personal statement-draft 2-lemme know what ya'll think

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maryyo
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:55 am

personal statement-draft 2-lemme know what ya'll think

Postby maryyo » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:41 pm

2nd draft-thoughts?

I was riding on a bus when I was notified that my father had died in a plane crash. I was at the gym when something moved me to hitch a ride on the local “HX” bus without any real idea of its route. There was a chance the bus would take me in the direction of the house I was renting just off the campus of the University of North Carolina and there was a chance it would head in the complete opposite direction. Either way I had nowhere to be, my feet were killing me, and worst case scenario the bus would run a complete route and bring me right back to where I originally got on. When my phone rang, the bus was stopped three miles off campus. I was left alone while the driver smoked his mid-route cigarette, one he quickly dropped when I flew by him heading toward a wooded area nearby. I had gotten the news, hung up the phone and ran. I never expected someone to run after me. I might have gotten away had the grief not brought me to my knees. The bus driver eventually caught up and without a word I began to sob into the arms of a complete stranger.
Several hours later I made the four-hour drive home to say goodbye to a man I considered to be as much my best friend as my father. For twenty years my father and I were inseparable. We owned and lived on a small cattle farm that we would spend our weekends tending to. We spent Saturday afternoons bailing hay or mending fences and then beginning in the spring we would often head to McCormick Field to watch the Asheville Tourists play nine glorious innings of baseball. Once autumn began to make itself comfortable we would move indoors and spend every Sunday in front of the TV criticizing the offensive play-calling of the Washington Redskins. Given our closeness, it was no surprise when during the preparation for his funeral all four of my siblings looked to me to prepare a eulogy. However, I could never bring myself to prepare one, so on the day of his funeral I walked to the pulpit empty handed. Looking out on all the people that had loved my father I began to speak not about who my father had been but instead about who I was because of him. As I spoke of our relationship its beauty began to resonate with me; my father had been the most important person in my life and I struggled to imagine continuing it without him. It would not be long before I was forced to, and while I cannot describe the pain and heartbreak that tormented me for the last year, I can reveal how I grew in spite of it.
The days and weeks that followed my dad’s death ultimately brought me to more than my knees and produced more than tears. The fall semester of my junior year marked the beginning of a period of self-discovery that is still ongoing. Only a few days into the grieving process, my siblings and I were forced to abandon it. While to me the world had gone rogue and completely fallen off its axis, for everyone else it continued to orbit and had no intention of waiting for me to heal. My father’s estate was now in the hands of his children, his businesses were now ours to oversee and his obligations were now ours to honor – mourning him would have to wait.
My father’s will called for my brother and my uncle, who was convienently an experienced estate attorney, to serve as co-executors of my fathers chaotic estate. Because my brother had signed on to teach a semester in China I agreed to assume his responsibilities as executor. In the past I had always counted on my father to support me financially; he made sure my tuition was always paid in full and my bills were always paid on time. Once I began looking into my father’s finances I realized how unstable they really were. Every bit of capital that came in went directly back out and every piece of property my father owned turned out to be mortgaged. How had he paid my car insurance? Where was all the money he put towards my education every semester? My bewilderment did not last long. The probate period began and claims from creditors seemed to be arriving by the truckloads. American Express, Mastercard, Visa, American Express Business, Discover and many more came in, all requesting money that the estate simply did not have. To add insult to injury, my father had recently brought his dream house to life right above the lake on Innisfree Farm where I had grown up. So, while Dad allotted money for my education in the will, the debt had to be dealt with first. Once it became clear that I would have to come up with every last dollar of my tuition, I applied for financial aid. Shortly after doing so I followed in my father’s footsteps and took out student loans; by this time, debt was just another four letter word anyway. But instead of building a house on a hill, I used my loans to survive. It is not hard to grow up when you do not have a choice. I grew as a person because that is what was necessary. My adversity bred my maturity.
Along with the new sense of personal responsibility and financial independence I acquired after my father’s death, I developed a drive to utilize the days ahead in a way that my father would be proud of. The passion for life and education I had prior to my father’s passing has been fueled by the dedication and perseverance I have developed because of it. Knowing that I might not see tomorrow has made me more aware of what I do today. This increased consciousness, new sense of personal and global awareness and revised perspective has strengthened my already strong determination to pursue a law degree. For the first two months without Dad, I split my time between school in Chapel Hill, my uncle’s practice four hours west in Hendersonville and the interstate. During the time I spent working with my uncle I was allowed to temporarily enter the legal world. While it was prompted by unfortunate circumstances, my brief visit into the life of an attorney only reinforced my already fervant amitions to become one.
Every day without my dad is just as hard as the one before it. It has been a year since I have used Chapel Hill public transportation; my last experience riding the bus will probably stop me from ever boarding another one. In my case, time has yet to heal and who knows if it ever really will, but if I have learned anything in the last year it is that I am far more resilient than I had ever imagined. It is through suffering that I have learned how to survive and it is because I lived for so long with my father that I can live without him.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:24 am

Re: personal statement-draft 2-lemme know what ya'll think

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:55 pm

Sorry for your loss. Couldin't imagine what that's like.

A couple of suggestions:

First,
There are quite a few superfluous details in this draft, that add nothing to your message. For example:

maryyo wrote: Because my brother had signed on to teach a semester in China I agreed to assume his responsibilities as


there are a few others, to be sure. You need to remember this isn't a diary account of the event, but a reference to the event as a way to exemplify what you believe are the qualities that make you well-suited for law school. Those details have no place in the essay, and make it lengthier than necessary. Ask yourself, is this essential in helping the reader understand my story? If not, take it out.

Secondly,

There are a lot of details in the essay that may give the reader the impression that you're still mentally/emotionally unstable, to an extent that might hinder your performance at law school.

maryyo wrote: It has been a year since I have used Chapel Hill public transportation; my last experience riding the bus will probably stop me from ever boarding another one.


maryyo wrote:The fall semester of my junior year marked the beginning of a period of self-discovery that is still ongoing. Only a few days into the grieving process, my siblings and I were forced to abandon it.


Be careful that you don't come off as too fragile. Focus more on your strength/ resilience.




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