Almost ready to go out...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ivantheterbl
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:04 am

Almost ready to go out...

Postby ivantheterbl » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:51 pm

So I am about ready to send out my apps, and just had a couple of English professors review/critique my PS but was hoping for some last minute feedback from some TLSers. Let me know what you think!

“You mean I can actually unpack everything?” This question, seemingly trivial, is one that was more meaningful to me at the time than almost any other I had ever asked. As movers hurried through the last stages of stacking and shuffling boxes, I couldn’t believe the answer to my question: yes. Most kids at age eleven would want nothing more than to not have to unpack stacks of boxes or arrange toys and clothes, but those other kids weren’t me: I was ecstatic that I finally had the opportunity to do so.
Growing up, I moved constantly. My dad was an officer in the Air Force, and this meant moving from base to base as he switched positions and worked on new projects. I never even attended the same school two years in a row until seventh and eighth grade, and many of my earlier grades I spent at more than one school in a given year. While at the time moving seemed like nothing but the status quo, something to look forward to and dread equally, it is apparent now that moving had a profound effect on me, and has shaped me into the person I am today.
Most importantly, moving from one state to another exposed me to a variety of different regions, people, viewpoints, and cultures. Growing up there is no better way to learn and formulate one’s own belief system than by being exposed to others. I was and still am able to see the world in a variety of different shades and empathize with a wide variety of different people, for the simple reason that I once studied, played, and lived with them. Whenever I examine legal or other scholarly questions, I attempt to see the subject not only through my own perspective, but also through the perspective of another party or group. The world is an immeasurably complex place, but appreciating the diversity of people and their respective ideas allows one to develop better and much more informed decisions.
Moving also helped foster my appreciation and enthusiasm for learning. Since there was a lot of idle time in the process of relocating, I began to develop one of my greatest passions, reading. While it started as something to simply pass time, I eventually became engrossed in obtaining knowledge, questioning knowledge, and refining my knowledge. My intellectual curiosity has aided me in excelling in a variety of subjects academically, but more importantly has given me the ability to intertwine and synthesize information from a variety of fields. For example, one of my greatest interests is the American Civil War; I collect artifacts, visit battlefields, and have even reenacted battles. On the opposite end of the academic spectrum, however, I also have a passion for mathematics. In a game theory course last year, I applied the techniques of game theory analysis to the battle of Gettysburg, and drew conclusions about how alternate strategies might have affected the outcome. To succeed in law, one must look beyond the law many times, and I know my knowledge and aspiration to gain more knowledge in a variety of areas will bring me one step closer to achieving this coveted success.
While moving certainly benefited me in numerous ways, it also negatively affected me in others that I have since had to overcome. Constantly being placed in new and diverse situations forced me to become excessively self-reliant. In high school, I usually opted to work alone in lieu of group work, since I believed that I could accomplish more personally than with a team, mainly due to my earlier experiences. However, three years of college have altered this belief, as I have come to appreciate the power of teamwork over the strength of one individual. Last year a team and I completed an entire business plan for a struggling startup, with some of our operational and marketing ideas being incorporated by the company. The business plan, which took five coffee infused college students a semester to complete, would have been an impossible task for one person. In order to succeed at the project, I had to alter my approach from what had developed earlier in my life, and embrace the potential of others.
Constantly moving forced me to be accepting of new situations, new challenges, and embrace them. Law school is a new challenge, and one that I eagerly anticipate. Despite having myriad interests in a variety of fields, I chose law because no other subject is as meaningful to me or matches my abilities with my interests in such a unique way. As I prepare for another challenge, another difficult task, and yet again another move, I am strengthened by my experiences, and know they have me prepared to make this transition. Moving might always be a hassle, but if there is one thing I’ve learned from my past, the trip is always worth the ride.

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Excellence = a Habit
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Re: Almost ready to go out...

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:49 pm

I really liked this. The pacing is perfect, the writing is clear, and your points make sense. I'm envious.

