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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ryno8cubs5
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Please delete

Postby ryno8cubs5 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:36 am

I am reapplying to some schools and need a new PS. Last year I applied in early April, very late, so it did not go too well. Anyways, this bit me, and I am now working on a new PS. First will be my old one, and the next will be the new. Please, give me any advice on the old and new, as I will take your advice into account on which to use when applying to new schools, and what to change for the new.

Personal Statement 1

Looking into the future is a reality that every college student must face. The future can be a place of hope and inspiration, or anxiousness and fear. Four years of studying, stressing, money crunching and hard work have led to a degree in a chosen field. The future is now something that must be thought about. Some may feel inclined to enter the workforce. Others may think they have to further their education by entering graduate studies. For me though, I am ready to enter the challenging lifestyle of the law school student. Three additional years of more studying than ever before, greater stress, greater money crunching and harder work at school than I have ever faced is more appealing to me than anything has ever been thus far in my life.

My college experience starts similar to most, I would assume, but has not been an easy one. I began at Blue River Community College after declining the opportunity for a scholarship to play baseball. Choosing to give up baseball was not an easy decision, but one I stand by today. I wanted to focus on my studies without the hassle of dealing with a sport on top of my school work. I was forced to stay home for my first two years of college in order to save money as a result. This turned out to be a great choice, Blue River ended up being a great college that forced me to greatly improve my abilities to learn. Despite being a community college, it was anything but easy. The courses I took there prepared me well for these last two years at the University of Central Missouri, and helped me gain good study habits to benefit me in law school.

After leaving Blue River Community College it was now time to begin the next step in my academic journey, transferring to a university. I already knew I wanted to pursue a degree in Psychology, but where was the next issue. I had a friend who attended the University of Central Missouri and was in their Psychology program. She told me that it was a very good program. I researched their program, visited the campus and made my decision to finish out my undergraduate degree there.

I entered the University of Central Missouri in the fall of 2008. This would prove to be one of my most difficult semesters, and start of one of the hardest time of my life. In late April of 2008 my father had just finished a round of chemotherapy after having some cancer removed. He was declared cancer free soon after, but they made a mistake. In early November of that year he went in for a check up where they found a fast spreading cancer in his liver and spinal cord. They gave him six months to live. The first time he had gotten cancer it was anal cancer that could be easily removed, but this was not the case. I was devastated when I got the news. Despite the grim prognosis my father remained optimistic with full intentions of fighting the cancer, beating it even. His optimism was an inspiration, but the cancer was just too severe. He died on May, 31 2009 after fighting the cancer as hard as he could.

Through this experience it has made me realize a lot of things in my life, one being how important my plans for the future are. It has also made me realize how hard you need to work to get what you want in life. One of the last things my dad said to me was if I wanted to get what I wanted in life I would have to put in the work. These words have stuck with me in everything I do, including school, and will drive me to excel in law school, and as a lawyer.


New (started) Personal Statement

It is an early Sunday morning in December. The crisp winter air chills my face as I open my front door to join my father in his car to go to church. This is a familiar ritual, as this is part of the custody agreement decided on by my parents. Being born an only child brings many advantages in life, but being born an only child to a broken home can have its problems. Split Christmases, arguing parents, joint custody, and all these things join together to bring challenges to the life of an only child. My parents were never married. My father cheated on my mother before I was born, marrying the woman who he cheated on her with less than a month after my birth. This always created a sense of hostility between the two places I grew up.

Living a split life between two homes becomes second nature to a child who knows only that. My parents did their best to give me a good life, full of love and happiness. My father was a millwright for General Motors Company, and my mother was a nurse. They both made a respectable living and were both able to provide for me very well. My stepmother never allowed me to have a bedroom at my father’s house, so it never quite seemed like home, but a bedroom is not a necessity for every other weekend.

My childhood was filled with baseball and school. My mother never missed a single baseball game, my father rarely made it to one. He was always busy with work, or had something to do. The hostility from my parents’ past seemed to force them to be unable to be in the same location as each other. My mother made it to all my games, but was busy with work most of the week, and was gone a good majority of the time trying to date and be a single mother. Both parents attempted to make up for their flaws with providing me with gifts, spoiling me you could say. It was out of this spoiling that my first notions of becoming a lawyer came. Unlike most spoiled children, when I did not get my way I did not throw a temper tantrum, I simply calmly explained why having whatever I wanted would benefit me and my mother. The first time she told me I should be a lawyer was when I was seven and wanted a set of legos. She told me I already had too many, to which I told her that if she got me these legos I would be occupied for hours by building the set and she would have time to clean the house. (This paragraph needs work, and a good ending and transition)

(Enter bridging gap to this paragraph. Should a completely change these? I felt these were pretty pivotal paragraphs that could be kept the same in my PS)

I entered the University of Central Missouri in the fall of 2008. This would prove to be one of my most difficult semesters, and start of one of the hardest time of my life. In late April of 2008 my father had just finished a round of chemotherapy after having some cancer removed. He was declared cancer free soon after, but they made a mistake. In early November of that year he went in for a check up where they found a fast spreading cancer in his liver and spinal cord. They gave him six months to live. The first time he had gotten cancer it was anal cancer that could be easily removed, but this was not the case. I was devastated when I got the news. Despite the grim prognosis my father remained optimistic with full intentions of fighting the cancer, beating it even. His optimism was an inspiration, but the cancer was just too severe. He died on May, 31 2009 after fighting the cancer as hard as he could.

