Very rough personal statement any advice would help!!

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danileigh43
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:28 pm

Very rough personal statement any advice would help!!

Postby danileigh43 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:14 pm

This is my first attempt. Let me know if the topic is even worth sticking with. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!


Watching my former teammate compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the one event that I hated made me realize how much gymnastics taught me. Ironically, the only event she competed in for team finals was vault. This event proved to be one of my biggest fears during my years competing in gymnastics. However, it had not always been this way. Unlike many other sports, in order to be successful, one almost always has to start at an extremely young age. In my case, I was 3 years old. It also requires a drive and a passion that is hard to come by. Not many sports make you have brushes with death because your timing was a split second off. In fact, who on Earth would ever want to run full speed towards a stationary object, expect to some how mount it and flip off? This was a conversation I had with myself repeatedly as I realized my talent for the event that I was so fearful of. Every gymnast has fears. It is the strength to overcome them, along with hard work that makes a good gymnast.

The strong sense of camaraderie amongst team members creates a sacred sisterhood where everyone sees you at your worst and supports you at your best. Fighting through a fear often brings along tears, anger, and sometimes pain. When teammates see you go through all of this, your team becomes part of your family for your entire life. They are there to support you, and friendships form that are lifelong. Even though we had not been teammates for 4 years, I still felt as proud as her current teammates being able to watch her perform as one of the best in the sport. Since I began at the age of 3, hard work and determination were instilled in me. As I got older and progressively got better, learning to juggle schoolwork, friends, family, and gymnastics became a challenge. Something not many people my age had to worry about. Being a middle school student and practicing 20 hours a week was daunting. Nevertheless, growing up this way taught me a strong work ethic and to manage my life so that I could excel at both sports and academics.

Being a successful gymnast requires skill on all four events. In spite of this, vault was never my forte because I was terrified of it. I ran slowly and was hesitant to push myself farther than what was required of me. I was good enough at the other three events to continue to move up, so I was at a high level by the age of 10. “The old horse”, as many referred to it as, was slender and about 4 feet wide. Luckily, they converted this horse into what we now refer to as “the tongue”. Unfortunately, the tongue is a wider and much longer apparatus. In order to clear it and not scrape your back, you must have enough power to block off the vault as you flip off of it. At first, I was too scared and wanted the status quo to remain with the old vault. However, I finally decided to overcome my fear. I ran faster than I had with the old vault because I knew I needed more power to safely land. This moment of bravado allowed me to not only clear the vault, but to clear it with power and ease. Suddenly, vault was my best event.

My fear flared up again when I was confronted with the Tsukahara at age 12. This is a modified version of what Olympians do; it is difficult and absolutely terrifying. At this point, many gymnasts had given up to focus on a life outside of the sport. Conversely, my issues were not of boys or grades like many girls my age, once again it was the vault. I waited as long as possible to perform the Tsukahara, however, it was do or die since the beginning of the season was quickly approaching. I faced doing the vault or not competing that season. So of course I was going to attempt it. I gathered whatever courage I had and tried it. I had a coach spotting me and a soft foam pit to land in, so what could go wrong? In fact nothing did, but my fear never went away. For the next 6 years, I had to deal with my fear of vault and the skills that seemed to progressively get harder. Along with my fear of vault, I had to confront time management, doubt, and balancing a life beyond gymnastics. Each day consisted of going to school and then immediately attending practice for four hours, to once again have a late night of homework was often exhausting, but I was successful. Overcoming these difficulties proved that I could rise to the occasion, and in my opinion, rise to almost anything. Of course this was my naivety as a teenager, but I still do believe gymnastics gave me the self-assurance to succeed in many different challenging situations.

