Rough Draft - Need Help Badly :(

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Ryan10700
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:41 pm

Rough Draft - Need Help Badly :(

Postby Ryan10700 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:39 pm

I need help with my Personal Statement. I don't know if I'm going in the right direction or just shotgun patterning the wall here. Please help!


I remember a warm summer day when I was about 10 years old and with a group of childhood friends. Not having anything better to do we decided to walk along the railroad tracks across town to another of our friend’s house. It was a more direct route and very rarely did a train pass by, even so there was plenty of room to get out of the way. As we began walking and looking down the tracks, I noticed that it looked like the two tracks came to a point way off in the distance. Not knowing any better and with nothing better to do, we set out to find out where the tracks met. After a long and now hot afternoon, we had realized that the point we saw in the distance wasn’t getting any closer. Discouraged and wore out we decided to sit down in defeat. Not long after the whistle of a freight train blew, nearly peeing our pants we decided to get out of the way!

For the past four years I've felt like I've been walking down that set of railroad tracks trying to find a nonexistent end to another arduous journey. Only this time it wasn’t a journey derived from boredom or even by choice. It began when my father decided to leave my mother and three younger siblings. Not only was it hard that the family split apart, but because of the divorce, my father no longer supported the family financially. This meant that I no longer had help financing college; hence, loans and odd jobs whenever time allowed funded my education. To further stress the situation, my mother and siblings no longer had financial or moral support from their husband or father either, meaning that as the oldest and first born child, it was my responsibility to raise my brothers and support my mother.

It wasn’t long before the family home we built together was lost in foreclosure, renting and moving my mother three times in a period of one year was a mental and physical marathon, decent food barely graced the table, and amenities that we once took for granted were only available as a luxury; the result of sacrificing anything of value that we owned and working more hours in a single day than I thought possible.

Having to devote so much energy into providing for my mother and siblings led to the loss of my fiancé and her daughter. A devastating blow from life's stress and continual sacrifices to keep one family together led to the loss of another. When things seemed to be at their worst, I lost another family member close to my heart. My grandmother lost her battle with cancer and even though she had lived a long life, it was still a heartbreaking situation for all of us that cared for her.
By this point I was about to lose hope of ever finding the point where those rail road tracks came together. The pitfalls of life had gotten me down and all the while I had thought that if I continued walking far enough down the tracks that there would be an end to the suffering. All the while the end looked just as far away as it had to begin with. I wanted to give up. I was tired of walking and working for something that didn’t seem to exist. But I remember that if I just sat down to watch life pass by, it would only be a matter of time before that freight train came barreling down the tracks to put an end to my sorrows, but not one I would enjoy.

So I picked my head up and charged on. As a result of the determination to keep going, I can happily say that I have a great job at an industry leading company that is going to see revenue of over one billion dollars this year, I’m studying for my private pilot’s license, and I’m constructing an addition to my mother’s own home.

What I learned from all of this was exactly the opposite of what I had initially thought; what I was in search of was a fallacy. There is never an end to the perils that life may bring. There is no end to the possibilities that I can achieve so long as I put forth the effort to reach my goal. If I give up and stop in the midst of my journey then I have determined the distance I will reach. Whether it is by passion, perseverance, force or leisure, only I can determine how far I will go.

My life has had its ups and downs but I never gave up. Regardless of what obstacles have been thrown in front of me I have climbed over them and sought success. These hurdles and determination to succeed in a grueling endeavor make me the perfect candidate for law school. Given the opportunity, I will only continue to grow. I will no longer be the boy searching for the end of the tracks, but the conductor of the train passing him by and showing him how far he can go in life.

I will admit I may have soiled my pants just a little bit that afternoon!

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NZA
Posts: 1285
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Rough Draft - Need Help Badly :(

Postby NZA » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:30 pm

Before we discuss the stylistic aspects of this paper, I'd suggest cutting out a couple paragraphs in the middle.

I mean, it's not a bad essay, but I feel like there's very little of you coming out in it. You know? We're learning a lot about your history and your circumstances, but not a lot about who you are.