Through this experience it has made me realize a lot of things in my life, one being how important my plans for the future are. It has also made me realize how hard you need to work to get what you want in life. One of the last things my dad said to me was if I wanted to get what I wanted in life I would have to put in the work. These words have stuck with me in everything I do, including school, and will drive me to excel in law school, and as a lawyer.
Last edited by ryno8cubs5 on Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Please help me make this better

Postby CGI Fridays » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:31 am

If you pick one & make it sound like it's a legit draft, re-post & I'll do a full line-edit.

ryno8cubs5
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:24 am

Re: Please help me make this better

Postby ryno8cubs5 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:22 pm

Here is what I have. This is a first draft, so any advice you will give will be taken and changes will definitely be made.

Keep in mind that I will be applying to schools like UMKC, KU, and MU when I start to apply. Not top tier schools by any means. I want my PS to be as good as it can be, so give me any critique you want. This is just a first draft, like I said.



Personal Statement

The count was three balls and two strikes as I stepped out of the batters box to survey the situation. As I look down the third base line to take the sign from my couch I turned quickly to check the stands for one spectator I hoped would be in attendance. It is senior night for our baseball team, and I was looking for my father. This is a familiar ritual, his presence at my games were few and far in between. Being born an only child brings many advantages in life, but being born an only child to a broken home can have its problems. My parents were never married. My father cheated on my mother before I was born, marrying the woman who he cheated on her with less than a month after my birth. This always created a sense of hostility between the two places I grew up.

My childhood was filled with baseball and school. My mother never missed a baseball game, my father rarely made it to one. He was always busy with work, or had something to do. The hostility from my parents’ past seemed to force them to be unable to be in the same location as each other. My mother made it to all my games, but was busy with work most of the week, and was gone a good majority of the time trying to date and be a single mother. My mother attempted to make up her flaws by providing me with gifts, spoiling me you could say. It was out of this spoiling that my first notions of becoming a lawyer came. Unlike most spoiled children, when I did not get my way I did not throw a temper tantrum, I argued reasons why it would be beneficial for me to get the item I wanted. The first time I heard I would make a good lawyer was when I was seven years old and my mother did not want to get me a Lego set. I explained that if she got me the Lego set I would be occupied for hours, giving her time to clean the house and relax that night. She told me I would make an excellent lawyer and put the set in our cart.

Choosing to give up baseball was not an easy decision, but one I stand by today. This was one of the first of many challenging decisions that faced me in my undergraduate career. I began at Blue River Community College after declining the opportunity for a scholarship to play baseball. I wanted to focus on my studies without the hassle of dealing with a sport on top of my school work. Both my parents agreed on something when this happened, that I should continue to play baseball. Baseball had no place in my life anymore, I was interested in devoting myself to school, taking all the dedication I showed to the sport for 14 years and applying to school. One thing that baseball provided me with was the basis for hard work. I have kept this with me throughout my academic studies.

I entered the University of Central Missouri in the fall of 2008. This would prove to be one of my most difficult semesters, and start of one of the hardest time of my life. In late April of 2008 my father had just finished a round of chemotherapy after having some cancer removed. He was declared cancer free soon after, but they made a mistake. In early November of that year he went in for a check up where they found a fast spreading cancer in his liver and spinal cord. They gave him six months to live. The first time he had gotten cancer it was rectal cancer that could be easily removed, but this was not the case. I was devastated when I got the news. Despite the grim prognosis my father remained optimistic with full intentions of fighting the cancer, beating it even. His optimism was an inspiration, but the cancer was just too severe. He died on May, 31 2009 after fighting the cancer as hard as he could.

Through this experience it has made me realize a lot of things in my life, one being how important my plans for the future are. It has also made me realize how hard you need to work to get what you want in life. One of the last things my dad said to me was if I wanted to get what I wanted in life I would have to put in the work. These words have stuck with me in everything I do, including school, and will drive me to excel in law school, and as a lawyer.

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Please help me make this better

Postby CGI Fridays » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:03 pm

Don't mix tenses. If you wanna do the "this is happening now" style, do it all the way. Otherwise stick to past tense.

You need an apostrophe in "batter's box".

