXXXXX School of Law. First, the study of law is very interesting to me. It is of the utmost importance to know the rules of life. I believe law school will help me to become proficient with these rules. Second, I may pursue a career in immigration law after law school. XXXXXXX offers a course in immigration law. Also, the school is in a great location for this specialty as the number of Hispanic migrants to XXXXXXX continues to rise. Third, I have lived a large portion of my life in XXXXXXXXXXXX and almost all of my family lives there. The XXXXXX School of Law provides a great geographic location for me. I would also thrive in the low student/faculty ratio of 15/1. Furthermore, the various study abroad programs that XXXXXpresents arouse my interest. I believe this would help me learn a great deal about international law.

william wallace
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Re: please help read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby william wallace » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:19 pm

“XXXXXX, sit down. I need to talk to you about something serious.” It was my junior year of high school and my father had just come back from a visit with his oncologist. I could tell that something was wrong by the intonation in my father's voice, and so I followed his orders, and I sat down in our computer room awaiting his response. As I sat down and braced myself for what my father was going to say, the phone rang, and my father answered it and harshly advised my mother’s friend that it was a bad time to call and that he had something important to tell me. It was the first time that I had ever heard him speak so abruptly to another person. I knew that what he would say next would be devastating. And then I heard my father's voice, "the doctors just gave me twelve to fifteen months to live".

In the six years previous to this day, I had watched my father battle prostate cancer courageously. I had watched as the doctors attempted all methods of combating the aggressive nature of his cancer with radiation, chemotherapy, and lifestyle changes, while still only delaying his death, as opposed to curing his disease. I am thankful for the additional time that the doctors gave my father to spend with us, but on this day, our family finally had a clear picture of his dire situation. All hope for a recovery was gone, and my father passed away shortly thereafter.

I faced a great deal of adversity during the seven years of my father's illness, but aside from delaying an advanced placement biology test the week of his funeral, I never used his illness, nor my own struggles coping with our family's situation as an excuse to fall behind in my studies or to give up on the extracurricular activities that were important to me during high school. In fact, I excelled greatly in high school, earning many honors in football, attending Arkansas Boys State, and graduating with above a 4.0 G.P.A. In addition, I became progressively active in volunteering at Easter Seals, as volunteering at Easter Seals helped me endure the struggles that I faced at home.

Upon visiting my father in one of his final days at the hospice center, I asked him “Dad, do you have any advice for me?” He told me "to work hard for whatever I desired and to not let anything hold me back from doing something purposeful". This final encouragement from my father has given me the strength and motivation to follow my aspirations without fear and to challenge myself to explore new cultures, and new purposes in life.

Perhaps, this drive can most vividly be seen in my most recent endeavor. For the past eighteen months, I have been living and teaching English in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have also taken many Spanish classes to perfect my Spanish. My decision to move to a foreign country for an extended period of time was not an easy one, as it was most unusual for a member of my small community in rural Arkansas to venture out like this, and few understood the decision. But I wanted to explore a new culture and perfect my fluency in a language other than my native language. With the strength that I drew, in part, from the advice of my father in his final days, I was able to overcome the trepidation of leaving the only community that I had known my entire life for a foreign country.

Fortunately, this risk has paid off as I now come back to my native Arkansas fluent in Spanish, and with a completely new perspective on the world. I have learned so much from interacting with those that I have met in Buenos Aires, and I am thankful for my father's encouragement as it has propelled me to take such a big, but rewarding risk. With a glimpse of the world from a new and more mature perspective, I wish to come home to XXXXXX and pursue a legal career in immigration law. I would be so honored to begin this new venture at XXXXXXXXXX law school if I am fortunate enough to be admitted.
Last edited by william wallace on Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

william wallace
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Re: please help read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby william wallace » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:21 pm

The above statement is more focused on overcoming adversity when dealing with my father's illness. I hope it is more about overcoming adversity than just talking about my father. I hope the reader will get a feel that I have overcome this and that now I can conquer new challenges (law school).

I also had a lot of help from someone in this forum :)

william wallace
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Re: please help read my PS and offer initial thoughts

Postby william wallace » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:02 am

Okay I've have changed it up quite a bit. Please someone let me know what you think.

In August of my junior year of high school, my father informed me that his fight with cancer was drawing to an end. In the back bedroom of our house, which had been turned into an office, he told me that he had 12 to 15 months to live. Radiation, chemotherapy and even lifestyle changes recommended by his oncologist were not enough to combat the disease that my father had been living with for the past six years. In that moment, I was forced with the reality of his situation: he was dying of cancer.

