Personal statement rough

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Personal statement rough

Postby SecondAidenn » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:30 am

Hey everyone, I'm working on my statement at the moment. I've finally been able to get some solid ideas down on paper with something resembling structure, but before I get too far I want to see if I'm going in the right direction. Any and all criticism is welcome, please. I understand that it doesn't flow at the moment, but it's the content I'm concerned about more than anything presently. This is the first half or 2/3rds of it, approximately.

My girlfriend's grandmother's last words to her granddaughter and myself before passing away were a command to “make the world a better place.” That remarkable woman, who survived the Holocaust and lost much of her family to Auschwitz, summed up the goal of my life, something I had been trying to define for years, in a simple, powerful sentence. She was a huge supporter of the United Nations, I passion that I also shared and was more than happy to talk with her at length about. She called me “Ernst” because she could not remember my name, and “the blonde angel” when she was particularly lazy.

If she had made that same command a year ago, as I sat in on the General Debate of the United Nations listening to Barack Obama address the UN for the first time, I would have given the same answer of “Yes, I will, of course I will,” but I would not have known how. I was sitting in the same room as and analyzing the statements of around one hundred heads of state and government. Here were some of the most powerful men and women in the world. How on earth could I ever hope to have enough influence to fulfill my simple yet driving and consuming dream?

It was only several days later, after the initial rush of the high level delegate statements had passed and my head had the opportunity to deflate a little from the grandeur that I made a very important, if somewhat obvious realization: all of those people that I had witnessed and covered, all of those presidents and prime ministers and kings and queens, every single one of them is human. Certainly not an earth-shattering revelation, but it caused a pronounced and dramatic shift in scope and perspective for me; I, too, am a human. I, too, can achieve the kind of influence that these men and women have. It was both humbling and empowering at the same time. For such a long time, even after obtaining such an elusive and high level internship, after being affirmed in my intelligence in numerous ways, I felt very separated from what I saw as a class unto itself of “world changers” who existed very much outside of my reality. It took watching Nicolas Sarkozy ask for a wooden platform to be brought out for him to stand on to mask his shortness and listening to Muammar al-Gaddafi ramble on for two hours about nothing for me to understand just how possible it was for me to make the world a better place on just about the grandest scale imaginable.

Fortunately for me and, I hope, the world, I have always been a “grandest scale” sort of thinker. I believe that I can somewhat grudgingly attribute this to my Protestant Christian upbringing, where trying to help others save themselves was something of a modus operandi. Later, as I questioned the veracity of a God whose love was manifested in eternal punishment, the compassion instilled in me sought an outlet. Gradually expanding from adolescent suicide prevention to ethics and meta-ethics and eventually stopping at the international human rights system and the world in its entirety, I was plunged into a complex landscape of theory, practice and malpractice that left my head spinning and my mind without a clear focus. Around me, my friends were choosing to specialize in sexual assault, food shortage, clean water, health, genocide studies or any other number of niches of human rights. I, on the other hand, could not choose one issue that meant more to me than any other, because all of them worked together in my mind as a comprehensive, interconnected web each strand of which is as important to the structure of the whole as any other.

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Re: Personal statement rough

Postby MrSparkle » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:13 am

For so many words, there isn't much.

"I heard someone tell me to help the world. I realized everyone is human. I want to help the world." To me, this is not an oversimplification of your essay.

I'd start over and focus on concrete details. The entire essay's substance feels like a bunch of stream-of-consciousness that exists only in your head, and I don't learn anything about you or what you've done or who you are. You come off as a starry-eyed idealist who needs a good shaking. Case in point: "...for me to understand just how possible it was for me to make the world a better place on just about the grandest scale imaginable." Leave the cheese in the fridge.

You have good material that needs to be presented better.

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