I didn't get past the first couple sentences due to the tense flopping. Fix that, proofread for grammar & re-post.

ryno8cubs5
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:24 am

Re: Please help me make this better

Postby ryno8cubs5 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:09 pm

I like you already, this is the type of strict help I need. I will go over it further tonight. I typed that and posted it today in hopes that someone would see something that could change.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Please help me make this better

Postby philosoraptor » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:21 pm

No adcomm wants to read about how your mom thought you'd be a good lawyer because you talked her into giving you stuff. Take all that out.

ryno8cubs5
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:24 am

Re: Please help me make this better

Postby ryno8cubs5 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:30 pm

I was hesitant to add that, I just wanted a transition from the background to the education. It was an easy way to try and get there, but now that you say it like that, I do see what you mean.

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Please help me make this better

Postby CGI Fridays » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:30 pm

philosoraptor wrote:No adcomm wants to read about how your mom thought you'd be a good lawyer because you talked her into giving you stuff. Take all that out.

:shock:
Yeah I second this without having read it.

ryno8cubs5
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:24 am

Re: Please help me make this better

Postby ryno8cubs5 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:43 pm

Okay, I changed almost everything. No mother mentioned lol. I looked it over and think it is pretty grammatically sound. Any help is appreciated from anyone. This took me only an hour, so it is not perfect by any means, I just want to know if it is looking promising. I feel a lot better about it compared to the others, it has one unified theme, not a few different ones.


Personal Statement
The night was May 30th, 2009. I sat in a dimly lit, well decorated room that had few members of my immediate family all collected. Lying in front of me was a shell of a man that I had respected my entire life, my father. Cancer can turn your entire world upside down in an instant, changing your life forever. As I sat in the Kansas City Hospice House I read a pamphlet handed to me as I walked in the door 3 days prior. “Safe Passage” it said on the front, a pamphlet on the signs and symptoms of death. A loud rattling noise was the only noise my father could manage to make, the fourth symptom in the pamphlet.

Rewind six months earlier, it is Thanksgiving night and we all resemble a normal family gathered to celebrate the familiar holiday in America. My father sat on the couch making inappropriate jokes, as he always did. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I still wonder how he acted so normal, when he knew that nothing was going to be fine. As we left that night he chose to wait to tell us the news, so he did not ruin our Thanksgiving. He was always more concerned with his family than himself, even in a time of great personal tragedy. As I left that night he gave me a hug, looked me in the eye, gave me his signature wink, and said, “Bye bud.”

I entered the University of Central Missouri in the fall of 2008. This would prove to be one of my most difficult semesters, and start of one of the hardest time of my life. In late April of 2008 my father had just finished a round of chemotherapy after having some cancer removed. He was declared cancer free soon after, but they made a mistake. In early November of that year he went in for a check up where they found a fast spreading cancer in his liver and spinal cord. They gave him six months to live. The first time he had gotten cancer it was rectal cancer that could be easily removed, but this was not the case. I was devastated when I got the news. Despite the grim prognosis my father remained optimistic with full intentions of fighting the cancer, beating it even.

Returning back to the night of May 30th, 2009 and we were assembling our cots to spend another night at the Hospice House with my father, uncertain whether it would be our last. The rattling noise coming from his throat was permeating in my ears; it seemed louder with each breath. Earlier that day I decided to run home to take a shower. As I left I said goodbye to my father and grabbed his hand. His eyes popped open; he looked at me, winked and muttered a mumbled, “Bye bud.” It was amazing to me that when he seemed so gone he could come back for an instant, revealing that he was still in there, no matter how small a piece of him may have still remained.
My father died at 2:02 A.M. on May 31st, 2009. I will never forget the date. We were all trying to sleep, but it was hard to sleep at a time like that. Suddenly the loud rattling noise coming from the recesses of my father’s throat stopped, we all instantly knew what that meant. We sat around in uncertainty on what to do; they do not portray the confusion that comes with death in the movies. The fact that he had just died was surreal, hard to realize since the cancer had taken him away from us weeks before.

In his death I found new strength to better myself, always trying to be a man that I thought he would be proud of. The following year I was able to return to the Dean’s list. My new mentality was that if he was not going to be able to see me become the man I turned out to be in person, I would be a man that he would be proud of, keeping him with my in thought every step of the way. The death of my father transformed me from a hard working student to the hardest working student I can be. My new feeling was that I must give my all to succeed. The tragedy of my father dying can never be taken away, but I felt I could be comforted by the idea of how proud he would be of me as I graduate from law school.

Through this experience it has made me realize a lot of things in my life, one being how important my plans for the future are. It has also made me realize how hard you need to work to get what you want in life. One of the last things my father said to me was, “If you want to get what you want in life, you have to put in the work.” These words have stuck with me in everything I do, including school, and will drive me to excel in law school, and as a lawyer.

