Please critique my surgery PS!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
kitmitzi
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:22 pm

Please critique my surgery PS!

Postby kitmitzi » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:47 pm

I've had a decent amount of trouble writing my PS in a way that doesn't show my surgery as a weakness. I've had a lot of trouble finding an ending and making it relevant to being a lawyer/law school. Feel free to be super harsh, any help is appreciated!

------------------------------------
In second grade while most children dreamed of careers as movie stars and baseball players, I proudly announced that I was going to be a lawyer. Impressed by the power of words and persuasion, I dreamed of taking my place in front of a jury. As an eighth grader I asked the high school debate team to visit the middle school and recruit my classmates for the next year. As president of the team four years later, I began workshops at the middle school to encourage students to take an early interest in legal study and improve their speaking skills. Studying for the LSAT this past summer, I felt a sense of excitement and accomplishment; I was coming so close to my dream. I had never once considered changing my life plans, until the doctor uncomfortably sat himself beside me, lowered his gaze, and mentioned that he found a brain tumor.

It was the last week of August in 2010 and less than a month before my senior year. Now my doctor was suggesting that I might not be able to start school in the fall, much less graduate and be able to attend law school. I had recently participated in a brain imaging experiment with the psychology department and received an email asking me to return for a consultation. The head of psychology at **** explained that there was something unusual in my scan results and he had scheduled an appointment for me with the head neurosurgeon at the local hospital. He mentioned that it was “nothing scary.”

At a hospital that takes three months to secure an appointment, I was scheduled for a diagnostic MRI the next day. Meanwhile, I was in a constant state of denial. This was not a part of my plan. Having studied formal logic, I was convinced that “nothing scary” was synonymous with “not a brain tumor.” The reality of the situation sank in several days later when the surgeon explained my diagnosis. While most brain tumor patients are found with tumors measured in millimeters, mine was larger than an inch. We scheduled surgery for the next week.

I regained full consciousness five days after they put me under anesthesia and was immediately informed that I had been through two surgeries. While the surgeon cautioned that most people spend at least six weeks at home before returning to their normal lives, my school term started less than three weeks after surgery. Fortunately, my recovery has been going well. Testing has shown that my tumor was benign. It was removed from an easily accessible part of my brain so the operation did not affect my cognitive function or motor skills.

This experience has reaffirmed my dedication and enthusiasm to go to law school. I’ve also learned to not take my life and opportunities for granted. After being confronted with such a traumatic experience, I had to reevaluate my priorities and decide what was truly important. While I could have taken a term off to make my recovery easier, I chose to go back to school immediately so I can graduate on time and attend law school in 2011. I still have trouble believing all of this happened; I cannot reflect on my experience without being filled with the familiar fear and desperation I felt the week leading up to my surgery. In just a few days my biggest stress went from getting my laundry done to having brain surgery.

While my dream of becoming an attorney has not changed, this experience did change my plans for the future. Throughout college I was determined to combine my interests in law and business by studying corporate law. This experience has led me to explore the possibility of a career in public interest law, with a focus on health care. While I was fortunate enough to have my parent’s insurance, I cannot even imagine the horror of my situation if I had not been insured. I am grateful that my insurance covered the expense of my operation, but am very aware that thousands of Americans are denied necessary operations and transplants due to issues with money and insurance. I would love the opportunity to help others by facilitating their health care management and assuring that people are afforded the treatment they need. I feel obligated to help others in medically precarious situations.
Last edited by kitmitzi on Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Flips88
Posts: 13589
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:42 pm

Re: Please critique my surgery PS!

Postby Flips88 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:20 pm

kitmitzi wrote:I've had a decent amount of trouble writing my PS in a way that doesn't show my surgery as a weakness. I've had a lot of trouble finding an ending and making it relevant to being a lawyer/law school. Feel free to be super harsh, any help is appreciated!

------------------------------------
In second grade while most children dreamed of careers as movie stars and baseball players, I proudly announced that I was going to be a lawyer. Impressed by the power of words and persuasion, I dreamed of taking my place in front of a jury. As an eighth grader I asked the high school debate team to visit the middle school and recruit my classmates for the next year. As president of the team four years later, I began workshops at the middle school to encourage students to take an early interest in legal study and improve their speaking skills. Studying for the LSAT this past summer, I felt a sense of excitement and accomplishment; I was coming so close to my dream. I had never once considered changing my life plans, until the doctor uncomfortably sat himself beside me, lowered his gaze, and mentioned that he found a brain tumor.

I think this whole paragraph can go. No offense, but your dreams and aspirations as a second-grader/eight-grader/high school student aren't very pertinent to admissions. As an 8 year-old, you have very little knowledge of what a lawyer actually did or what law school entailed. Also, no need to mention studying for the LSAT. Most everyone did it, no need to talk about it.

It was the last week of August in 2010 and less than a month before my senior year. Now my doctor was suggesting that I might not be able to start school in the fall, much less graduate and be able to attend law school. I had recently participated in a brain imaging experiment with the psychology department and received an email asking me to return for a consultation. The head of psychology at Dartmouth explained that there was something unusual in my scan results and he had scheduled an appointment for me with the head neurosurgeon at the local hospital. He mentioned that it was “nothing scary.”

At a hospital that takes three months to secure an appointment, I was scheduled for a diagnostic MRI the next day. Meanwhile, I was in a constant state of denial. This was not a part of my plan. Having studied formal logic, I was convinced that “nothing scary” was synonymous with “not a brain tumor.” The reality of the situation sank in several days later when the surgeon explained my diagnosis. While most brain tumor patients are found with tumors measured in millimeters, mine was larger than an inch. We scheduled surgery for the next week.

I regained full consciousness five days after they put me under anesthesia and was immediately informed that I had been through two surgeries. While the surgeon cautioned that most people spend at least six weeks at home before returning to their normal lives, my school term started less than three weeks after surgery. Fortunately, my recovery has been going well. Testing has shown that my tumor was benign. It was removed from an easily accessible part of my brain so the operation did not affect my cognitive function or motor skills.

This experience has reaffirmed my dedication and enthusiasm to go to law school. I’ve also learned to not take my life and opportunities for granted. After being confronted with such a traumatic experience, I had to reevaluate my priorities and decide what was truly important. While I could have taken a term off to make my recovery easier, I chose to go back to school immediately so I can graduate on time and attend law school in 2011. I still have trouble believing all of this happened; I cannot reflect on my experience without being filled with the familiar fear and desperation I felt the week leading up to my surgery. In just a few days my biggest stress went from getting my laundry done to having brain surgery.

While my dream of becoming an attorney has not changed, this experience did change my plans for the future. Throughout college I was determined to combine my interests in law and business by studying corporate law. This experience has led me to explore the possibility of a career in public interest law, with a focus on health care. While I was fortunate enough to have my parent’s insurance, I cannot even imagine the horror of my situation if I had not been insured. I am grateful that my insurance covered the expense of my operation, but am very aware that thousands of Americans are denied necessary operations and transplants due to issues with money and insurance. I would love the opportunity to help others by facilitating their health care management and assuring that people are afforded the treatment they need. I feel obligated to help others in medically precarious situations.

I like the general theme of your essay: your experience with illness and the health care system affected what you want to dedicate your future career to. If I were you, I would expound on your interest in corporate law at the beginning, then talk about how your surgery changed what you wanted to study. Good luck.

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

Re: Please critique my surgery PS!

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:28 pm

You have made your point in an effective & convincing fashion.

P.S. You write well.




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