Eventually the time commitment became more than desirable for a high school student. Nevertheless, the sport called me back when I joined my high school’s gymnastics team. My senior year, I was selected to be Captain of the team. I used my strength and leaderiship skills learned from club gymnastics to guide a team of less experienced, but no less passionate gymnasts, to the state competition. We did something my high school of 4,000 students, including many talented gymnasts, had not been able to accomplish for many years; attend a state gymnastics competition. Throughout this rewarding season our team broke many school records and were determined to win the state meet. I was presented with the need to lead my team by pushing myself and to compete on my archenemy the vault. I knew if our team had any shot at placing, we would have to perform everything we were capable of. This meant breaking out my Tsukahara, which I had been attempting to avoid all season long. The day of the state meet, our team finished fourth, however, thanks to a great effort by our team’s vaulter’s, including myself, our team had the highest total vault score out of all competing teams.

Gymnastics tested my limits and showed me how much I can accomplish when I push myself. I am confident that I can do anything I work hard for and that there is no fear I cannot fight through. A sense of competition will forever drive me. Whether that means competing in the state meet or doing well on an exam, I am determined to do my best. I realize today that the vault especially shaped me because it presented a fear and a challenge that I battled with for many years. In fact, I am still not sure I am completely over it. What I do know is that a little fear can be a valuable thing every once in a while.

The sport more than anything gave me confidence and the drive to succeed. This confidence drove me to apply for the selective Indiana University Honors study abroad program for high school students. Learning new language skills, like learning a new gymnastics move, presented quite a challenge. These two unique obstacles presented new fears, pushed me beyond my comfort zone, and let me determine whether or not I flourished. If I continue to strive towards my goals, I can always accomplish what I set out to do. Since this program, I have continued on towards my goal of speaking Spanish fluently and working in a multicultural environment. I have studied abroad two additional times, in Mexico and in Spain, done a marketing internship while abroad, started learning Portuguese, and use each day to try to gain more knowledge and skills about the world and people around me. These experiences led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in international business, which in turn led me to my current goal of pursing a career in international law. In fact, I was even selected by the State Department to be a Public Affairs intern at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain, for Spring 2011. I am confident after taking a course last year that the practice of law is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Unlike many of my classmates, I know what I want to do in the future. I have the sport of gymnastics to thank for offering me the experiences that lead to where I am currently. Without going through the grueling process, of being competitive gymnast, I know my life would be different. It opened me up to trying new things outside of the sport, while creating a leader and a fighter within myself. In fact, my fear of vault only made me a better person. It taught me the best way to overcome a fear is with proper training, trusting my coaches and running at full speed to successfully take on the obstacles in front of me. Gymnastics was my teacher. It taught me countless skills, pushed me to try new things, and prepared me for the exciting life in international law that lies before me.

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Eugenie Danglars
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:04 pm

Re: Very rough personal statement any advice would help!!

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:39 pm

Interesting...but it's about gymnastics. Not saying that can't work, but it was a turn off for me. You might want to include more about how the skills you learned in gymnastics helped you in other areas (like your last paragraph). Try cutting a lot of the vaulting analogy to talk more about you, when you're older. Good story to start with :-)

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applepiecrust
Posts: 476
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:38 am

Re: Very rough personal statement any advice would help!!

Postby applepiecrust » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:49 pm

I didn't really read this past the last couple paragraphs, but isn't it too long to be 2 pages double-spaced?

ChicagoRambler89
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:16 pm

Re: Very rough personal statement any advice would help!!

Postby ChicagoRambler89 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:59 pm

Cut out everything except the last two paragraphs. Then focus on grammar and make sure your writing is clear. The content is solid; just tighten it up.

danileigh43
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: Very rough personal statement any advice would help!!

Postby danileigh43 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:04 am

Thanks everyone. Is my vocabulary selection alright or should I chose to use larger words? Im working on an edited version that Ill post soon.

danileigh43
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: Very rough personal statement any advice would help!!

Postby danileigh43 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:28 am

Okay here is the edited version it is exactly two pages double spaced. I also edited out a lot of the vault stuff and focused on when I was older. Let me know if you have any input? Also Is my introduction strong enough or should I come up with something else?