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Please help me make this better

Postby CGI Fridays » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:03 pm

The night was On May 30th, 2009 ((lose period for a comma)) I sat in a dimly lit, well decorated room that had few members of my with a few members of immediate family all collected. Lying in front of before me was a the shell of a man that I had respected my entire life, my father. Cancer can turn your entire world upside down in an instant, changing your life forever. As I sat in the Kansas City Hospice House I read a pamphlet that was handed to me 3 days prior as when I walked in the door 3 days prior. “Safe Passage” it said on the front, a pamphlet on the signs and symptoms of death. ((the second half of this sentence doesn't follow properly from the first half. Your meaning is clear, but you need to restructure this so it's grammatically sound)) A loud rattling noise was the only noise my father could manage to make at this point, the fourth symptom in the pamphlet.

Rewindsix months earlier, it is ((re-work this sentence to the past tense, as your following sentences are in past tense)) Thanksgiving night and we all resemble a normal family gathered to celebrate the familiar holiday in America. My father sat on the couch making inappropriate jokes, as he always did. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I still wonder how he acted so normal, when he knew knowing that nothing was going to be fine. As we left that night he chose to wait to tell us the news, so he did not ruin our Thanksgiving. He was always more concerned with his family than himself, even in a time of great personal tragedy. As I left that night he gave me a hug, looked me in the eye, gave me his signature wink, and said, “Bye bud.”

I entered the University of Central Missouri in the fall of 2008. This would prove to be one of my most difficult semesters, and the start of one of the hardest timeS of my life. In late April of 2008 my father had just finished a round of chemotherapy after having some cancer removed. He was declared cancer-free soon after, but they made a mistake inaccurately. In early November of that year he went in for a checkup where they found a fastspreading cancer in his liver and spinal cord. They gave him six months to live. The first time he had gotten cancer it was rectal cancer that could be easily removed, but this was not the case ((I know what you're trying to say, but in this structure, "THIS was not the case" means that "the first time he got cancer it was rectal cancer that could be easily removed was not the case"... but that doesn't make sense. Gotta re-word it with your subject being the current cancer)). I was devastated when I got the news. Despite the grim prognosis my father remained optimistic with full intentions of fighting the cancer, beating it even.

Returning back to the night of May 30th, 2009 ((comma)) and we were assembling our cots to spend another night at the Hospice House with my father, uncertain whether it would be our last. The rattling noise coming from his throat was permeating in my ears ((this is a somewhat odd usage of permeated; it is generally used when the area permeated is much broader than ears. Also, the wording around it is awkward, as if you really mean "ringing" or something)) ; it seemed louder with each breath. Earlier that day I decided to run home to take a shower. As I left I said goodbye to my father and grabbed his hand. His eyes popped open; he looked at me, winked and muttered a mumbled, “Bye bud.” It was amazing to me that when he seemed so gone he could come back for an instant, revealing that he was still in there, no matter how small a piece of him may have still remained.
My father died at 2:02 A.M. on May 31st, 2009. I will never forget the date. We were all trying to sleep, but it was hard to sleep at difficult a time like that. Suddenly the loud rattling noise coming from the recesses of my father’s throat stopped, and we all instantly knew what that meant ((consider breaking this last sentence into two for effect)) . We sat around in uncertainty on what to do (you can word this better. For starters I suggest replacing "uncertain" with "unsure" or "not knowing", as you've already used "uncertain")) ; they do not portray the confusion that comes with death in the movies. The fact that he had just died was surreal, hard to realize acknowledge since the cancer had taken him away from us weeks before.

In his death I found new strength to better myself, always trying to be a man that I thought he would be proud of. The following year I was able to returned to the Dean’s list. My new mentality was that if he was not going to be able to see me become the man I turned out to be in person, I would be a man that he would be proud of ((you just said this twice. Pick one & cut out the other)), keeping him with my in thought every step of the way. The death of my father transformed me from a hard-working student to the hardest-working student I can be. My new feeling was that I must give my all to succeed. The tragedy of my father dying can never be taken away, but I felt I could be comforted by the idea of how proud he would be of me as I graduate from law school.

Through this experience it has made me ((either pick "this experience has made me" or "through this experience I have" & then switch "realize" to "realized"))realize a lot of things in my life, one being how important my plans for the future are. It has also made me realize how hard you need to work to get what you want in life. One of the last things my father said to me was, “If you want to get what you want in life, you have to put in the work.” These words have stuck with me in everything I do, including school, ((maybe start a new sentence here)) and will drive me to excel in law school, and as a lawyer.

ryno8cubs5
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:24 am

Re: Please help me make this better

Postby ryno8cubs5 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:38 pm

You might be the greatest person I have ever met. Thank you so much for the help. I will add the revisions you suggested and see if I can make this as good as it can be. Thanks again!




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