(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Postby scgirl » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:46 am

This is a very rough draft. This will not be the finished product. I will dress up vocab and fix grammer but I need to know if this topic/ main idea would be acceptable. I'm not sure it is coherent and cohesive enough. I'm not even sure if it makes sense to anyone but me. It focuses on a span of events instead of specific events. This is my first attempt so be brutally honest. I'm a big girl I can take it. :)

As I make my way to the swings converging between the old gray house and the little yellow trailer, I stop a moment to take in my surroundings. There is the sound of children joking and laughing, a soft tuned out humming coming from the old patriarch perched in the middle swing, the chattering of the ladies sitting around talking about the latest community happenings and, of course, the sound of a roaring tractor as it treks through the field desperately searching for just one more soybean. I look around at my home. It has taken me a lifetime to get here.

I grew up here. The people I love most in the world are in this small community called xxxxx but I’ve never felt at home until recently. I had to learn to accept myself before I could accept my home and family. I grew up thinking it was somehow deficit because we didn’t have big buildings, stop lights, grocery stores or anything else I considered to be important. The beauty I failed to see is so obvious to me now. It is the sense of pride someone has after picking a bucket full of butterbeans or showing up at your door with your favorite dish. It is the sense of community that drives people to place a jar at all the little country stores for a sick child or start a community wide clothes drive for the family who has lost their home to fire. Looking back, I see now that it is the experience of growing up in this atmosphere that has made me the person I am today.

I tried to fight the knowledge that my community and the people surrounding me where just as good as everyone else but I couldn’t escape the idea that they were closed minded, ignorant of the outside world. I’m glad I’ve come to realize that I was the one who was ignorant. The journey to this realization was a long one, a necessary one that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Straight out of high school I applied to one college. It was the closest to my home at about 35 minutes away. I wanted to get away from my community and to me that school 35 minutes away was a different world. I wasn’t yet brave enough to explore the larger world. It wasn’t until two years later that I decided to transfer to my dream school. I submitted my transfer application to the University of South Carolina in secret. I told no one. I didn’t know what my parents would say about me moving so far away from home. When I received my acceptance letter, I nervously approached them and explained that I was transferring. This was a large step for me. My college roommate for my first two years in college had been my childhood best friend. Although I was away from home and my parents I wasn’t alone.

When I moved to Columbia, I knew no one. I had to exit my comfort zone and meet new people. I’ve always been shy so this wasn’t easy. I started participating in on campus organizations. This provided a framework for meeting new people and socializing with like minded people. For the first time in my life I felt like I belonged somewhere. I’ve always had a burning interest in international relations and studies.
While at the University of South Carolina, I began to take Russian language classes and get involved in the Russian program. This was a great experience that introduced me to a completely different culture. While in my first Russian class, my professor introduced the Russian study abroad program in Taganrog, Russia. My heart fluttered. I wanted to go so bad but I knew there would be now way to convince my parents. Maybe I knew I couldn’t convince myself either at the moment. I had never been away from home for five weeks, which was the length of the program. I had never flown on an airplane before and I was terrified at the idea of flying.
It wasn’t until the next year, my senior year, when the study abroad trip came up again that I decided I was going. I told my parents that this was a great opportunity that I had to take. Outwardly, I appeared confident. Inwardly, I was terrified. The same fears that plagued me the year before were still there. I decided that I could not let fear determine my life. I signed up for the trip and never looked back. I boarded the plane and went six thousand miles to Russia. If I stepped out of my comfort zone when I transferred schools, my comfort zone was shattered when I landed in Russia. I was left alone with a host family where my host sister was the only person around who spoke a little bit of English. I learned to adjust out of necessity and it turned out to be one of the greatest experiences in my life.
When I returned from Russia, it was time for me to graduate and move back home. Instead of dreading this return like I would have before, I looked forward to the opportunity to see my hometown through different eyes. Eyes that I felt had matured through my experiences. I was not disappointed. The large cities and educated majorities are great but in my mind they are in no way better than my little piece of earth and the people that populate it.

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Postby esq » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:22 am

Certainly a general narrative of your academic life can be an appropriate topic for a PS. Nothing about your academic development, though, really stands out as anything that makes you unique or interesting. I think that you might have the same effect if you simply said: "I went to college. Mom and dad paid for my room and board. They also paid for a fun trip to Russia. I'm done with that now, so I moved back home." Main Thesis: I'm a Homebody, and my mom and dad used college to get me out of the house for a few years.

Unless you can really beef this statement up with some unique accomplishments that make you stand out and seem more mature, you better have a pretty amazing GPA and score damn well on the LSAT.

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Postby 12AngryMen » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:08 pm

I like it too very much in fact. Fact is that it do show your promise as a student and it does show you growed in college and it has shown you have experience. It is very well laid out, organized, thought out, and written also.

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Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:13 pm

CHANGE: "deficit" to "deficient".

This is a very effective personal statement for two main reasons: you writing is clear & well organized & you show a willingness to grow. Law schools will like the possibility that they can greatly influence your development. The tone of your essay is genuine & sincere suggesting that readers will like you as presented in your writing.

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Postby scgirl » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:18 pm

Thanks for the replies! CanadianWolf- Thanks for pointing out the spelling mistake. I didn't catch it.

Anybody else?

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