Watching my former teammate compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the one event that I hated made me realize how much gymnastics taught me. Not many sports make you have brushes with death because your timing was a split second off. In fact, who on Earth would ever want to run full speed towards a stationary object, expect to some how mount it and flip off? This was a conversation I had with myself repeatedly as I realized my talent for the Vault, the event I was terrified of for many years. Every gymnast has fears. It is the strength to overcome them, along with hard work that makes a good gymnast, and what led me to who I am today.
After leaving club gymnastics I joined my high school’s gymnastics team. My senior year, I was selected to be Captain of the team. I used my strength and leaderiship skills learned from club gymnastics to guide a team of less experienced, but no less passionate gymnasts, to the state competition. We did something my high school of 4,000 students, including many talented gymnasts, had not been able to accomplish for many years; attend a state gymnastics competition. Throughout this rewarding season our team broke many school records and were determined to win the state meet. I was presented with the need to lead my team by pushing myself and to compete on my archenemy the vault. I knew if our team had any shot at placing, we would have to perform everything we were capable of. The day of the state meet, our team finished fourth, however, thanks to a great effort by our team’s vaulter’s, including myself, our team had the highest total vault score out of all competing teams.
Gymnastics tested my limits and showed me how much I can accomplish when I push myself. I am confident that I can do anything I work hard for and that there is no fear I cannot fight through. A sense of competition will forever drive me. Whether that means competing in the state meet or doing well on an exam, I am determined to do my best. I realize today that the vault especially shaped me because it presented a fear and a challenge that I battled with for many years. In fact, I am still not sure I am completely over it. What I do know is that a little fear can be a valuable thing every once in a while.
The sport more than anything gave me confidence and the drive to succeed. This confidence drove me to apply for the selective Indiana University Honors study abroad program for high school students. Learning new language skills, like learning a new gymnastics move, presented quite a challenge. These two unique obstacles presented new fears, pushed me beyond my comfort zone, and let me determine whether or not I flourished. Since this program, I have continued on towards my goal of speaking Spanish fluently and working in a multicultural environment. I have studied abroad two additional times, in Mexico and in Spain, done a marketing internship while abroad, started learning Portuguese, and use each day to try to gain more knowledge and skills about the world and people around me. These experiences led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in international business, which in turn led me to my current goal of pursing a career in international law. In fact, I was even selected by the State Department to be a Public Affairs intern at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain, for Spring 2011. I am confident after taking a course last year that the practice of law is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Unlike many of my classmates, I know what I want to do in the future. I have the sport of gymnastics to thank for offering me the experiences that lead to where I am currently. Without going through the grueling process, of being competitive gymnast, I know my life would be different. In fact, my fear of vault only made me a better person. It taught me the best way to overcome a fear is with proper training, trusting my coaches and running at full speed to successfully take on the obstacles in front of me. Gymnastics was my teacher. It taught me countless skills, pushed me to try new things, and prepared me for the exciting life in international law that lies before me.

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MarineLaw
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:17 am

Re: Very rough personal statement any advice would help!!

Postby MarineLaw » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:05 am

A mi me gusta. Creo que andas bien...

La unica surgencia que te daria, si lo desearas...

You seem to flounder a little bit in your final paragraph, trying to relate vaulting (very defined, specific experience) to Study Abroad-->Language Learning-->International Law (very general, big picture). I'm not so sure your train of logic is entirely relative, seems like you're trying to stretch it and that you know it.

I like the last couple of lines, particularly the analogies connecting gymnastics to the lessons it has taught you. I think you could probably incorporate more of that, and leave the multicultural (which is becoming more and more blase in our collegiate generation) aspects to your resume.

