Personal Statement: version/draft/attempt number 2

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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dlbuhr
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Personal Statement: version/draft/attempt number 2

Postby dlbuhr » Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:42 pm

Alright, so I took some of the advice given and reworked my original draft, which can be found here.

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=141821

I highlighted the changes I made in red, even though they should be pretty apparent. Not really sure if I'm heading in the right direction, or if this version is better than the first, so feel free to tear it apart. Again it's still pretty rough. I haven't gone through and corrected al the mechanical errors or things of that nature yet, instead I've been focusing on finding a strong frame. I'm also still unsure about the closing paragraph. Any opinions and critiques are more than welcome. Thanks for all the help.
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There is a moment, perhaps a series of moments, that have the capacity to define and shape who we are and who we are capable of becoming. These moments often pass by inconspicuously, largely unnoticed or unrealized. It is not until we stop and take an instant to reflect, that we grasp and understand what has brought us to where we are today.

One such moment came four years ago: on a sweltering afternoon in July, typical of a Missouri summer, when I decided to go for my first run.


By nature I have always been a competitive and aggressive individual, playing soccer as a youth and later football. Despite my athletic pursuits though I was always a reluctant runner.

A large part of my reluctancy was rooted in a lack of self confidence. My lack of assertiveness would, as time passed, snowball into a fear of failure which, at times, was near debilitating.

Growing up, I was withdrawn and kept to myself, fearing that if I did as little as introduce myself to someone, I would undoubtedly be rejected. In school, I never participated in class discussions or answered questions, fearing what others may think if I answered incorrectly. Running scared me because of it’s difficulty. What if I had to stop mid-run, and people driving past saw me: what would they think?

For whatever reasons, I talked myself into walking out the door that day and attempt a two-mile run.
That first run went how one could imagine it going. As a former defensive end, I did not possess the typical body of a long distance runner nor the aerobic capacity to carry me through to the finish. By the time I had ran a mile, I was bent at the waist, gasping for air in a futile attempt to quell the burning in my chest.

I didn’t finish the two miles: I failed, turned around, and walked home. Unlike past shortcomings though, I made the decision that I wasn’t going to let my failing dominate me into thinking that the two miles was beyond me. I made it my goal to continue running until I could finish the distance without stopping. The day when I managed the two miles, satisfaction washed over me.

Any feeling of accomplishment was short-lived; quickly replaced with wide-eyed ambition. I had proven to myself that running two miles was not outside my capabilities. Who was to say that I couldn’t run three miles? Three turned into four, four into seven, seven into ten, and so on.

No longer fearing the possibility of not finishing, I relished in the demanding and punishing nature of my runs. Scorching heat, blustering wind, and icy snow storms didn’t serve as deterrents, but obstacles that made the finish all the better and more gratifying.

Running has played a large part in who I am today. It has shown me that failure doesn’t have to be accepted: it does not have to be the end. That If I keep my feet moving, my head up, and my eyes looking onward, I can accomplish and overcome the most daunting of tasks. Running has taught me that I am capable of much more than I ever imagined: fashioning a self-confidence that I never had before.

Despite the lessons learned, running has not safeguarded me from failure. But because I’m a runner I know how to move forward after each misstep thanks to the reinforcement of past successes. I cannot say Running has played a central role in my desire to attend law school. But what it has given me, an unrelenting determination coupled with a stubbornness to never quit, has afforded me the confidence which prepares me for any challenge that lies ahead.

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dlbuhr
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Re: Personal Statement: version/draft/attempt number 2

Postby dlbuhr » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:50 pm

Bump number 1

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dlbuhr
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Re: Personal Statement: version/draft/attempt number 2

Postby dlbuhr » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:10 pm

Is the lack of responses not a good sign....?

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dlbuhr
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Re: Personal Statement: version/draft/attempt number 2

Postby dlbuhr » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:16 am

One last bump and then it's back to the drawing board.

Brock2010
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Re: Personal Statement: version/draft/attempt number 2

Postby Brock2010 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:34 am

My two cents,

You're a good writer. Your essay was easy to read and flowed pretty well. But I think that you're first couple of paragraphs set up a more powerful essay that the rest fails to deliver. I just wasn't convinced that the running of two miles was such a pivotal moment in your life. But this essay does show that you're a good writer.

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hokie
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Re: Personal Statement: version/draft/attempt number 2

Postby hokie » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:48 am

I actually think that the intro [talking about the two miles] is fine as-is and serves as a good leading point for the rest of the PS. Overall, I think that it is pretty good and agree that it is well written [and flows much better than the previous draft].

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dlbuhr
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Re: Personal Statement: version/draft/attempt number 2

Postby dlbuhr » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:49 am

Reading through it again I see your point clearly. It does sound more like the distance of two miles was the pivotal point. I was going more for showing that running in general, and the ability to see the betterment with each new run and new distance covered is what is actually responsible. The initial two two-miles was just the starting point. I guess I need to find a way to better convey that message more clearly.

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dlbuhr
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Re: Personal Statement: version/draft/attempt number 2

Postby dlbuhr » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:04 am

Thanks for both your opinions. If anyone else has anything to add I'd be more than happy to return the favor.




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