First half of PS...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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First half of PS...

Postby ryleez » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:04 pm

Adversity is the catalyst that spawns character. It can go either way, for good or for bad. The truest route to identifying real character is looking at how a person conducts their actions during a time of true distress when primal instincts override any conscious action. There is truly a moment where fight or flight instincts usurp the power of emotion. To flee adversity subconsciously places one’s own well being before others, but those who are hardwired to fight adversity place other’s well being before their own without hesitation. Fortunately, a majority of people have never been forced to undergo this polarizing experience of self realization. I, however, belong to the minority that has been measured during a time of great hardship. My day of self reckoning occurred March 1st, 2007.
The air was coagulated, dark, and dank, and it felt as if I was drawing air through a straw. The power had gone out just a second ago, and the light emitted from the skylight was a dark, nauseous green that suffocated the hallway. I was in southeast Alabama during a tornado warning; today was just another welcomed excuse to get out of my AP economics class. Little did I know that life was about to challenge me in a way that few have ever overcome, and fewer have ever been transformed for the better. I was talking with Granison Wagstaff, the substitute teacher and former Alabama defensive end, about my recent full ride football scholarship when the skylight was thrown to the floor with a vengeful force and erupted into a million pieces. The far end of the hallway exploded with the wrath of God. Wagstaff hit me with what seemed like the force of the apocalypse and threw me to the floor. As we were falling, I could see the wall from the opposite side of the hallway flying over the top of us, ripping my shirtsleeve off, and carrying my chair through the wall and lockers behind me. Wagstaff and I laid prone on the floor and held onto each other and what was left of the spliced locker unit behind us when we felt the storm grasp our legs and challenge us to a match of tug of war. Together we fought the forces of a 150 mile an hour vacuum.
The complexities of human nature that make categorization of people impossible vanished when I opened my eyes. There were two very distinct groups moving in opposite directions. One group, which consisted of a large proportion of the students in our hall, instinctively headed for the closest exit. A few others and me headed in the opposite direction: towards the twisted remains of concrete and steel that enveloped the bodies of our fellow classmates. Ruptured gas lines filled the air with their putrid stench and severed electrical cables sparked and popped amidst the destruction.
then i will try to tie in how how instinct is going to help me excel in law school and how it is important when defending someone in the courtroom

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Re: First half of PS...

Postby DanInALionsDen » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:25 pm

I made it about 4 sentences in. You keep rephrasing the same premise, and often your statements are self contradictory. How, for example, can the truest route to identifying character be analyzing how a person acts when "primal instincts override any conscious action." Instincts, as you note, are primal, while character relates to morality, which is the opposite of primal. Then you say "there is truly a moment where (should be when, moments are temporal, not spacial), fight or flight instincts usurp the power of emotion." Usurp means to overthrow by force. How can an instinct, which is arguably rooted solely in emotion, overthrow emotion?

I skimmed the rest and it seems hyperbolic. I saw the phrase "wrath of God." Unless you're applying to BYU, take that out.

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Re: First half of PS...

Postby sundance13 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:01 pm

I feel like you could cut the entire first paragraph. It sounds really preach-y and didn't make me want to keep reading. Start with the interesting stuff, and save all your conclusions about building character for the end, if you need to include it at all.

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