PS Second Draft - new topic, criticism & opinions pls!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
thementor31337
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:35 pm

PS Second Draft - new topic, criticism & opinions pls!

Postby thementor31337 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:22 pm

After the somewhat low amount of feedback I received on my last PS topic/draft, I decided to scrap it and start over. I'm still highlighting my military experience, but in a different way that I think shows more of what I learned and how it has helped me. It is a little on the long side, but the main school to which I'll be applying has no length min/max. Please read and criticize. Thanks in advance!

“I guess there’s no turning back now” I said to the girl occupying the seat next to me on a bus driving towards the most difficult set of challenges I would face in my twenty four years of life. It was the middle of the night, although I didn’t know exactly what time and I had already been awake for over twenty-four hours. I tried to join my peers in relishing the last few minutes of peacefulness, but I was unable to close my eyes. My mind was teeming with thoughts of “What have you done?” and “This was the worst decision I have ever made.” As the bus came to a stop, I took a deep breath and braced for impact. “Get off my bus and get on my yellow footprints!” screamed a United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant adorned in his khaki and green service uniform with the renowned “Smokey Bear” drill instructor cover. Petrified, I ran off the bus and stood in the first set of yellow footprints I could find, which just happened to be directly in front of the drill instructor. As he bellowed different commands, I was definitely questioning my decision making skills, however, there was no turning back now. The drill instructor made the following statement as he led me into a building I would only enter once, “You are now aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island South Carolina, and you have just taken the first step toward becoming a member of the world’s finest fighting force, the United States Marine Corps.”

Marine Corps recruit training was non-stop from the second I stepped onto those yellow footprints. Every minute of every day was scheduled and the extreme structure of the military environment was not something that I was used to as a twenty-four year old previously living on my own and maintaining adult responsibilities. However, I was surprised at how quickly I was able to adapt to this new lifestyle and accept the authority of the drill instructors. During the first phase of training I learned basic first aid, martial arts, and Marine Corps customs and courtesies. I was now able to save a life as well as take a life if necessary. The first phase of training is the most intense as I was presented with physical and mental challenges that I had never before been exposed to. Self-doubt often lingered in the back of my mind, and came to the forefront every time I was screamed at or received “incentive training” by my drill instructor for the smallest infraction. Over time I developed the skills to resist the mental badgering that was nearly constant during the first phase, and perform correctly under pressure despite what might be occurring around me.

The second and third phases of training are to build the skills of not only leading, but following. My drill instructors often stressed that you cannot be an effective leader if you are not an effective follower. I was disciplined, more so than I had been my entire life, and I was able to follow orders without question and carryout those orders with precision. When given the chance to lead in a combat exercise or during a squad activity, I jumped at the chance, even if a failure or mistake on my part led to extra “incentive training.” I also developed the skill of following, and this was more of a challenge to me than leading. The ability to set aside your own opinions and follow the person appointed to lead was a difficult one to learn, but soon enough, I mastered that as well. I learned how to accept orders and direction from those that were younger than me, which I had struggled with in the first phase of training. The second and third phases of training built my confidence to a level I had never enjoyed in my life before. I felt like I could master any task, simple or complex, and lead others through the task to success. The ability to adapt and overcome, hallmarks of the Marine Corps ethos, was an ability that I gained during recruit training.

On training day sixty-nine, one day prior to graduation, I saw my family for the first time in nearly three months. It was a surreal experience. After spending the three months nearly in isolation, it almost seemed as if my family was not real, and this day was not actually here. I as received my Eagle, Globe, and Anchor pin from one of my drill instructors, I saw my family members sitting in the bleachers taking pictures and tears began streaming down my face automatically, yet I remained at the position of attention with a stone cold look on my face. At the end of the ceremony, I was dismissed and was allowed to spend the next four hours with my family touring the small installation. My family was amazed at the person standing there before them. I was in top physical condition and mentally stronger than I had ever been in my life. The new skills I had gained while undergoing recruit training became immediately obvious to my family in that short afternoon we shared. I had reached training day seventy, the last day of recruit training. As I prepared my uniforms for the graduation ceremony, I could not believe that this day was finally here. I would walk away from the graduation as a United States Marine and I had endured the toughest entry level military training in the country.

Completing recruit training was the most difficult challenge I have ever faced in my life, yet I was able to adapt and overcome. I feel as if I can adapt to any situation or challenge and overcome it, and be successful. The confidence and leadership abilities that I gained while undergoing recruit training have contributed to my continued success in the military as well as in my personal life. I have excelled in undergraduate as well as military academics and leadership. It all started with earning the title United States Marine, and has enabled me to earn other titles such as Valedictorian and Non-Commissioned Officer.

As I prepare to embark on the next chapter of my academic life, the principles I learned in the Marine Corps will help me succeed in law school as they have helped me succeed in undergraduate studies. The leadership ability and confidence that I have gained as a result of Marine Corps training has helped shape a new outlook on life, and outlook that allows me to overcome any challenging situation presented to me and succeed. Almost four years ago, I stepped on the yellow footprints of Parris Island, South Carolina ready to become a member of the world’s finest fighting force, and now I am ready to step on the yellow footprints of XXX law school.

User avatar
thementor31337
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:35 pm

Re: PS Second Draft - new topic, criticism & opinions pls!

Postby thementor31337 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:08 am

Bump. All those views and not one comment?

User avatar
eliekedourie
Posts: 216
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:27 pm

Re: PS Second Draft - new topic, criticism & opinions pls!

Postby eliekedourie » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:20 pm

Maybe others felt the way I did and could not get through the whole thing.
1) Way too long. Cut the whole 1st paragraph, which is superfluous.
2) If I just wanted to read about boot camp I would. Make it more personal and relate it to academia. If I survived on a desert island for a few months, I could write about how scrappy and determined I am, but I wouldn't necessarily be able to explain how that qualifies me for law school.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.