Round Two

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ZSR10
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:59 pm

Round Two

Postby ZSR10 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:41 am

Ok so after the last post I took some advice given and completely retooled my personal statement and this is the result. Again please rip it apart. I am not looking so much for grammar editing as content editing, I have a friend who is an english major that is editing for grammar right now. I am also aware that at exactly three pages it is a bit long for some schools but I have also edited it into a two page statement for those schools. Thanks for the help.

The heart rate monitor continued to issue its mind numbing tone as the blood pressure cuff once again tightened on my arm. My mother sat in the corner, solemnly looking at the paintings on the wall, eyes bloodshot and puffy. My stepfather looked at me and asked, “So what happens if this isn’t over?” I looked at him, smiled as much as was possibly with the pain, swelling, and medical appliances adorning my face. “I’ll figure it out and keep going, this is nothing but a bump in the road.” Had I known at the time that the bump in the road would turn into the greatest mountain I would ever climb, I may not have been so quick to put my parents at ease. Then again, had it not been for the strength of my drive which contributed to that smile, I may never have made it to the summit.
My drive to succeed has long been an integral force in guiding the direction of my life. By success however, I do not mean money or power as most people would assume. I was taught long ago by my grandfather that success has nothing to do with money; it has to do with accomplishing your own goals and building a legacy for those who come after you, and for those around you to look to for guidance or encouragement. My real father was not much of an influence on my life, and any influence he did have on me was a desire to be nothing like him. Because of this, until my mother divorced my father and remarried my stepfather (who would ultimately be the one that set me upon my current path), my grandfather was the man I strived to be like. Pops always insisted upon my becoming highly educated in order to truly reach my full potential. Good job were not words which often came from his mouth, more often it would be the phrase “that’s good but you can do better.” At the time this could be rather disconcerting, however as I grew older I realized that it was his way of instilling in me the mindset that no matter how much I accomplished, there was always another mountain I needed to climb. The theory of never being satisfied with just reaching a goal but always striving to rush past it and keep going became essential to the way I lived my life. Every time I accomplished one goal, I immediately set to work on two more, always having more to strive for and never letting myself be complacent in my achievements. It was this mentality that drove me and allowed me to adapt to what seemed to be ever changing situations.
My mother eventually remarried and we moved to live with my stepfather in Denver, Colorado. Having grown up in a small farming town in Oklahoma, Denver was a major culture shock. When coupled with the fact that I was 13 hours away from any family or any person for that matter I had known thus far, the cold weather, the differences of country life and city life, and all of the other changes was quite the heavy burden for a young boy just entering the beast of Middle School. Despite these facts however, I continued to do what I had always done; put my nose to the grindstone, move forward and never look back. I adjusted to Colorado quickly and was able to find something to truly apply the motivation I had developed and was just beginning to see mature. I joined a Boy Scouts of America troop and began working on what would be one of my greatest achievements; the rank of Eagle Scout. The work I did in Colorado led to my determination to finish that work as I got older and achieve that illustrious rank.
After a few years in Colorado my family and I once again picked up and moved. This time we landed in Dallas, Texas and once again adaptation became a key piece of my life. Living on the outskirts of Denver, I still had never really gotten used to the big city. And as anyone from the Dallas/Fort Worth area knows, to say it is big would be an understatement. Just beginning High School, I was again forced to quickly adapt to new friends and a new environment, and once again I simply put my head down and charged onward. It was in High School that I truly began to cultivate my drive and ambitions. I had wanted to be a surgeon for a number of years and thus worked as hard as possible for admittance into a very selective program specializing in medical education for High School students. I quickly discovered however that I hated the bureaucracy of the hospitals and the insurance companies and realized that medicine was not my calling. Somewhat taken aback that one of my life-long goals suddenly no longer felt viable, I was quickly saved by the introduction by my high school history teach to the world of politics. Three weeks into my junior year I adapted once again, moving from medicine to the realm of politics and even more interestingly for me, that of law. I quickly began to educate myself on every related subject I could get my hands on and decided that a Political Science degree was the next step.
I decided that Baylor was the place for me and continued my education there. Once I began my studies in college I thought that life would be smooth sailing. I knew what I wanted to do, I loved what I was learning and I had found a career that no matter how far I went; I could always find another big case to tackle. The summer after my freshman year however, Murphy caught up with me. After undergoing an extensive medical procedure to fix issues with my jaw, I developed a severe infection throughout my face. I will never forget that day, sitting in the doctor’s office waiting on the results of the most recent tests. I was convinced the previous surgery had fixed everything and a clean bill of health would be walking through the door, escorted by the doctor. To my dismay, my surgeon walked in and told me that not only had the infection not been completely irradiated, but that I was going to need yet another surgery and would not be going back to Baylor that semester. In a daze, I went home and simply existed for a couple of days. It was at this point that my stepdad, Scott, provided me with the final words which would forever seal my resolve that nothing would ever stop me from achieving my goals. He sat down on in my room and told me that I had two options. I could sit around sulking, or I could do what I had done through every trial up to that point. So I set my jaw (not exactly difficult as it was wired shut), looked him in the eye and told him that no matter what happened, I would be back at Baylor as soon as I was healthy enough, and that nothing would stop me from completing my education and accomplishing the goals I had set up to that point and would continue to set for the rest of my life. And sure enough the next semester, I packed up once again and headed back to Baylor, more determined than ever to succeed.

ZSR10
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:59 pm

Re: Round Two

Postby ZSR10 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:06 pm

bump

el pan de platano
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:16 am

Re: Round Two

Postby el pan de platano » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:23 pm

For a lot of it, i felt like i was reading a narrative resume. I want to see more of how you get things accomplished and think that if you had a couple of fleshed out examples from your schooling or your it would get the point across more.

weejonbu
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:48 pm

Re: Round Two

Postby weejonbu » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:24 pm

Copied and pasted this onto a Word doc and made it double space. It's about 3 1/3 pages... besides Berkeley, this is too long for most personal statement word limits. I think you may have a good story, but need to eschew obfiscation, i.e., simply story, get to the point faster.

ZSR10
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:59 pm

Re: Round Two

Postby ZSR10 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:50 pm

I deleted the first paragraph for size issues (didn't realize it was in 10 pt. on my computer instead of 12) and and reworking a two page edition as well.




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