Solitary Confinement - 3rd (and final?) Draft - Comments Pls

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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speedyj88
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Solitary Confinement - 3rd (and final?) Draft - Comments Pls

Postby speedyj88 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:17 pm

It's getting later than I had initially anticipated submitting my applications so I hope this draft is finally worthy of submitting. I've read it so many times I practically have it memorized so I'm not sure if any of the sentences are wordy or awkward.

Stats: 3.52/170, applying all over the T20

Thanks in advance for your help.

Last edited by speedyj88 on Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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speedyj88
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Re: Solitary Confinement - 3rd (and final?) Draft - Comments Pls

Postby speedyj88 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:30 pm

I'd love a little feedback here, guys! I'll take a read of your PS if you want that as well.

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speedyj88
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Re: Solitary Confinement - 3rd (and final?) Draft - Comments Pls

Postby speedyj88 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:34 pm

I hate to keep echoing myself but I definitely know that my statement isn't perfect so someone PLEASE tell me that something is wrong with it, :lol:.

albanach
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Re: Solitary Confinement - 3rd (and final?) Draft - Comments Pls

Postby albanach » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:44 pm

I like it, but if I were pressed to suggest an improvement I'd say you focus too much on the cancer and not in how it has changed you.

Could you make the final bit about your involvement in life on campus longer. Give some concrete examples of things you did that you feel the pre-cancer you would not. Ideally things that have made you a better candidate for law school.

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: Solitary Confinement - 3rd (and final?) Draft - Comments Pls

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:03 pm

Okay so I made up a bunch of little details. I'm just trying to give you an idea.
You could benefit from explaining why law school in particular, like are you interested in medical law? IDK you could even just say you're interested in something even if you're not quite sure what...

HTH

speedyj88 wrote:It's getting later than I had initially anticipated submitting my applications so I hope this draft is finally worthy of submitting. I've read it so many times I practically have it memorized so I'm not sure if any of the sentences are wordy or awkward.

Stats: 3.52/170, applying all over the T20

Thanks in advance for your help.

I woke up from my surprisingly light sleep and prayed, before opening my eyes, that I would find myself anywhere but again in solitary confinement. I begrudgingly sat up in bed and looked around to discover the same four sterile looking walls that had contained me for the previous four days. For four days, I was not allowed to leave my room, I had no human contact, and my only glimpse of the world outside my 6x9, plaster white room was the tiny black television hanging from the peeling ceiling. Everyday was occupied by monotonous routine. I would wake up, brush my teeth, and wait patiently for the knock at my door indicating the delivery of my one meal for the day. The rest of my day was spent simply sitting in bed flipping through inane day-time television, and hoping that another I-Dream-of-Jeanie marathon was on.
Today though, was the end. Today, I was to be released, allowed to return to my normal life, the only thing different a hospital bracelet and a new brand to career around: cancer survivor.

After a marathon four months of lab results, ultrasound scans, blood tests, consultations, and invasive surgery, today was my last day of radition therapy; as such, it was my last day of isolation. I didn’t know it at the beginning of my fight with cancer, but my journey to recovery would be more than one of physical transformation; beating cancer required a significant mental and personal transformation as well.

During my first college semester, I was a seventeen year old with a naïve outlook on life. A mere four months later, I couldn't even recognize myself.

A few months earlier, on what was an otherwise ordinary school night, my father called me, saying, “_____, we need to talk.” I groaned silently and wondered what my parents could possibly need to talk to me about. I debated the possible scenarios and prepared explanations as I made my way downstairs. I flopped carelessly onto our couch and worked a crooked smile on my face as I asked, “Yes, Dad, what did you want to talk to me about?”

After easing me into the situation, he laid down the bad news, “your biopsy results came back positive. The doctors diagnosed you with thyroid cancer.” At that moment, I felt helpless and desperately out of control. In the coming days, I struggled to come to grips with the hardship I had to face. Fortunately, my tendency to maintain a positive attitude, even through adversity, allowed me to view this as an opportunity to test my mental and physical endurance. It was a learning process, I told myself; a way to find out how much I could stand. And if I prevailed, any future roadblock would always pale in comparison to this. I would always know that after cancer, nothing could truly be in my way.

The following months were a whirlwind of trying to balance all the doctor’s visits and my new college workload. I fought desperately against the demands of my treatment, sometimes missing weeks of class at a time, in order to continue performing in school to the best of my abilties. I reminded myself again that this was just a test. I had to win. I managed to focus complete on my work, ignoring all outside temptations, like time with my friends or opportunities to relax.

