------Please Critique my PS!-------

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

------Please Critique my PS!-------

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:20 pm

Listening to the monotonous humming of medical machinery reminded me of my reality. I was spending my first night on the cardiac floor of New York Presbyterian Hospital. Wallowing in self pity and desperation, I tried to understand why I had been diagnosed with myocarditis. Only a few days ago I was out enjoying myself with friends, now I wondered if anything would ever be the same. This situation was pivotal in my path towards self discovery, but I would be lying if I said I got through this on my own. I had the good fortune of meeting Joey.

A few hours ago the doctor had finished his nightly rounds and I asked if I would be ok. The doctor replied that only time will tell.

Hours passed as I stared blankly at the ceiling. I eventually turned off the lights and became consumed with tears. Thankfully, I was interrupted by the other patient in the room.

“Hey buddy, it’s going to be ok.”

Pausing out of shock and embarrassment, I eventually offered my thanks and fell asleep. That was the longest night of my life.

The following morning I awoke to a stale bagel coupled with the hospital’s excuse for fresh fruit. Our curtains were pushed back, allowing me and the man behind them a chance for a formal greeting. Joey was sixty-five with a small frame and a distinguished goatee. He had been having heart problems for some time, but despite that his demeanor was positive. I thanked him again for helping me through the night before, to which he humbly replied, “You would have done the same if you had heard me.”

I thought about what he said and asked myself if I really would have done the same. I may have been too uncomfortable to say anything. I may have sat there selfishly worrying about how uncomfortable he was making me feel. As I asked myself these questions, Joey sat there awaiting a response but all I could do was smile uncertainly. From that point until my release, Joey and I made each day seem a little shorter. This hospital stay was the crux in carving out the person I wanted to become.

I have become a person who knows how to work with others in times of difficulty. This has helped strengthen me as a friend and leader. Learning to stay positive in the face of adversity has helped mold me with confidence, yet Joey reminded me there are times to stay humble. Socrates says it best; “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.” He understood that we are constantly in the process of shaping ourselves. I have gained insight about myself through my struggle and appreciate life’s daily lessons.

With this application to ________ law school, I eagerly await my next challenge. I feel better equipped to work with both my colleagues and professors towards a successful career in law.

__________________________________

What do you think TLS?
Last edited by Santiago and Dunbar on Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

narkizopoint
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Please Critique my PS!

Postby narkizopoint » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:37 pm

The good: well written. I was actually able to read the whole thing without clicking away in disgust. So you have good structure, style, and diction so can't help you there, you don't need it.

The bad: It loses a lot of its strength about 2/3rds of the way through when you turn the spotlight more on yourself. This is probably the most important element of the personal statement. Probably wouldn't notice the fall off if you didn't start so strong. The last two paragraphs in particular struck me as a little cliched and impersonal.

Not sure what I can say to help you with the direction except more "how" you became a leader and friend. Do more of what you did with "I thought about what he said and asked myself if I really would have done the same. I may have been too uncomfortable to say anything. I may have sat there selfishly worrying about how uncomfortable he was making me feel" thats some really revealing stuff and makes us feel like we really know you.

Just my $.02, really hope it helps a little.

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Please Critique my PS!

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:39 pm

Nark -- thanks dude, yeah I feel like after that pargraph (the one you listed), which is my strongest paragraph, the transition to what I have learned from it was a little abrupt.

I am trying to tweak the end.

Any thoughts on how to do that would be welcomed.

forumnewb
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:53 pm

Re: Please Critique my PS!

Postby forumnewb » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:52 pm

I would think about taking out the Socrates quote and emphasizing more exactly how this event helped to develop you into who you are now. It's great to talk about the impact someone else had on your life, and I add it is very well written, but try not to focus too much on another person. Focus more on what about that person you wished to see in yourself, what you learned, what you became, and what you plan to do. Overall, well written and a powerful story that only needs to be expanded a little more in the area of your personal growth. HTH

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Please Critique my PS!

