Draft 3, close to done?? SHRED IT!!!!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Dripworx
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:12 pm

Draft 3, close to done?? SHRED IT!!!!

Postby Dripworx » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:11 pm

Reflecting on my childhood has become a tool which allowed me, as I grew older, to understand some of the peripheral situations that were going on around me as a child. My experiences adjusting to an American culture in school, from a Colombian culture at home had irrefutably taught me the most important lessons of my life. A drive, a passion, and persistence is key to success.

As a teen, I constantly found myself reporting to therapists, guidance counselors, deans, principals and mediators over my behavior in school; I became the embodiment of defiance spanning from elementary school all the way up until graduation. My contention with authority proved to be such a powerful facet of my character, that I allowed it to define my life, including my academic career to the disappointment of many and particularly myself. As a young adult, I could remember hearing the word “potential” so often it made me sick to think what I could be doing rather than what I chose to do at the time. My priorities were polarized and reversed all throughout high school and early college, and eventually my decisions had caught up to me by the time I was in my sophomore year in college, rendering the consequences that caused me to decide who I wanted to be, and what I needed to do to.

“Lo unico que te podemos dejar, es la educación.” This “saying” was one of many that my Mother engrained into my mind since early childhood, for as long as I could remember. It became a truth so evident in my life, that it paved the way for my goals as they are today: my future as an attorney, to serve those who cannot represent themselves adequately.
When I attended my grandfathers funeral halfway through my first semester of sophomore year, I realized what life really meant to me, and what I needed to do in order to attain my happiness. I had to choose a path that was my passion. I had to love what I’d do for the rest of my life. The hardships I faced as a child with an alcoholic father, and as an adult with loss of my grandfather who was my idol, gave me the momentum, motivation, strength and maturity to bounce back from my dip in performance and poor choices that marked my academic career, and my life.
Looking back on the saying my mother had told me when I was a child, which meant: “The only thing we can leave to you (after we’re gone), is an education.”, I realized that her words of wisdom were not in vain. My mistakes, successes, and future goals all had a purpose to which I may not have had the clarity nor the maturity to see at the time, but with the experience I gained, eventually began to take a defined form. The experience of my father having been an alcoholic taught me how to regain control of my life, after seeing him lose control of his own. My grandfather taught me through his patience and wisdom how to become who I wanted to be by finding a passion and never letting go; and most importantly never surrendering to the obstacles in the way. What I concluded from the twists and turns life had given me was that the only thing holding me from doing anything I desired, was myself.

When I came to know that my family could not afford tuition anymore, yet I could not qualify for sufficient financial aid, I searched endlessly for a means to continue classes. My position as a barista at Starbucks had granted me an enormous benefit by waiving my tuition, if I was able to work a minimum of 30 hours per week. My job had taught me more about time management and responsibility than any other job I had held previously, even as an RA my freshman year in college. Balancing a full course load while working the minimum hours proved to be a daunting task at first, but over time I attained the ability to make the correct prioritization's which allowed me to recuperate from my errors.

One of my most influential figures in my undergraduate courses, Dr. Z, had taught in several of the classes I took about a paradox present in any Justice system, which helped me understand and truly hone down my passion for law. The paradox being that justice is never guaranteed in any system. It is often taken for granted because it’s part of the name of our system, and at times promised, however in reality and practicality, it is a goal or purpose of our system rather than a sure outcome, and in many cases the very system used to bring justice, creates injustice. This conflict between the intended purpose of our legal system, and its outcome perplexed me and sparked an unstoppable interest in my mind to find out more about what I can do to make a difference. Through the classes such as “Judicial Politics and Processes” and both “Constitutional History I & II”, I found an incredible abundance of information about why our system has succeeded and failed in many ways. Through lectures, brainstorming, and debating in classes, I finally found a passion that I now would never let go, because it is exactly what I would love to do for the rest of my life: A career in the legal world, shaping and changing it for the better.

“Change is the law of life”, as John F. Kennedy once said, the experiences both new and old I’ve been fortunate enough to have, allowed me to realize more about myself while simultaneously showing me how to become who I want to be. Now, the time has come where I must choose which school would educate me about my passion, and ensure my success through a rigorous curriculum relevant to my interest in law. At XXXX, in the XXXX program, I am confident that the curriculum would teach me the most about [specific field/program goal], ultimately leading me closer to reaching my goal to be an attorney. With a degree from XXXX I can sincerely say, that I could not have been better prepared anywhere else. In this life, there are few things left that are truly permanent, one of those I know for a fact through my experiences is education. Through the changes and adaptations I have had to make throughout my life, I have gained the knowledge, wisdom and experience necessary to truly feel confident in my choice to apply to XXXX. My investment in education can only be trusted to the hands of the best, this is why I would be honored and proud to accept an entrance to XXXX, the School of law that would allow me to become the best attorney I could be.

Lady_In_Red
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:09 pm

Re: Draft 3, close to done?? SHRED IT!!!!

Postby Lady_In_Red » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:22 am

I think your PS lacks focus. It's not really clear what aspect of yourself you are trying to convey to the reader. You start off talking about your childhood defiance, move to education, then your job at Starbucks, and then to some class you took and then law school, all without truly tying any of these thoughts together.

Don't feel pressured to fit everything into your PS. Focus on one thing you really want the adcomms to know that will demonstrate your aptitude for the law. if there's something about yourself that you want to talk about that doesn't fit in with your central thesis, don't include it in the PS. Find somewhere else in your application to include it. Part of writing a compelling PS is having good judgment and knowing what to say where, when, and how.

Sorry for my long response...hope it was helpful

Dripworx
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: Draft 3, close to done?? SHRED IT!!!!

Postby Dripworx » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:03 pm

Lady_In_Red wrote:I think your PS lacks focus. It's not really clear what aspect of yourself you are trying to convey to the reader. You start off talking about your childhood defiance, move to education, then your job at Starbucks, and then to some class you took and then law school, all without truly tying any of these thoughts together.

Don't feel pressured to fit everything into your PS. Focus on one thing you really want the adcomms to know that will demonstrate your aptitude for the law. if there's something about yourself that you want to talk about that doesn't fit in with your central thesis, don't include it in the PS. Find somewhere else in your application to include it. Part of writing a compelling PS is having good judgment and knowing what to say where, when, and how.

Sorry for my long response...hope it was helpful


No apologies, thank you!! i appreciate the feedback. lack of focus/general direction is an issue in my PS. Ive been trying to focus or hone it down much more but i cant seem to nail it on the head as one solid facet of myself. Im positive that there is a way to centralize this much more but i need to work on it a bit.

Thank you again for your feedback, any advice helps!!!

Lady_In_Red
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:09 pm

Re: Draft 3, close to done?? SHRED IT!!!!

Postby Lady_In_Red » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:19 pm

No problem! Are you writing a DS? Maybe you can include some of this information there (i.e. your Colombian heritage and what happened in your community that encouraged your mom to keep emphasizing education).

It seems that the heart of your PS is in the last two paragraphs. You say that you learned about the paradox of justice. Have you seen this or experienced this personally? If so, how has it influenced your perspective on the world? What did you do as a result of your experience and/or knowledge of this problem? Why is law the next step for you in light of this?

You also say you want to study a specific program at a school. What in your experience led you to that specific course of study?

If you can expand the last two paragraphs of your essay, I think you may have a really good PS. :)




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