Later, my time alone in isolation allowed me to reflect back upon my experiences and decide what this success really meant for my future. A future that I had fought so hard to keep. Fighting cancer had demonstrated to me the fleeting nature of life, and how precious every moment was. It is for this reason that I made the conscious decision to become as involved in my education as possible, throwing myself into a multitude of organizations on campus that I felt any passion for. I became involved in greek life on campus, joined a pre-law honors society, competed for the Marshall School of Business case team in New Zealand, and wrote a by-invitation-only honors thesis, savoring every moment of each challenge and pushing myself to further success.

Through my fight with cancer, while being in college, I have learned to endure and make sacrifices while working towards an end goal, all the while convinced that every goal I have in mind is achievable after the my triumph over cancer. It is this very commitment that I hope to bring to my legal education. I know I will enjoy accepting the challenge of law school, and thrive as I battle every new obstacle to a success I am already dedicated to achieving. I am a survivor, and I have defeated the threat of death itself; what else could stand in my way?

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Excellence = a Habit
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Re: Solitary Confinement - 3rd (and final?) Draft - Comments Pls

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:19 pm

Hey speedy, thanks for the PM. I'm flattered that you remembered my earlier read.

So, yeah, I'm digging this. The chronological flow works a lot better. It is more clear that you're contrasting your earlier, less mature self with your determined self. And it really comes through that you put in a lot of effort to overcome your illness without failing out of college. That is well done.

One large point and a couple of small ones: on the point about developing maturity, it could be a little stronger - without too much change, I think. The fact that you were groaning about your parents' trying to talk to you still comes off as a little surprising and it's not entirely clear that it's connected to the immaturity point. I think you could address this by adding a single sentence after "Yes, Dad, what did you want to talk to me about?" that says something to the effect of, "as a teenager, my attitude toward my parents hadn't yet evolved beyond the perception that they were older and more boring." (Only, replace "older and more boring" with something better and more applicable.)

In terms of little word-choice and sentence-structure stuff, I suggest considering the following;

- Take out "After easing me into the situation, he laid down the bad news." It detracts from the drama of the next line.

- I would take out "bedgrudging" in the second sentence. It sets a negative tone for your attitude in the first paragraph, when you are describing yourself post-transformation.

- Could you read in solitary confinement, if you had wanted to? If so, it might be better to suggest you'd been doing something like that, rather than watching tv.

- You should remove the comma after "after which" in the first sentence of the second paragraph.

- In the second sentence, instead of "it incorporated a significant mental and personal transformation as well," how about something more striking, like "it also would alter me foever in ways I never could have imagined" (or something less hokey).

- "life threatening" should get a hyphen

- Instead of saying "to be involved in as many university programs as possible, " I would say something like, "to make the highest use of the opportunities available at my university." Putting the emphasis on the number of programs rather than on the right programs for you sounds a little petty.

However, I want to stress that most of these things are just icing on the cake... this is a good essay and you should get it out the door!! Good luck.

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speedyj88
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Re: Solitary Confinement - 3rd (and final?) Draft - Comments Pls

Postby speedyj88 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:19 pm

Thanks so much for the feedback, guys! I really appreciate it. I'll work some of your comments into my statement and potentially post up a final copy.

eve2490
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Re: Solitary Confinement - 3rd (and final?) Draft - Comments Pls

Postby eve2490 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:03 pm

First of all, just wanted to say your strength and resilience is admirable so kudos to you! Just from a flow/grammar standpoint in the first paragraph, to me, some of the sentences seems to be inappropriately long and it would flow/transition better if some of your commas became periods and started new sentences. Possibly including a sentence or 2 as to why your experiences have brought you to law would certainly strengthen this piece and make it more integrated. You were diagnosed with something life threatening, you endured the battles that a disease threw at you, and it put your values and goals in perspective. You are ready to enter this new journey in your life and your experiences have matured you in various ways. You've made sacrifices and tradeoffs which proved successful in the end. That's what I get out of your PS. I agree with many of Excellence = a Habit's comments on structure. You could do a little more showing and less telling because we all find it self evident that you have went through great struggles but it'd be more worthwhile to show us the things you've done that make your fight an uplifting one. ok, no more rambling from me.

gummy19vp
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Re: Solitary Confinement - 3rd (and final?) Draft - Comments Pls

Postby gummy19vp » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:28 pm

Nice work makes mine seem very pedestrian by comparison anyway the only thing I had an issue with was one of your closing sentences something about your surgically enhanced body just sounded a little cheesy and a little out of tone with the rest of your essay




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