Also, the beginning metaphor is good, but I'd find a way to incorporate it in the end in another way. Like, it's just not quite...I dunno. I would just change it, anyway. :P

So, cut down on the narrative you have in there, and try to work in some information about who you are as a person. Then, if you like, post a revised essay here. You can also PM me, if you don't feel like reposting it. :) I'm pretty bored and I kind of get a kick out of proofreading essays (I know, kind of makes me some sort of freak, right? Oh, well...).

EDIT: Definitely cut that last line out.

Ryan10700
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:41 pm

Re: Rough Draft - Need Help Badly :(

Postby Ryan10700 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:36 pm

Thank you for your help. I had the same feeling about the mid section of the essay. It felt like it really fell short and delivering my information about me or what it is about me that should stand out.

I felt like it started strong by needed a strong ending as well. Working on revising and will PM you with the revised draft. Thanks!!

Ryan10700
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:41 pm

Rev 1

Postby Ryan10700 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:37 am

Revised: Still need a stronger closing. Welcome to criticism. Thanks!


On a warm summer morning around age 10, a group of childhood friends and I decided to walk down the railroad tracks to another of our friend’s house. It was a more direct route and very rarely did a train pass by. Even so, there was plenty of room to get out of the way. As we began walking and looking down the tracks, I noticed that it looked like the two tracks came to a point off in the distance. Not knowing any better and with nothing better to do, we set out to find out where the tracks met. After a long and now hot afternoon, we had realized that the point we saw in the distance wasn’t getting any closer. Discouraged and wore out we decided sat down in defeat.

For the past four years I've felt like I've been walking down that set of railroad tracks trying to find an end to another arduous journey. Only this time it wasn’t a journey derived from boredom or choice. It was because my father decided to leave. The divorce split the family apart and my father no longer supported the family financially. This meant that I no longer had help financing college, thus loans and odd jobs funded my education. To further stress the situation, my mother and three siblings no longer had financial or moral support from their husband or father. As the oldest and first born child, it was my responsibility to raise my brothers and support my mother.

It wasn’t long before the family home we built together was lost in foreclosure, renting and moving my mother three times in one year was a mental and physical marathon, food was scarce, and amenities that we once took for granted were now a luxury; the result of sacrificing anything of value that we owned and working more tediously long hours.
A devastating blow from life's stress and continual sacrifices to keep one family together led to the loss of another. Devoting so much energy into providing for my mother and siblings led to the loss of my fiancé and her daughter. Yet when it couldn’t get any worse, I lost my grandmother to cancer.

By this point I was about to lose hope of ever finding the point where those rail road tracks came together. The pitfalls of life had gotten me down and all the while I had thought that if I continued walking far enough down the tracks that there would be an end to the suffering, but the end looked just as far away as it had to begin with. I wanted to give up. I was tired of walking and working for something that didn’t seem to exist. But I knew that if I just sat down to watch life pass by, it would only be a matter of time before a freight train came barreling down the tracks behind me.

I began thinking about how much I had overcome or had been fortunate enough to do in my short lifetime. Becoming an Eagle Scout at the age of 15 and leading my Troop on a 50-mile backpacking excursion through the Appalachian Mountains was only the beginning. Working for the family construction business every vacation through grade school showed me the value of a dollar. Learning about new people and cultures when I traveled to nearly every state in the U.S. and multiple foreign countries has given me the ability to adapt to any situation. The single engine Cessna airplane that we flew to many of these places taught me about weather, navigation, and planning. Riding dirt bikes and hiking on camping trips every month kept me physically fit. Being miles away from camp without meant perseverance to return to safety even after exhaustion.

Thinking about all of this reminded me of the blistering hot iron of the railroad tracks and dirty wood ties that held them together. As strong as they were there is no obstacle too great for me to conquer. I picked my head up and charged on. Now I have a great job at a one billion dollar industry leading company, I am studying for my private pilot’s license, and I am constructing an addition to my mother’s new home.

Whether it is by passion, perseverance, force or leisure, only I can determine how far down the tracks I will go. Regardless of what obstacles have been in front of me I have worked through them and succeeded. These hurdles and determination to succeed in a grueling endeavor make me the perfect candidate for law school. I will no longer be the boy searching for the end of the tracks, but the conductor of the train passing him by and showing him how far he can go.




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