Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

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

Does the PS cover it?

It's done, crack a beer and drink heavily
1
10%
It's almost there, there are a few small issues, though
3
30%
It sucks,... seriously, it sucks
6
60%
 
Total votes: 10

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby Nailjohnj » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:02 pm

Ok, this was a big rewrite. I brought a little lightness back into it and focused on one aspect instead of trying to spread myself too thin with multiple stories in one PS. Please give me any critiques that you have, I am hoping to submit my apps tonight. I am willing to do a PS swap with anyone who'll give me some strong critiques. Thanks everybody, and Happy Thanksgiving!
____________________________________________________________________________________

I had never seen the inside of a Cessna until the morning of April 10th, 2010, when I crawled into one with a parachute strapped to my back. I was using my 25th birthday as an excuse for taking this adventure that I had been planning for at least four years, but I knew the real reason was that my mother had passed away only five months earlier and I felt like it was time for me to put my plans into action. Making a change is never easy, but almost everyone can look back on their life and find the moments that altered who they were and where they were going. In reality, sometimes it takes a major shock to motivate a person to pursue their dreams again. My life has been punctuated with change; my parents’ divorce, growing up abroad, transferring colleges; but it was my mother’s death and the aftermath that has had the greatest impact on who I have become as a person and why I have decided to pursue a career in law.

On the morning of November 18, 2009, I had to catch an early flight to a training program for a new job that I had recently started. After I checked in for my flight, I decided to give my mother a call in Germany, since we had not spoken in a week or so and it was unusual for us to go this long without talking. We both were dealing with new developments in our lives and I was worried about how she was doing. I had just started my new job, but more importantly, I had recently decided that I wanted to pursue a career in law and was preparing for the February LSAT. As my biggest confidant and supporter, my mother was one of the few people who knew about my dream and was pushing me to make it a reality. She too was dealing with a major change; after living in Germany for almost fourteen years straight, she had finally purchased a home and had moved in only two or three weeks earlier. I knew that the move was wearing on her and I was excited to find out how far she had gotten in unpacking, but her boss answered her phone unexpectedly on the sixth ring and turned my life upside down with a ten minute conversation.

After her memorial service, I accepted the responsibility of executor of her estate, since my older brother lived three time zones away in Portland, Oregon. Realizing that this role afforded me little time to mourn, I quickly began working our lawyer in South Carolina to open the probate proceedings so that I could finalize her affairs in the United States. On top of this obligation, my brother and I took a four day trip to Germany to resolve the real estate situation there, begin repacking the new house, and escort her remains home. With all of this accomplished before the Christmas holiday, I felt that I had successfully discharged my duties as executor and finally allowed myself the time to grieve and reflect. As the calendar changed to a new year, I was consumed by an overwhelming depression that reduced me to a shell of my former self caused me to abandon my plans for law school. In February, however, a new problem suddenly came to the forefront.

Due to the complex relationship between German and American probate codes, my brother and I were still liable for almost $600,000 of debt between real estate and medical bills in Europe. Since our local probate lawyer was ill-prepared to handle this international situation, I took responsibility for solving the problem. I began spending hours after work in the library researching German and American legal code; I worked with German consulates in Portland, Oregon; Atlanta, Georgia; and Greenville, South Carolina; and consulted lawyers in South Carolina; Washington, D.C.; and Frankfurt, Germany. With their help, I was able to uncover a method where we could dispose of the German liabilities without affecting the estate in the United States. As I called my brother to tell him the wonderful news, I felt a rush of excitement and realized that solving this complex international issue had revitalized my desire to pursue a career in law. I registered for the June LSAT soon after.

So, as I sat in the open door of the tiny plane on April 10th, I thought about how much my life had changed over the past five months. I realized that coping with my mother’s death would continue to be difficult, but at least the loss had forced me to move forward with my plans. Instead of spending my life wondering who I might have been if she were still living, I was confident in who I had become in the wake of her death and my new direction. I knew that nothing would stop me from entering law school and spending the rest of my life helping people understand the complex legal system that I had only begun to learn how to navigate. Nothing, that is, except a malfunctioning parachute.
Last edited by Nailjohnj on Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: The FINAL final (hopefully) Draft! PLEASE JUDGE ME

Postby Nailjohnj » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:42 pm

Added a poll to get some responses. Dying for some opinions.

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby Nailjohnj » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:44 pm

Seriously, anyone?

jasonc.
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:22 am

Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby jasonc. » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:51 pm

OMG this is horrible . You sound like a sick human being. I feel that you had too great of a benefit from your mothers death. I suggest a topic change

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby Nailjohnj » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:57 pm

Really? A sick human being? I can't help but feeling a twinge of sarcasm or over exaggeration there...

