Thanks for all of the tips and constructive criticism. I have made some changes with all of the advice. Please take a look and let me know how it comes off. I tried to clear up the transition to the 3rd paragraph. Is it too broad of a range, or does it need to focus more on one specific event?
I love statistics, particularly baseball statistics. In what other application can a success rate of less than forty percent be considered an overwhelming achievement? As a young child, I would spend hours poring over my favorite players stats until I had committed them to memory. However, as much as I enjoyed statistics, I was also consumed with the notion of becoming one. Growing up in a small southern town, the options were very limited to those without family resources. Unfortunately, I fell into that category. Moreover, I was one of the few children in my neighborhood that did not have what was considered to be a “nuclear family”. My biological father left my mother when I was born, claiming that a family did not fit into his future plans. I believe it would have been rather easy, and honestly predictable, for someone of my upbringing to simply accept the inevitable and move on, never reaching past what was expected. However, I made a promise to myself long ago to constantly be aware of the implications of letting those types of negative thoughts determine my path in life.
I attribute much of the success I have had up to this point in my life to a determination to rise above my circumstances. For the majority of my youth, I used academia as an escape from the reality of a revolving door of physically and mentally abusive stepfathers. Often times, I would shut myself off to the plethora of screaming and fighting, an all too common occurrence in my home, by escaping into the worlds of literature, science and mathematics. I knew that knowledge could be my great equalizer in the uphill battle to remove myself from the unhealthy lifestyle I had been subjected to. I quickly found that I fed off of academic success, relishing in the accomplishments that neither money nor privilege could buy. My newfound release would also serve as my means of evading the constraints of my life. I knew that failure was always lurking around, looking for someone like me to attach to; consequently, my drive only intensified as I progressed through the years. In high school, I maintained a 4.0 GPA while working full time to help support my newly single mother. This sacrifice, although it came with a price, was one of the greatest gifts I have ever had the pleasure of giving. The rigors of getting off of work at 10 p.m. and studying until 2 a.m. paled in comparison to the assurance that I would not be coming home to a mother that had been on the wrong end of a drunken rage.
After high school, I initially went to college until my mother’s ongoing battle with cancer called me home. Fortunately she was able to recover and today is cancer free. During that time, I found a well paying job and met a wonderful woman who would later do the honor of becoming my wife. Nevertheless, I knew there was something missing. After the birth of our second son, my wife and I sat down and reevaluated our life and the direction we were going in. Although we had created a comfortable life for ourselves, neither of us felt like we were fulfilling our purpose. We had become complacent, all too comfortable within the confines of our own security, without taking into account what we really wanted to accomplish. Immediately, she and I recognized the need to continue our education. She left her job and began pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a registered nurse. I, in turn, diligently began work to complete my bachelor’s degree. Somehow, we found a way to make it work. I once again found myself studying until 2 a.m., but the benefits always outweighed the negatives. When I stand before the crowd in May and hear my name called for graduating Summa Cum Laude, the smiling face of my mother will surely resonate deeply within that moment. She, more than anyone, has shared in the personal tragedies and disappointments that plagued both of us for far too long.
As I embark on the next chapter in my life, I reflect on the circumstances that have led me to this point and have made me the man that I am today. I am exited and enamored with the prospect of fulfilling my dream of practicing law. I will bring a unique and mature perspective to The University of XXXXXXX. My personal and professional goals, shapes by my values and ethics, will help me stand apart and succeed. I genuinely believe that I have the drive to withstand the rigors of law school and promote the practice of law in a manner consistent with the high standards set forth by The University of XXXXXXX. I still love statistics. In fact, I have found great pleasure in helping my eldest son begin to compile his collection of baseball cards and watch his unbridled passion for the hobby. However, I no longer fear of becoming a statistic, I actually look forward to it. The only difference is that now I will be on the positive end of those numbers. It’s time to step up to the plate.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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