Personal Statement Possible Topics

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
clmcbride07
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:41 am

Personal Statement Possible Topics

Postby clmcbride07 » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:09 pm

Hey, thanks in advance for any advice and ideas that you all might be able to provide.

I'm about to start crafting my personal statement, and I'm having a little trouble deciding on what topics to include in the essay. I have an unusual background, but not ethnically diverse. I'm a 21 year old Caucasian male, which last time I checked doesn't qualify me as an URM.

However, my background is different than most. I was homeschooled from the sixth grade up until my senior year in high school, I've worked thirty hours a week since I was sixteen, and I suffered a skiing accident during my senior year that left me without a spleen and therefore an extremely weakened immune system.

I was thinking about my personal statement having the main idea of determination, of going through school without the experiences that others might have, of working basically full-time and still making good grades, and not letting physical weakness slow down my studies. I scored a 160 on the LSAT my first time taking it, and I have a GPA of 3.3, so I'm not a bad student by any means. At the same time however, I don't want to come across as weak and vulnerable to the reader, and if they were to get the wrong idea from my personal statement they might not think that I would be cut out for law school.

Any advice or ideas on how to take this? Should I leave out any parts, and what parts should get more attention than others? Thanks again for any help you might be able to provide.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Personal Statement Possible Topics

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:14 pm

Kind of takes the "personal" out of "personal statement".

Better to write a draft first & seek suggestions.

WayBryson
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:24 pm

Re: Personal Statement Possible Topics

Postby WayBryson » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:06 pm

When I was at this stage in planning my PS this past summer, I just started doing miniature free-writes. I would pick a single experience or value and start writing about it in a notebook. I did this on paper because I didn't have the "delete" key to stop me from moving forward. Most of what I wrote was garbage, but it really helped me organize my thoughts. I found that doing the short free-writes before trying to design a rhetorical structure to hold the statement together to be really helpful. As far as showing determination goes, I wouldn't write about it so much as try to demonstrate it through writing about some of your experiences.

You might find the following really helpful as well:

http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissions/default.aspx

This is the Yale admissions blog. Even if you don't plan on applying to Yale, their dean of admissions, Asha Rangappa, posts candidly on personal statements and what she looks for in them. Two of the most recent deal with overcoming adversity and how to write about it, which it looks like you may be interested in doing. I hope this helps. Good Luck!

clmcbride07
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:41 am

Re: Personal Statement Possible Topics

Postby clmcbride07 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:31 pm

Thanks, that Yale blog had a wealth of information on it to look over. I've got an idea of where to take it now, and I'll post my first draft within a couple days. Any criticism and help is much appreciated. Thanks again guys.




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