Question about a few possibly risky topics

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ProZach
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Question about a few possibly risky topics

Postby ProZach » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:48 pm

Recentely I have been struggling to find something worth writing a personal statement about. The main problem is that I don't have any stellar softs, instead, I guess you could say I am just the typical 21 cacasian male undergrad. I have been reading a lot of the personal statements on here and have been getting somewhat frusterated because I don't have all this crazy work experience, I haven't been a teacher, I haven't lived through poverty and I didn't have three kids at the age of 19.

That being said, I was wondering if I could get some feedback from you guys on the two topics I am considering.

The first one is why I picked my major, International Studies, what I have learned about diversity during my time both in the class room and studying abroad. Throughout the PS I will weave in the experiences I had studying one summer abroad in Mexico as well as the time I spent abroad this summer studying abroad in Argentina.

Do you guys think talking about your major is too boring / bland? Ovbiously I will try to make it about me and tell them who I am but I am somewhat worried it will give a small picture of me or they will think I have very little real world experience(which is somewhat true) if I just talk about my time in undergrad and not some life changing revelation I had.

The second topic I am considering writing about is how joining a fraternity changed both me and my college experience for the better. Throughout the the PS I would discuss the leadership roles I had and the experience got from them. I would also mention how the fraternity got me more interested in community service work done and how that bettered myself and the community around me. My main concern with this topic is the negative sterotypes people may have about Fraternities and if its too risky to base your entire PS around? Have you guys ever seen anyone else do their PS on fraternity or just their undergrad major / experience as a whole? I really would like to have one life changing event to write about but I am afraid I just don't have one.
thanks in advance for the feedback

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Jack Smirks
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Re: Question about a few possibly risky topics

Postby Jack Smirks » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:58 pm

I've read in more than one source to NOT write about the College fraternity experience, regardless of whether or not it was a positive one. So I would say, definitely do not write about that, but you may be able to turn the first idea (about the reason for choosing your college major) into something interesting.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Question about a few possibly risky topics

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:16 pm

I could be wrong, but I really, really think that, as long as it's well-written, you can write about anything. Both of those topics may sound fine to you as an author, but, ugh....how dismissible would these be to read as an adcomm? Write (well) about your favorite band, the best meal you've ever eaten, a time when you visited every historical marker within a 20-mile radius. In short, own your shit! You haven't had adversity or "life-shaping" moments that other candidates have had, but you're just as interesting. A college major or a frat is not interesting. Get yourself off the "bored at 5pm and read tomorrow" pile onto the "can't wait to re-read at home with a glass of cab" pile.

NonTradHealthLaw
Posts: 401
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Re: Question about a few possibly risky topics

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:18 pm

Jeezus...just looking at your name..."ProZach" implies you've got a wry sense of humor. Use it!

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Dany
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Re: Question about a few possibly risky topics

Postby Dany » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:58 pm

NonTrad is right: anything can theoretically work as long as you write about it well!

That said, in an admissions book, several deans mentioned it's NOT a good idea to write about a fraternity/sorority, so I'd skip that. Choose the first topic, make it very personal and write in your own unique voice, and you're good to go. Good luck!

7ED
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Re: Question about a few possibly risky topics

Postby 7ED » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:49 pm

Everything can work, if its well written. That said, do you really want to risk it?

My 2 bits is not to write on the fraternity/sorority. Semesters abroad are always good topics to write about.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: Question about a few possibly risky topics

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:05 pm

ProZach wrote:
Do you guys think talking about your major is too boring / bland? Ovbiously I will try to make it about me and tell them who I am but I am somewhat worried it will give a small picture of me or they will think I have very little real world experience(which is somewhat true) if I just talk about my time in undergrad and not some life changing revelation I had.

The second topic I am considering writing about is how joining a fraternity changed both me and my college experience for the better. Throughout the the PS I would discuss the leadership roles I had and the experience got from them. I would also mention how the fraternity got me more interested in community service work done and how that bettered myself and the community around me. My main concern with this topic is the negative sterotypes people may have about Fraternities and if its too risky to base your entire PS around? Have you guys ever seen anyone else do their PS on fraternity or just their undergrad major / experience as a whole?


I am not a guy, but I have seen PS's written on fraternities and undergrad majors. And they have been characterized by negative stereotypes, if on fraternities, and rather insipid, if about majors. However, assuming your spelling, err, issues are a result of a rushed post, I think you can use the studying abroad experience to write an excellent essay.

To make it a bit more unique, you could combine the experience of being in a fraternity and studying abroad. For example, you could contrast the social systems that popularize groups like fraternities and sororities in the US with some reflection on the social systems in Mexico and Argentina as you saw them. Or the different experiences you had as an individual in a foreign land, versus those you had as someone who existed in relation to a distinct group on your college campus.

Basically, there are ways you can approach this to avoid negative stereotypes and boredom. There are ways you can not. Good luck!

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Grizz
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Re: Question about a few possibly risky topics

Postby Grizz » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:13 pm

ProZach wrote:I would also mention how the fraternity got me more interested in community service work done and how that bettered myself and the community around me.


You're doing it wrong.

12262010
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Re: Question about a few possibly risky topics

Postby 12262010 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:47 pm

It all started with a simple children's toy.

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MiamiUG
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Re: Question about a few possibly risky topics

Postby MiamiUG » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:53 pm

rad law wrote:
ProZach wrote:I would also mention how the fraternity got me more interested in community service work done and how that bettered myself and the community around me.


You're doing it wrong.


This




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