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:56 pm

forumnewb wrote:I would think about taking out the Socrates quote and emphasizing more exactly how this event helped to develop you into who you are now. It's great to talk about the impact someone else had on your life, and I add it is very well written, but try not to focus too much on another person. Focus more on what about that person you wished to see in yourself, what you learned, what you became, and what you plan to do. Overall, well written and a powerful story that only needs to be expanded a little more in the area of your personal growth. HTH



thanks forum!

good advice!

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Please Critique my PS!

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:03 pm

JustDude has nothing for me yet?

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: ------Please Critique my PS!-------

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:46 am

Bump

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: ------Please Critique my PS!-------

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:00 pm

I am really having trouble tying up the end.

I am trying to work off the two above mentioned comments, but it's proving difficult to elaborate without becoming cliche.

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: ------Please Critique my PS!-------

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:46 pm

I have tweaked my closure a bit. Any critique would be appreciated:

_______
....This hospital stay was the crux in carving out the person I wanted to become

I have become a person who understands how to work with others through times of difficulty. Recognizing my imperfections has strengthened me as a friend and leader. As a leader, Joey taught me I may need to step outside of my comfort zone to make a difference. Learning to stay positive in the face of adversity has helped mold me with confidence, yet he reminded me there are times to stay humble. Socrates says it best; “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.” He understood that we are constantly in the process of shaping ourselves. I have gained insight about myself through my struggle and look forward to future challenges. For I once viewed challenges as cumbersome obstacles, I now see them representing an opportunity to grow.

With this application to ____________, I feel better equipped to work with both my colleagues and professors towards a successful career in law.
Last edited by Santiago and Dunbar on Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

forumnewb
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:53 pm

Re: ------Please Critique my PS!-------

Postby forumnewb » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:03 pm

Santiago and Dunbar wrote:I have tweaked me closure a little bit. Any critique of it would be appreciated:

_______
....This hospital stay was the crux in carving out the person I wanted to become

I have become a person who understands how to work with others through times of difficulty. Recognizing my imperfections has strengthened me as a friend and leader. As a leader, Joey taught me I may need to step outside of my comfort zone to make a difference. Learning to stay positive in the face of adversity has helped mold me with confidence, yet he reminded me there are times to stay humble. Socrates says it best; “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.” He understood that we are constantly in the process of shaping ourselves. I have gained insight about myself through my struggle and look forward to future challenges. For I once viewed challenges as cumbersome obstacles, I now see them representing an opportunity to grow.

With this application to ____________, I feel better equipped to work with both my colleagues and professors towards a successful career in law.


I really like your ending! I think it is very important to let the adcomms know that you do not view your admittance to law school as the pinnacle of your career, rather you hope to use it as a platform to grow and contribute not only to the legal industry, but also to the school that you choose to attend. You do an excellent job of showing that you are very self-aware and again I think you have done a great job, with a difficult task, of crafting a great ending.

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: ------Please Critique my PS!-------

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:11 pm

forumnewb wrote:
Santiago and Dunbar wrote:I have tweaked me closure a little bit. Any critique of it would be appreciated:

_______
....This hospital stay was the crux in carving out the person I wanted to become

I have become a person who understands how to work with others through times of difficulty. Recognizing my imperfections has strengthened me as a friend and leader. As a leader, Joey taught me I may need to step outside of my comfort zone to make a difference. Learning to stay positive in the face of adversity has helped mold me with confidence, yet he reminded me there are times to stay humble. Socrates says it best; “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.” He understood that we are constantly in the process of shaping ourselves. I have gained insight about myself through my struggle and look forward to future challenges. For I once viewed challenges as cumbersome obstacles, I now see them representing an opportunity to grow.

With this application to ____________, I feel better equipped to work with both my colleagues and professors towards a successful career in law.


I really like your ending! I think it is very important to let the adcomms know that you do not view your admittance to law school as the pinnacle of your career, rather you hope to use it as a platform to grow and contribute not only to the legal industry, but also to the school that you choose to attend. You do an excellent job of showing that you are very self-aware and again I think you have done a great job, with a difficult task, of crafting a great ending.