A couple of minor things:

- "in such a unique way" -- I don't really mind this, but apparently a lot of people have a problem with the implication that there are different levels of uniqueness. As in, "wow, this is SO UNIQUE!" I hear a lot of people complain about this, saying that something is either unique or not unique. I think there are lots of words that could be more powerful than unique in your context anyway. So you might think about changing that.

- "...the trip is always worth the ride." It's a good sentiment but I feel like the word choice could be improved a little. To me, "trip" and "ride" have almost identical meanings. Whereas it seems like here you're referring to the payoff that comes from tough journeys... maybe the destination is worth the journey? But that implies that you don't plan on enjoying law school in its own right (which may be true, but maybe you don't want to say it). So... I'm not sure what the right move is. Maybe keep it as is. Sorry this isn't more coherent. Overall, you've got a very strong statement.

jjlaw
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:43 pm

Re: Almost ready to go out...

Postby jjlaw » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:26 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, since I'm also struggling with the "show, don't tell" philosophy of the PS, but it seems like you are "telling" more than "showing."

For example:
I was and still am able to see the world in a variety of different shades and empathize with a wide variety of different people, for the simple reason that I once studied, played, and lived with them. Whenever I examine legal or other scholarly questions, I attempt to see the subject not only through my own perspective, but also through the perspective of another party or group.


Instead of telling us that you're able to see the world in different shades, you should show us in mini-examples or anecdotes. I would like to know some of the people you met who gave you this perspective.

To succeed in law, one must look beyond the law many times, and I know my knowledge and aspiration to gain more knowledge in a variety of areas will bring me one step closer to achieving this coveted success.


This sentence sounds cliché. The adcom knows what it takes to succeed in law, and you don't need to tell them that. They should be able to come to that conclusion on their own after reading your PS and other statements.

I chose law because no other subject is as meaningful to me or matches my abilities with my interests in such a unique way.


Even though you wrote this in your last paragraph, I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion just from going over your past of moving around a lot. If you are going the "Why law?" route, I would be interested in knowing what exactly drew you to law and why it is "meaningful" to you.

Again, I'm still getting the hang of the PS thing, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I'm only looking at them with the advice of my pre-law advisor in mind. Good luck.

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Excellence = a Habit
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Re: Almost ready to go out...

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:08 pm

jjjlaw makes good points. I agree that what's going on is a lot of telling, not showing. Somehow, though, it didn't get to me. I believed the telling enough that I was able to imagine my own examples of what it looks like in practice. Maybe this is just because I relate to the phenomenon of seeing others' perspectives fairly easily.

If OP does want to add specific examples, given the current length I think he/she would want to eliminate some of the stuff that's currently there. Perhaps the paragraph on reading and exploring knowledge could go, in favor of a deeper exploration of the multiple-perspectives issue.

ivantheterbl
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:04 am

Re: Almost ready to go out...

Postby ivantheterbl » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:08 pm

So I added a part to the first main body paragraph, it is highlighted below-- Let me know if people feel this is a good addition...

Most importantly, moving from one state to another exposed me to a variety of different regions, people, viewpoints, and cultures. Growing up there is no better way to learn and formulate one’s own belief system than by being exposed to others. As a result of my experiences, I am able to see the world in a variety of different shades and empathize with a wide array of people, for the simple reason that I once studied, played, and lived with them. Whenever I examine legal or other scholarly questions, I attempt to see the subject not only through my own perspective, but also through the perspective of another party or group. As an admissions fellow at Bentley, I regularly alter my interview for a prospective student to incorporate various aspects of an individual student’s background. Whether it is race, socio-economic factors, or simply where someone is from geographically, I always adapt my questioning and tailor my message concerning the university to every student’s unique perspective. The world is an immeasurably complex place, but appreciating the diversity of people and their respective ideas allows one to develop better and much more informed decisions.

ivantheterbl
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:04 am

Re: Almost ready to go out...

Postby ivantheterbl » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:10 pm

bump

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nataliejane38
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:19 pm

Re: Almost ready to go out...

Postby nataliejane38 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:19 pm

Overall, it's very good. I think it's fine without adding in examples to expand on what you are saying but I really did like the Civil War stuff, it gives a little bit more of a perspective on who you are.




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