I think utilizing one medium per facet of your credentials that you wish to highlight gives you greater depth (e.g. go deeper into your gymnastics experience in your p.s., and really highlight lo de Espana y el departamento del estado en tu C.V.)....Stretching gymnastics so far seems a little bit contrived. Even if gymnastics does form the foundation for your whole being, I'm not entirely convinced that your gymnastics skills or consequential traits acquired from it will assure you success at my law school. I think you can use it if you dig deeper...Am I wrong?

Good luck. Thanks for having the courage to post it and allow yourself some critical insight from fellow TLS'ers. I appreciated reading it!

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crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Very rough personal statement any advice would help!!

Postby crysmissmichelle » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:19 pm

I am confident after taking a course last year that the practice of law is what I want to do for the rest of my life.


You need to explain this better or leave it out.

danileigh43
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: Very rough personal statement any advice would help!!

Postby danileigh43 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:40 pm

Thanks everyone I have taken all your advice in for consideration. I switched my first paragraph around to include more of a connection to international law. I have also edited out a few sentences that were not necessary. Let me know what you think!

Watching my former teammate compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the one event that I hated made me realize how much gymnastics taught me. Starting a sport at three years old has instilled a strong work ethic and drive that has greatly shaped me. Overcoming my personal fear of the vault only pushed me further to do my best. After years of dreading this event I finally realize that everyone has fears it is the strength to overcome them that leads to succes in life. I would not have sought out the international experiences without the ambition that makes every competitive gymnast succesful. Throughout my years in gymnastics I had the oppurinity to be a leader as well as working to accompish numerous goals I set for myself. The constant determination to do my best learned from my gymnastics years has guided me to where I am currently and will continue to guide me throughout law school.
After leaving club gymnastics I joined my high school’s gymnastics team. My senior year, I was selected to be Captain of the team. I used my strength and leaderiship skills learned from club gymnastics to guide a team of less experienced, but no less passionate gymnasts, to the state competition. We did something my high school of 4,000 students, including many talented gymnasts, had not been able to accomplish for many years; attend a state gymnastics competition. Throughout this rewarding season our team broke many school records and were determined to win the state meet. I was presented with the need to lead my team by pushing myself and to compete on my archenemy the vault. I knew if our team had any shot at placing, we would have to perform everything we were capable of. The day of the state meet, our team finished fourth, however, thanks to a great effort by our team’s vaulter’s, including myself, our team had the highest total vault score out of all competing teams.
Gymnastics tested my limits and showed me how much I can accomplish when I push myself. I am confident that I can do anything I work hard for and that there is no fear I cannot fight through. A sense of competition will forever drive me. Whether that means competing in the state meet or doing well on an exam, I am determined to do my best. I realize today that the vault especially shaped me because it presented a fear and a challenge that I battled with for many years. In fact, I am still not sure I am completely over it. What I do know is that a little fear can be a valuable thing every once in a while because it pushes you to attempt new or foreign things.
The sport more than anything gave me confidence and the drive to succeed. This confidence drove me to apply for the selective Indiana University Honors study abroad program for high school students. Learning new language skills, like learning a new gymnastics move, presented quite a challenge. These two unique obstacles presented new fears, pushed me beyond my comfort zone, and let me determine whether or not I flourished. Since this program, I have continued on towards my goal of speaking Spanish fluently and working in a multicultural environment. I have studied abroad two additional times, in Mexico and in Spain, done a marketing internship while abroad, started learning Portuguese, and use each day to try to gain more knowledge and skills about the world and people around me. These experiences led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in international business, which in turn led me to my current goal of pursing a career in international law. In fact, I was even selected by the State Department to be a Public Affairs intern at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain, for Spring 2011. I have the sport of gymnastics to thank for offering me the experiences that lead to where I am currently. Without going through the grueling process, of being competitive gymnast, I know my life would be different. In fact, my fear of vault only made me a better person. It taught me the best way to overcome a fear is with proper training, trusting my coaches and running at full speed to successfully take on the obstacles in front of me. Gymnastics was my teacher. It taught me countless skills, pushed me to try new things, and prepared me for the exciting life in international law that lies before me.




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