You better not be messin with me man! Thanks so much, I literally sat last night for 4 hours staring at my personal statement, and came up with nothing.

As soon as I thought I had something, I felt it went too far off on a tangent.

I realized what I had was strong, but in need of a little more substance.

I am so glad you like it.

Thanks!

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hobbsey
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: ------Please Critique my PS!-------

Postby hobbsey » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:28 pm

I think your topic and organization are strong, so here's just a few suggestions on grammar/word choice.

"A few hours ago the doctor had finished his nightly rounds and I asked if I would be ok."
Here's one suggestion to make this flow a little easier for the reader:
"A few hours ago, as the doctor finished his nightly rounds, I asked if I would be okay."

"became consumed with tears."
Too wordy and a bit weird sounding. I think it's fine to say "I began to cry" or sob or whatever. I think the simpler phrase will have a greater emotional impact.

"Thankfully"
It's a little unclear at the time one reads this why you would be thankful. Also you use “thank” again just a few sentences later.

"“Hey buddy, it’s going to be ok.”"
What bothers me about this is that you use quotes for Joey's conversation but not for the conversation with the doctor three sentences earlier. I kind of liked the McCarthy-style no quotation marks thing but just keep it consistent.

“but despite that his demeanor was positive.”
Just whack out “despite that”.

“For I once viewed challenges as cumbersome obstacles, I now see them representing an opportunity to grow.”
This sentence should be reworked.
“I once viewed challenges as cumbersome obstacles, but have learned that they can represent opportunities to grow.” Is one suggestion.

“With this application to_____, I feel better equipped to work with both my colleagues and professors towards a successful career in law.”
The “better” either needs something to be compared with, or could be just taken out without changing the sentence. You could also take out “both”. In fact, you could change equipped to “prepared” and maybe incorporate the leadership theme from the above paragraph to really make a stronger closing sentence.

These are mostly “take it or leave it” suggestions but hopefully at least I inspired another read with an editing eye. Yes that was project runway reference.

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: ------Please Critique my PS!-------

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:17 pm

hobbsey wrote:I think your topic and organization are strong, so here's just a few suggestions on grammar/word choice.

"A few hours ago the doctor had finished his nightly rounds and I asked if I would be ok."
Here's one suggestion to make this flow a little easier for the reader:
"A few hours ago, as the doctor finished his nightly rounds, I asked if I would be okay."

"became consumed with tears."
Too wordy and a bit weird sounding. I think it's fine to say "I began to cry" or sob or whatever. I think the simpler phrase will have a greater emotional impact.

"Thankfully"
It's a little unclear at the time one reads this why you would be thankful. Also you use “thank” again just a few sentences later.

"“Hey buddy, it’s going to be ok.”"
What bothers me about this is that you use quotes for Joey's conversation but not for the conversation with the doctor three sentences earlier. I kind of liked the McCarthy-style no quotation marks thing but just keep it consistent.

“but despite that his demeanor was positive.”
Just whack out “despite that”.

“For I once viewed challenges as cumbersome obstacles, I now see them representing an opportunity to grow.”
This sentence should be reworked.
“I once viewed challenges as cumbersome obstacles, but have learned that they can represent opportunities to grow.” Is one suggestion.

“With this application to_____, I feel better equipped to work with both my colleagues and professors towards a successful career in law.”
The “better” either needs something to be compared with, or could be just taken out without changing the sentence. You could also take out “both”. In fact, you could change equipped to “prepared” and maybe incorporate the leadership theme from the above paragraph to really make a stronger closing sentence.

These are mostly “take it or leave it” suggestions but hopefully at least I inspired another read with an editing eye. Yes that was project runway reference.


awesome critique. I am definitely going to look over. I had made a few changes, some of which you had also made above, but I am definitely going to incorporate some of your suggestions.

Thanks a lot.




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