1st Draft- Honest Advice Very Appreciated!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ellew00ds
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1st Draft- Honest Advice Very Appreciated!

Postby ellew00ds » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:56 pm

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Last edited by ellew00ds on Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: 1st Draft- Honest Advice Very Appreciated!

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:13 pm

This essay is too verbose & does not present you in a flattering light.

P.S. Are you comfortable describing yourself as a "please-everyone kind of gal" ?
Also shouldn't it be a "well deserved bottle (not glass) of wine" ?

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WhatSarahSaid
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Re: 1st Draft- Honest Advice Very Appreciated!

Postby WhatSarahSaid » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:14 pm

-edit-: Given that the OP is scrapping it, no need for specific grammar/structure nitpicking.

I don't like the topic. I was on my fraternity's executive board, and I used that for a couple of sentences in my PS, but as the entire focus of your PS, I don't think it's a topic that's going to get the reaction you want it to get. I'd definitely pick something else.

If you do decide to stick with this, though, you need to be more concrete. You do so much telling, but show us very little. If I'm an adcomm, I want to see more of what you actually did and how you actually grew. All I know is that you were the president of a sorority (as you've probably written on your resume) and that you think that you're really good at convincing people of stuff. Your tie-in with the law is also very weak. If I were you (and wanted to keep this topic), I'd take your very last sentence and pretend that it's your thesis. Make every paragraph, every sentence, and every part of whatever story you tell defend the fact that your experience improved you. Show, don't tell!
Last edited by WhatSarahSaid on Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: 1st Draft- Honest Advice Very Appreciated!

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:16 pm

Male adcoms may want to see a photograph.

And I am not trying to be humorous; your presentation is not appropriate if seeking admission to law schools, in my opinion. Your writing portrays you as a self proclaimed judgmental pleaser. I think that you may have intended to portray yourself as a consensus building leader, but your effort is not convincing.

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: 1st Draft- Honest Advice Very Appreciated!

Postby gbpackerbacker » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:22 pm

This is not good. I would refrain from discussing the hardships you had to face in your exclusive sorority. Also the wine thing makes you sound like pretentious wino. Not trying to be rude, just giving you my immediate (and seemingly shared) thoughts....

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SMA22
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Re: 1st Draft- Honest Advice Very Appreciated!

Postby SMA22 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:22 pm

I agree--this esssay makes you sound very, very young and is unflattering in more ways than one. You play right into the Greek stereotype, not against it.

I would abandon this idea altogether.

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: 1st Draft- Honest Advice Very Appreciated!

Postby gbpackerbacker » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:36 pm

WhatSarahSaid wrote:The table creaked as I attempted to reposition myself. It was difficult to look graceful sitting on a table in front of seventy people, most of who [should be "whom." Your mileage may vary when it comes to how obsolete "whom" is, but in this particular construction, "of who" sounds awful] were staring at me. I finally rested with my legs crossed, [cut this comma] and took a couple deep breaths while everyone began to settle down [how about just "while everyone settled down"?]. It was October during the second semester of my Presidency [don't capitalize this], and I had called an emergency chapter meeting late at night. Some of the members knew what the meeting was regarding ["knew what the meeting regarded" or "knew what the meeting was about"] and others had no clue. I felt a bit sea sick ["seasick"] looking out at the ocean of faces [is this pun intentional? Either way, I don't like it like this]; some were very angry, some were worried, and others were just blank. Yet as I opened my mouth to welcome everyone and began to speak, all of that nausea quickly disappeared. This, I’ve discovered, is my talent. This I can do.

