help needed, please help. seriously.. .. .. please

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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help needed, please help. seriously.. .. .. please

Postby anthony1104 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:01 am


Dribble. Dribble. I glanced at the scoreboard. Fifteen seconds. I waited patiently. Dribble. Now eight seconds. It was time to make a move. I dribbled impetuously to my favorite spot on the court and pulled for the shot. This was the chance to prove myself; my moment to show the naysayers that even though no one was pulling for my success at the college level, I could rise to the challenge. This was the game winning shot: clunk, back to reality. If the ball had pierced the net, I would have been celebrated for my confident jump-shot, but it did not, and I was criticized for being different from the rest of the team, for being an Asian American.

Indeed, I am not a typical basketball player. I was born in Seoul, Korea, where basketball was only relevant to me by collecting Michael Jordan trading cards. When I was nine our family immigrated to Los Angeles where I was promptly presented with numerous obstacles, with no tools to overcome them. My parents, though well educated, had a tough time securing a job because of their lack of English. Learning English was indeed arduous, but for me, it was more burdensome to deal with others who habitually taunted me for speaking Konglish, a mixture of Korean and English. Not having rice and kimchi at the school cafeteria was also stunning but I did not want to deal with the raised eyebrows for bringing a sacked lunch tailored just for my taste. In the face of obstacles, I withdrew myself from society and became an idle bystander of my life. But my mind-set changed at the age of 11 when I found my vital support – basketball.

Basketball is just a game or a form of entertainment for many people, but basketball became my definitive sanctuary in my uncertain adolescent environment. When my parents were navigating a way to pay for the past due utility bills, I went to the park with my basketball to overcome my initial frustrations. When I was confronted with racial slurs, I put the ball in the hoop to ease my mind. Basketball has been a great equalizer because even though I was the only Asian American player in numerous teams throughout my career, within the team, my ethnicity did not matter. All the players had a different background with a different narrative of their own, but our teamwork and our common goal of winning kept us intact.

No one ever mentioned it openly, but I knew playing basketball was going to be an uphill battle as an Asian-American. Especially in my high school team, I was the target of racial slurs and spiteful insults, all having to do with my Asian ethnicity, but the hoop was colorblind and the ball did not care who was dribbling it. Also, my teammates were extremely supportive, and in the face of cynical spectators, I remained resilient. Rather than resenting the hecklers from the bench, I wanted to prove them wrong, and in the process, I developed the ability to transform their cynicism into a determined drive for success.

In 2007, after relegating to multiple jobs, my parents invested all of their savings to acquire a business, but the acquisition was a mucky fraud. I was faced with an obstacle of almost dropping out of college because of the financial hardships, but I did not allow the circumstances to subdue my dream because basketball has taught me to be unbending in the face of adversity. I worked nearly every day after basketball practice and made numerous calls to the financial aid office at Hampshire College to secure just enough money to pay for my first tuition. As a teenager it was burdensome and discomforting, but I simply regard it as a challenge, one that I had to overcome in order to pursuit a college education.

As an immigrant and as an Asian American, many challenges have presented themselves throughout my life, but fortunately, the lessons I learned through basketball has helped me seize the situation and conquer them through hard work and perseverance. My personal experience as an immigrant has been difficult, but I resent none because the journey was enjoyable. I owe it all to basketball for instilling in me the desire and the passion to succeed, and I am positive these qualities will help me overcome numerous challenges that I will face in the future.

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Re: help needed, please help. seriously.. .. .. please

Postby gin » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:33 pm

I would get rid of the "dribble"s although, in my opinion the intro isn't very effective.
2nd paragraph- "lack of English". I'm pretty sure its wrong but for some reason I can't put my finger on it. I would change it either way because it sounds kind of funny
I'm not too thrilled about the topic, but at the same time I can't say there is anything wrong with it either, hopefully others will know if it's good or not.
What about law school or law?

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Re: help needed, please help. seriously.. .. .. please

Postby sophia.olive » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:39 pm



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Re: help needed, please help. seriously.. .. .. please

Postby antonin » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:45 am

I think there is potential but you focus too much on basketball and you seem repetitive. For example, you mention racism three or four times. Make sure that your sentences do not sound too similar with previous sentences you have used, or that you do not use the same word all over.
If I was you: Drop first paragraph. Maybe start with "I am not a typical basketball player."
"When I was nine our family immigrated to Los Angeles where I was promptly presented with numerous obstacles, with no tools to overcome them"--this sentence is a no no. Too pessimistic, like you are angry and not yet over it. Overcoming is important for the world is not always necessary fair.
Second paragraph: A little similar too previous one, you do not go into much depth, and again you repeat being an Asian American and facing difficulties because of it. I would not go with that.
Third paragraph: it is not that you bring racism, but you bring it with sentences that sound too similar to what you said before. You can say all that in a one sentence on one paragraph: "throughout my life I faced racism, even in moments such as X or Y." You can also write our whole essay on racism but you need to add more insight and movement: you need it to make it linear, starting somewhere and ending somewhere, each step providing more insight and each step exploring the issue a little more. A statement like the ones you use are not good enough.
Again, it seems each paragraph is about racism and basketball, with some samples of poverty, but none of the paragraphs adds something new to what the other paragraphs mention.

On a more comforting note, as I say in the beginning, there is a potential in an essay that can combine basketball, racism, immigration and financial difficulty. But, it has to be subtle, organized and with a well made point, while at the same time showing you as a mature person that has overcome adversity.

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The Gentleman

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Re: help needed, please help. seriously.. .. .. please

Postby The Gentleman » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:21 am

Just a few comments.

- I liked the intro. (minus the excessive dribble dribble) It sets a great scene and flows quite well. You were a college athlete? That should be played up more.
- Honestly, this essay should focus on your dedication to basketball, not on the hardships you encountered as an immigrant. It would be fine to mention how it was difficult to practice/fit in with teammates because of your race, but don't harp on it. I want to hear more about how you became the guy taking the last shot.
- Last paragraph:
anthony1104 wrote: has helped me seize

change "has" to "have"

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