Because his death was delayed my family was given more time to spend with him, even though each month took with it a piece of my father. All hope my family had for his recovery was gone.

On his deathbed, my father never told me of a specific desire of how he wanted my life to be lived, other than the imperativeness of hard work for whatever it was which I desired. He wanted my life to have purpose, and he wanted me to desire success.He passed away on October 7, 2001.

I used his fight with cancer as an inspiration to keep pressing forward instead of a roadblock. After witnessing his determination to live, the things that are important to most 17-year-olds were mundane to me. I was forced to mature at an early age.

In spite of the adversity I faced following his death, I never used it as an excuse not to work hard or achieve less than excellence in my life. I maintained a G.P.A. above 4.0, attended Arkansas Boys State and earned honors in athletics during this entire nightmare.

In addition, I became progressively active in volunteering at Easter Seals. I worked with mentally disabled children for three summers during high school. Volunteering at Easter Seals helped me endure the struggles that I faced at home.
I attended the University of Arkansas in 2002 on a full academic scholarship, including the Arkansas Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship. Although I still had to work to heal the wounds from my father’s passing, I was able to stay on track. When facing difficult situations, I would take a step back and remember all that I had overcome and all that my father had endured. Afterward, every challenge paled in comparison.

My most recent endeavor proves that I do not fear adversity, and that a challenge is not an obstacle, but a learning experience. For the past 18 months, I have lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The decision to move to a foreign country is not an easy one, and definitely a decision most of my peers did not understand. The projected increase of Spanish speakers in the United States gave me a desire to perfect my Spanish speaking skills, and I knew that my lingual abilities would benefit me in the future. I also desired to continue studying Spanish after studying the language during a summer abroad in Barcelona, Spain.

But, what would my father say about my decision to move to a foreign country? Was this decision a purposeful one? Indeed. Would I have to work hard for it? Absolutely. Should I let anything hold me back? No. I had already valiantly overcome adversity in my life; the decision to venture out of my comfort zone became an easy one after I remembered my father’s wishes for my life.

I was fearful, but fear comes with the unknown; with the unknown comes experience. With experience comes learning. I am now fluent in Spanish, and because of my time spent living abroad I am able to see the world from a different perspective than most. Just one example is that Argentineans look at situations from a short-term perspective—whether they are economical, social or educational. If there is a problem, they patch it and keep going because a permanent solution is impossible.

As an American, it was eye opening to live in a culture in which this problem solving mentality has been engrained since the beginning. Argentina’s history is a fascinating one, and its people, their lifestyle and governmental relations all provided me with an irreplaceable knowledge that, I believe, can be greater benefited with a legal education.

I desire for this education to come from the William H. Bowen School of Law. In the future, I would like to have a career in immigration law. Bowen School of Law’s location in Arkansas is an increasing one for Hispanic migrants, combined with Bowen’s course in immigration law make it a perfect choice for me to pursue my legal education.

I have lived a large portion of my life in XXXXXX and almost all of my family lives here. I have grown to love the community. The XXXXXXXXX School of Law provides a great geographic location for me. I would also thrive in the low student/faculty ratio of 15/1. Furthermore, the various study abroad programs that XXXXX presents arouse my interest. I believe this would help me learn a great deal about international law. In short, I would love to attend law school here so that I may give back to the community that developed me into the person I am today.

Concluding, it is very important that you grasp who I am in this short statement. While many times I couldn’t call my father to tell him about my successes, I still succeeded. When faced with tough decisions, I decided independently. When I could have taken easier routes and rationalized those decisions based on hardships, I did neither. I am a young man who has been through a lot of adversity in my life, but met these challenges bravely. This quick look into my life proves that I have the courage to reach goals when circumstances get tough, and they often do get tough.

I am now sitting in the same room in which my father told me he would die in about a year. As I type in the same office, I am vividly recalling everything about that day in August 10 years ago when I heard the news. I am also remembering all my experiences that my father would be proud of. The decision apply to XXXXXX is one that would top this list. It would be an honor to attend law school at XXXXXX if I am fortunate enough to be granted this opportunity.


***Things I'm thinking about*****
1. It has to be at least 1000 words for this school, so that's why it's so long. For the rest, I'm going to cut it down. I just want to get this school out of the way
2. The part about Spain was something I went back to put in, and it doesn't really fit well there. Any ideas on where to put that? Or just omit it?
3. The people around me that have looked at it think it's great, but they don't understand that this is a completely different type of writing, so any help would be great. Thank you all




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