When I was elected as the President [I wouldn't capitalize it -- same for future instances of it] of ______, my sorority, I felt like I had been peer pressured into it. I knew from the start that I could handle the logistics of running a large organization. My concern about being President was instead that I would be easily influenced by older members with stronger personalities. I am [might want to say "was," unless you really want to say this -- might not create a good impression, though] a please-everyone kind of gal, and in the beginning this was an issue. One of my best skills outside of the classroom is sensing exactly what someone wants to hear [might not want to be the kind of thing you want to say in the middle of a PS, given that, if this is true, you should be able to write a perfect PS], and in the beginning [you just used the phrase "in the beginning"] I only used this ability to avoid drama. As the year went on though [cut "though" or write it "as the year went on, though, I..."], I discovered a way of using this skill that I had never had the opportunity to try before. When someone would erupt in tears during chapter, or [add "when" here] I had to address some highly controversial subject in our meetings, I somehow instinctively knew what to say and how to say it in order to make everyone calm down, focus, and eventually, if not agree with me, acknowledge that I had everything under control. Ever the English major, I began to even more deeply appreciate how powerful words are when delivered in precisely the right way. I discovered that I could tell the organization the truth about a matter, but tell that truth as a story, in the way that I wanted to tell it.

My biggest test of this newfound talent came in October, when I was very close to finishing up my position. This is when I dealt with by far the biggest dilemma of my term. A brand new member, to whom we had unwarily extended an invitation to join, began making bizarre and threatening comments to multiple members. Even though she had only been a member for one week, according to our National office [either "Nationals" or "national organization"] and the contracts we had submitted, she was a full-fledged _________ sister and the only process available to remove her would take as long as four months. After meeting with different advisors and Deans [don't capitalize], my executive board and I knew that the only way that this member could leave quickly was if she herself chose to leave. This began a week long ["week-long"] process of meetings, conversations, inquiries, and phone calls. The ultimate outcome of these efforts is that she did decide to leave. While I understand that this may seem like a trivial problem to someone not in the “Greek” mindset, both my behavior during the one-on-one meetings that I had with her and my management of the fallout of her exit were self-affirming of my growth throughout the entire experience. That stressful week finally ended with an emergency meeting to notify the chapter of what had happened, and I was both exhausted but also proud [either "and I was exhausted but proud" or "and I was both exhausted and proud"] when I got home that night. I poured myself a well-deserved glass of wine, collapsed onto my couch, and announced to my roommates that I was sure now; [I'd take a colon here] I wanted to be a lawyer.

Sitting on ["at"] that rickety table that night, my mind was juggling a few different things. I was facing an entire group, but one group contained many individual emotions and different levels of awareness and concern. The way in which I handled that particular meeting confirmed for me that my most valuable talent is using language to influence what others think, for better or worse. This for me is derived from the ability to think on the spot, to choose my words carefully, to interpret and respond to individual comments and body language, and to dictate the atmosphere in a room. After this emergency chapter, the subject of our renegade New Member ["new member"] was never brought up again. I diffused and countered every complaint, explained what I needed to, and I [cut "I"] maintained my reputation as a successful leader. My experience as President has prepared me for law school in that it gave me the chance to experiment and see what this kind of role is like; [just make this two sentences] I spent a year of my college life as the sole representative for a group of seventy women, and I did more on the spot strategic speaking and writing than I ever have before. I made many difficult decisions this past year, but I found that, because I was representing others, I could make them objectively and swiftly. All the time and effort spent was worth it, because at the end of the year my sorority was a much better organization than before. Thankfully, at the end of the year I had experienced an improvement as well: in my self-confidence, my experience, and in my conviction that the law is the right path for me.



SMA22 wrote:I agree--this esssay makes you sound very, very young and is unflattering in more ways than one. You play right into the Greek stereotype, not against it.

I would abandon this idea altogether.

ellew00ds
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: 1st Draft- Honest Advice Very Appreciated!

Postby ellew00ds » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:37 pm

this is exactly the kind of honesty i was looking for, so thank you everyone. i think i will choose a different topic- back to the drawing board.

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: 1st Draft- Honest Advice Very Appreciated!

Postby gbpackerbacker » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:45 pm

ellew00ds wrote:this is exactly the kind of honesty i was looking for, so thank you everyone. i think i will choose a different topic- back to the drawing board.


I messaged you.

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Leira7905
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Re: 1st Draft- Honest Advice Very Appreciated!

Postby Leira7905 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:31 am

I think you need to dig a bit deeper. Seems shallow.




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