PS Help, 1st draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
tomcox10
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:11 am

PS Help, 1st draft

Postby tomcox10 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:58 am

It began on a sleepy September day next to the shallow pond where we went fishing every chance we could. The gravel laid there on top of the dusty washboard surface might as well have been from an alien planet. I had lived on this road all thirteen years of my life, a road that was much more to us than simply a pathway, but a giant symbol of family, values, and everything that connected us. My great grandfather had built his house on this road and so had his two sons. Though somewhat hesitant towards the idea, my family soon learned that the aesthetic change was nothing more than that. We had just simply swapped dust and mud holes for asphalt and painted yellow lines. The underlying foundation of sweat and tears, memories and traditions, and a sturdiness that had seen four generations of family remained steadfast. It was a perceived threat that had not warranted the reception it received. As I continued through school and continued to do well, this lesson stayed with me. I was not afraid to undertake the challenges that lie ahead or branch out because I was not defined by what I did but rather by what motivated me to do it. I could still be the boy who raised chickens and split wood with his grandfather while studying advanced corporate finance theory and trading strategies. I was not limited by how I grew up but rather encouraged by it. I had been granted a unique perspective and an ethic of hard work. These two things could only propel me further and to a more balanced viewpoint of the elements around me.
◊◊◊
My trip ended with a wearying flight home from Munich. I had been up for a solid twenty-two hours, my only sleep before this span coming on a deluxe airport bench. Two months abroad had taken a heavy toll on my body, with a new destination every weekend and sleepless overnight trains. Coming back was supposed to be the end to the madness and life on the go. No more carrying everything I owned in a backpack. No more sharing rooms with strange people. Coming back, however, turned out to be the beginning of a second onset of culture shock, the second case being more severe than the first. I looked at studying abroad as an opportunity to gain unique experiences and to see more of the world. What I actually got was the opportunity at a second look into my own world. I found it difficult to immerse myself back into the scurry of American life, to eat the same food I did before, and to not completely hate my vehicle, which I saw as my newly realized ball and chain. I had been taken out of America and then put back in completely upside down, or so I felt. Being upside down, however, made me realize the true value of a new perspective. I had left on a plane one person and come back a different one.

My life has been a series of challenges, each one transforming me from a boy that grew up shucking corn and going to a Baptist church into a more balanced and astute individual. Austria was probably the biggest. Getting a scholarship and taking out a loan on top of that to pay for the trip, I had no idea of the life changing experience I was funding. It was a risk, but one that was worth the reward. As a finance major, I realize that risk is inherent in everything we do. Every challenge has the risk that we will not overcome it or the perceived benefits from it aren’t as great as we expected. I see law school no differently. Over the past year though, I have carefully examined my skill set and its relevance towards law school. The analytical skills and reasoning abilities I have honed over the past three years in my finance courses seems well tuned to take on the rigors of law school. Acknowledging the full risks (and rewards) of law school, I submit my application to you and fully hope to have the opportunity to attend next fall.



Be Harsh, I want it perfect. Any help is greatly appreciated.

maddox86
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:33 am

Re: PS Help, 1st draft

Postby maddox86 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:57 am

Quick question, where in Australia? I went to school there.

It took me a while to get where you were going with the intro, it's too long, flowery and confusing - what are you talking about? Then the essay is too much tell, very little show. How did Australia change you? You went on a trip and came back changed, what happened on the trip? use specific examples.

I'm sorry but you would be well advised to consider how many applicants write about life-changing trips, it's so overdone (and most of the time insincere). I don't really care that you travelled, it would be much more intriguing if you wrote about an event or an experience that happened during your trip that fits in with the overall theme I think your going with (life is challenging?). The setting is immaterial when compared to the substance and there's honestly no substance here.

Also, what's the moral of the story - where's the meat? Life is full of challenges, how? Was it a challenge to eat the same food? not hate your car? come on!

Example:

"Over the past year, I have carefully examined my skill set and its relevance towards law school (is towards the right choice of words, I'm not sure). The analytical skills and reasoning abilities I have honed over the past three years in my finance course seems well tuned to take on the rigors of law school (First, this is presumptuous. Second, it's all tell/no show. Third, it really is an awkward inorganic addition)."

I hope this helps.

WayBryson
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:24 pm

Re: PS Help, 1st draft

Postby WayBryson » Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:30 am

maddox86 wrote:Quick question, where in Australia? I went to school there.

It took me a while to get where you were going with the intro, it's too long, flowery and confusing - what are you talking about? Then the essay is too much tell, very little show. How did Australia change you? You went on a trip and came back changed, what happened on the trip? use specific examples.

I'm sorry but you would be well advised to consider how many applicants write about life-changing trips, it's so overdone (and most of the time insincere). I don't really care that you travelled, it would be much more intriguing if you wrote about an event or an experience that happened during your trip that fits in with the overall theme I think your going with (life is challenging?). The setting is immaterial when compared to the substance and there's honestly no substance here.

Also, what's the moral of the story - where's the meat? Life is full of challenges, how? Was it a challenge to eat the same food? not hate your car? come on!

Example:

"Over the past year, I have carefully examined my skill set and its relevance towards law school (is towards the right choice of words, I'm not sure). The analytical skills and reasoning abilities I have honed over the past three years in my finance course seems well tuned to take on the rigors of law school (First, this is presumptuous. Second, it's all tell/no show. Third, it really is an awkward inorganic addition)."

I hope this helps.


I agree.
EDIT: ...though I never went to school in Australia ;-)

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DamnLSAT
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:14 pm

Re: PS Help, 1st draft

Postby DamnLSAT » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:57 am

After my read, I am left with this one sentence: You want to go to law school because you went to Austria. It's got to be something else.

Your intro takes forever getting to the point, and your first several sentences use twice as many words as necessary. Resist the temptation to make it wordy - get to the point, the readers want to.

Also, you start with your past as a "country" child but never get back to it by the end of the essay. If you are going to open with a visual image, you have to come back to it or your reader will be left wanting.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: PS Help, 1st draft

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:21 pm

Terrible. Almost certain to harm your law school applications. How could two months abroad in gorgeous Austria wear you out--especially for one in his twenties. The rigors of law school will destroy you if backpacking in spectacular Austria exhausts you. Poor word choices throughout your essay.

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glitched
Posts: 1040
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 9:50 am

Re: PS Help, 1st draft

Postby glitched » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:48 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Terrible. Almost certain to harm your law school applications. How could two months abroad in gorgeous Austria wear you out--especially for one in his twenties. The rigors of law school will destroy you if backpacking in spectacular Austria exhausts you. Poor word choices throughout your essay.


+1 minus maybe the terrible part. Its not poorly written. Your content is seriously stupid though lol or that's the feeling I get - I think its because you are sooo negative about a trip that actually sounds prettty awesome and refreshing. Focus on the good parts of the trip and show maybe how the excitement and challenge of adapting to new worlds will help you in your future. Even then thats weak because 1. Almost everyone else has studied abroad 2. You were there for two months. A trip like this should be on the one line at the bottom of your resume in the personal section. Lastly, why are you america bashing? Aren't you trying to gey into an american law school? Lol I'm prettty sure adcoms live here and don't want to hear about balls and chains imprisoning them.




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