User avatar
plenipotentiary
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Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby plenipotentiary » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:09 am

Some of your sentences are too long/convoluted. Like this one: "I was using my 25th birthday as an excuse for taking this adventure that I had been planning for at least four years, but I knew the real reason was that my mother had passed away only five months earlier and I felt like it was time for me to put my plans into action." Try to clarify your language. And eliminate any unnecessary details; they're kind of overwhelming.

jasonc.
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:22 am

Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby jasonc. » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:17 am

Nailjohnj wrote:Really? A sick human being? I can't help but feeling a twinge of sarcasm or over exaggeration there...


OK yes. but i have a strong feeling that after reading this a lot of ppl may not have a favorable opinion about you.

zahunter
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:44 pm

Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby zahunter » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:40 am

Yes, the poster two responses ago exaggerated. I see how you're trying to tie in your mothers death postively to your purposeful direction in pursuit of law school and how the researching the code helped you with that.
So, as I sat in the open door of the tiny plane on April 10th, I thought about how much my life had changed over the past five months and how much is will change in the future. I realized that coping with my mother’s death would continue to be difficult, but seeing a more positive side, I saw how it forced me to move ahead with my plans at least the loss had forced me to move forward with my plans. Instead of spending my life wondering who I might have been if she were still living, I was confident in who I had become in the wake of her death and my new direction. I knew that nothing would stop me from entering law school and spending the rest of my life helping people understand the complex legal system that i was so eager to learn how to navigate that I had only begun to learn how to navigate. Nothing, that is, except a malfunctioning parachute.


I'm iffy on the last sentence.
Last edited by zahunter on Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

zahunter
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:44 pm

Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby zahunter » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:43 am


Kaitlyn
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:06 pm

Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby Kaitlyn » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:52 am

One part that confused me: " She too was dealing with a major change; after living in Germany for almost fourteen years straight, she had finally purchased a home and had moved in only two or three weeks earlier."

Didn't she own a home before whilst living in Germany? When I first read that line, I was a little unclear as to why this was a 'major change' and thought for a second that maybe she had moved out of the country. If the only major change was that she was moving into a new house in the same country, I would take out the "after living in Germany" lead because it doesn't concern what follows.

I'm also a little wary of the last sentence. Other than that, great PS; I don't think it comes off unfavorably at all.

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby Nailjohnj » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:28 am

Ok, I know that I am a wordy person, so I need to cut down some of the sentences. And grammar is miserable for me, so I'll get a grammar nazi to go to town on it. So, is it these two things that are holding me back from having a solid PS? Are there more issues?

And what are the thoughts on the last sentence? I like the little extra punch of humor for 2 reasons. 1. I feel like it lightens up a potentially dark topic and 2. I feel like it is a bit of my personality, I like to squeeze humor into just about everything. Thoughts?

ShakinNotStirred
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:47 am

Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby ShakinNotStirred » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:46 am

I really like the last sentence - I would definitely keep it. It adds a touch of humor and gives you a more memorable ending.

Overall I think it is strong, the only part I thought was unnecessary were the following sentences: "Making a change is never easy, but almost everyone can look back on their life and find the moments that altered who they were and where they were going. In reality, sometimes it takes a major shock to motivate a person to pursue their dreams again." It comes across as a little cliche to me; I don't think that you need to make broad generalizations, you do a great job of describing your personal experience and that is what is most important.

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invisiblesun
Posts: 329
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby invisiblesun » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:53 am

JasonC's reaction is overstated, but there is definitely something about this PS that is unlikely to leave a favorable opinion on the reader. You have good material for an "I'm pretty impressive and unique" PS, but when you juxtapose it with your mother's death and spend only one sentence on being depressed it's a very odd mix of information. I also felt like you just wanted to include that you tried skydiving, and that piece of info wasn't really in tune with the rest of the statement. Basically, it's a sandwich made of skydiving bread that includes a death in the family and lots of examples of you taking initiative. Tastes iffy.

It's also pretty wordy.

p.s. how did you find skydiving? i thought it was a blast, i'd love to go again

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: Willing to sell my soul for judgement! PLEASE CRITIQUE ME

Postby Nailjohnj » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:27 am

Well, my goal was to try and not focus on her death or talk more about my depression because it gets really dark, really fast... Christmas last year - Feb. of this year were really bad for me and I feel like fixating on that loses the message of the statement. The last thing I want this PS to say is "Cry for me, my mom died", I don't want to use it in that way at all. I had to talk about her death to be able to talk about handling the estate as executor and the real estate situation. I want it to be about being about taking responsibility and initiative... and honestly, I want to tell why I ultimately decided to go to law school, it was a huge decision in my life during a really shitty time for me. I don't want it to come off as unfavorable, though. Solutions?

Also, I am trying to use the skydive sandwich as a way to try and bring in humor to a dark topic and talk about what it takes to start doing what you actually plan to do. I though that skydiving was completely awesome, and I am thinking about starting the program to get licensed... it just costs a ton of money and I am not sure I will have enough left over after I send out all my apps.




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