A "Super" Statement?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
sophielia
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:56 pm

A "Super" Statement?

Postby sophielia » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:57 pm

Hi everyone, if you could give me some feedback on my statement that would be wonderful:

Unlike most people who believe that superheroes are bulky men in brightly coloured spandex who should be relegated to the pages of comic book fiction or Hollywood blockbusters, I believe that superheroes are and should be a reality. To me, being a superhero is not about inheriting radioactive powers and a bizarre green skin condition but about using your abilities to their fullest potential to tirelessly defend truth, justice and freedom for those who are less fortunate than you. As small child wearing my Batman pajamas and clutching my well-loved action figures, I watched Spider-man explain that “with great power comes great responsibility” on Saturday morning cartoons. These words shaped my entire life which is why I firmly believe that it is my destiny to don the cape of legal education in order to combat injustices of the world.

Like Superman, I flew around the world and visited strange “alien” places because my family and I travelled extensively around the world from when I was seven to eighteen. At a young age I was exposed to the pinnacles of culture and human achievement such as Michelangelo’s David, lavish London West End musicals and beautiful Paris cafes. At the same time, I discovered the horrible poverty that human beings are forced to live in everyday. In Beijing, where the thick pollution rendered the skyline almost invisible, I saw the home of a well-off family. With three small scarcely furnished rooms, a communal kitchen and shower shared by five other families and a refrigerator which was regarded as a great luxury, I powerfully understood how lucky I was to have grown up in wealth. Moreover, I remember being in Mexico where a small malnourished dirt covered girl my age wearing rags with no shoes begged while I re-entered a cruise ship where I ate the finest cuisine in a gorgeous dining room. Although neither one of my parents graduated from high school, they valued education and chose to travel frequently to teach my brother and I that people around the world are not terrifying demons but hardworking honest people who enjoy friendship and love regardless of their ethnicity or beliefs. As I gazed upon heroin addicts in the street, prostitutes and countless beggars, I realized that the only difference between them and myself was that I was lucky enough to have been born into a great country and great family. As a result, I am committed to legally defending those in need by ensuring equality of opportunity and fair legal representation.

Much like superheroes born without superpowers who fashion themselves into powerful forces, I am an ambitious person who is constantly striving towards personal goals and self-improvement regardless of what obstacles come before me. For years I have trained in karate in order to improve my physical and mental well-being and fulfill my goal of earning my black belt. From the hundreds of knuckle pushups to vomiting and bleeding while training to the perpetual soreness and massive bruising from sparring with men twice my size and being held painful joint locks and chokes, training in my dojo has often been brutal. Despite how grueling training has been, I have always put my maximum effort and will into karate by both pushing and being pushed to the brink of my physical and mental limits. As a martial artist I have developed an ironclad will which I apply to face any challenge head-on regardless of how insurmountable it is and emerge victorious.

In the fall of 2008 to the spring of 2010, many health problems such as an left bicep and shoulder injury caused by weightlifting, persistent colds and low energy levels caused by a vitamin D deficiency. As a result, I spent months in physiotherapy and an over entire year without participating in karate threatening my dream of becoming a black belt. Despite this absence, I returned to training this summer with renewed intensity. I practiced for hours inside and outside of the dojo subsequently almost grading for my next belt and becoming the best martial artist I have ever been. Currently, I am only three belts away from earning my black belt and I intend on continuing with martial arts beyond my black belt. Furthermore, I turned my injury into a positive learning experience because, as a result, I have now become a much stronger and knowledgeable weightlifter than I ever was.
My superhero sized will has always extended into my academic life. For example, in my American history course, after feeling that my grades were not reflective of the quality of my work, I successfully convinced my professor that I deserved higher marks. Despite the increase, I still wanted to better my academic skills. Hence, I met with my professor several times to discuss how . Then, by understanding and overcoming my own weaknesses and diligently studying for the final exam, I received a final grade of 80% despite 60% of my grade consisting of a high seventy.

Superheroes often apply their strong will through their great love and compassion. When I was eleven I found a thin cat with mangey fur and poor back legs starving in my backyard and I took him into home and where he has been deeply loved ever since. I also believe that compassion must be extended to those who are opposed to you and your opinions. For example, while I am a large proponent of the so-called “Ground Zero mosque,” I am currently writing a play focusing on the prospective of a fictionalized right wing 9/11 victim who is vehemently against the project. In my play, the protagonist falls in love with a Muslim woman only to have her brutally murdered by his militarized friend. I chose this topic because I believe that controversial issues must be fairly presented from all perspectives in order for human beings to progress as a society and that existing prejudices must be carefully challenged and explained in order to overcome them.

Ultimately, superheroes are defined by the tangible effects they leave on others. I have helped recent immigrants improve their English and become adjusted to Canadian culture at the Queen’s International Centre. I discussed many topics with them such as public transportation, how to play American football and racism. Since sometimes the immigrants would have difficulty understanding a concept or meaning, I have become adept at carefully communicating my message. Moreover, I performed a benefit concert in Marble Falls, Texas for wounded veterans. This show included an original song “I’m Alive” which details the fictional account of a soldier in Afghanistan who loses both of his legs but still proudly continues to fight and love life. After the show, a brain damaged veteran approached me with tears streaming down his face as he discussed his struggles and how “I’m Alive” had deeply touched him. These experiences have reinforced my desire to continue helping others.

While many people abandon their childhood dreams I believe these aspirations must be cultivated and matured for humans to reach their potential. I am fully believe that it is both my power and responsibility to become a lawyer in order to ensure that others receive justice. I sincerely hope that you will give me this opportunity.

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Tanicius
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Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: A "Super" Statement?

Postby Tanicius » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:42 pm

1.) "Unlike most people" lines aren't impressive to adcomms. Uniqueness of an applicant isn't important - it's what they add. Your statement starts just fine with the "I believe". Also, be careful not to inject any forced novelty into what you're saying. There are probably quite a few readers who will read this opening paragraph and think, "K, not that unlike everyone else after all."

2.) As for the theme itself: It's well integrated, but I worry that it will come off as too self-aggrandizing and naive. Some adcomms may like lines like "don the cape of justice," but most won't. You don't have a superhero sized will.

3.) The karate part is a completely different topic and should probably be the theme for a different version of your PS.
Last edited by Tanicius on Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sophielia
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:56 pm

Re: A "Super" Statement?

Postby sophielia » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:49 pm

^^^ How do you think I could keep the superhero theme without appearing immature?

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Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: A "Super" Statement?

Postby Tanicius » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:53 pm

Well, one strategy is simple humility. Take care to distinguish between the source of inspiration and yourself. Do not portray yourself as being the same as your idols. In other words, don't call your own actions "super" or "heroic." Leave those kinds of determinations up to the mind of the reader if anything. Instead, keep the focus on your attempts to emulate, without ever claiming to have succeeded.




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