Deleted! Thank you everyone :)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Ktenas
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Deleted! Thank you everyone :)

Postby Ktenas » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:12 pm

*removed*
Last edited by Ktenas on Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:11 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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gin
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Re: First Draft - Shred my Personal Statement!

Postby gin » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:34 pm

I must say I laughed pretty hard at the idea of someone thinking of one of those clowns people as influential but to each its own I guess.
It is not focused at all. You go from not been very motiveted to losing wight to academics and the connections between those things are weak. I won't worry about grammar or sentence structure at this point because most of it is going to be gone after you actually focus on something.
This is my personal opinion but I wouldn't mention that it wasn't until you listened to that guy that you started making changes that you couldn't make by yourself. It kind of makes you sound 1) not very self-motivated and 2) someone who needs others to tell you what to do (again that is just might opinion and others might think differently)
Take evrything I (and most if not all people here) say. I am not an expert by any means

Ktenas
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Re: First Draft - Shred my Personal Statement!

Postby Ktenas » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:51 pm

*deleted*
Last edited by Ktenas on Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: First Draft - Shred my Personal Statement!

Postby Kilpatrick » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:56 pm

If I read a PS that said someone's life was changed by watching a youtube video it would be an autoding. Focus this more, lose the Tony Robbins crap. I would make it more about the weight loss. that's an impressive accomplishment. Nobody cares that you solved a rubiks cube, but anybody can respect the work and discipline it takes to lose 100lbs. Write about that.

Ktenas
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Re: First Draft - Shred my Personal Statement!

Postby Ktenas » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:59 pm

*deleted*
Last edited by Ktenas on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: First Draft - Shred my Personal Statement!

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:20 pm

Delete "felecitous" & "extremely". Avoid ending sentences with prepositions.

Your essay starts off okay & flows well, but becomes a bit repetitious with a boring conclusion.

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MarineLaw
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Re: First Draft - Shred my Personal Statement!

Postby MarineLaw » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:28 pm

I'm with the above posters. Lose the "I-was-motivated-by-a-comedian" theme. Regardless of external circumstances, YOU made yourself lose that weight, not Tony Robbins (which is spelled two different ways in your PS BTW). I think if you expounded on what you put yourself through to lose that weight and the internal struggle that's required to drop 100+ lbs, you would do more for yourself.

Rubiks cube=who cares
Deans List/Academic improvement=nice, but talk about the process of going from A to B, not just "oh yea and I became interested and motivated and everything fell into place". Think about how you changed your mind, your outlook, what did you sacrifice, what revelations did you have? Can you tie this into a complete self-transformation? Were you bored with school? What was it and what was the change like?

You wrote "challenge myself" twice in two back-to-back sentences. Also discuss/discussion.

If you're going to write "ISU", you need to write it out first and then put the acronym in parentheses. i.e. Iowa State University (ISU).

That's about it. Losing 100 lbs is really impressive, talk about the motivation that you harnessed to do that and apply it to law school. Show them you have "some fire in your belly"

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gin
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Re: First Draft - Shred my Personal Statement!

Postby gin » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:37 pm

Also try not to repeat you resume. You made dean's list and I'm guessing you also graduated summa cum laude. That should be on your resume and repeating it here only takes space

Ktenas
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Re: First Draft - Shred my Personal Statement!

Postby Ktenas » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:49 pm

Thanks for the responses everyone :) i really appreciate it.

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YYZ
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Re: First Draft - Shred my Personal Statement!

Postby YYZ » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:12 pm

You have a really great story to tell. I think you just need to organize and clean up your personal statement so it flows better. Here are some thoughts:

1. Delete the first paragraph.
2. In your first paragraph, introduce the overweight issue and what event led you to want to lose the weight.
3. 2nd paragraph - describe the weight loss process (exercise, diet ,etc... and most importantly, what was the result?? more discipline, more energy, more motivation??)
4. Next paragraph - continue discussion of the weight loss process if one paragraph isn't enough.
5. Next paragraph - perhaps discuss how your weight loss gave you better insight about what you wanted to do with your life and more direction/hope for the future. (you decided to become a lawyer, etc) As a result, you went to community college, then ISU (spell out name of school), and made the dean's list. No need to mention the guitar, rubik's cube, etc.
6. Next paragraph - discuss how after weight loss and success as an undergrad, your next challenge is law school. You plan to attend law as a fit, energetic, confident person -- unlike the person at high school graduation.

7. Run the grammar and spell check. I saw at least one typo in your PS.

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esq
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Re: First Draft - Shred my Personal Statement!

Postby esq » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:51 pm

+1 to everything that was said.

At this point your statement seems to be a loop that says "I did good in school," which really doesn't set you apart from anyone else that is applying. It also comes off as strange that you graduated high school, went straight into college, and felt that graduation was out of reach since your only life experience at this point was going to and graduating from school. I think that if you can start with a solid paragraph that really helps the reader visualize you losing your weight, sweating each pound off, and your eventual realization that it takes small, consistent steps to realize your goals, you will have a better chance of pulling the reader into something real and interesting. And if you create the image of a motivational speaker's slogan popping into your head as you go through this (you shouldn't), the only one acceptable is Dana Carvey's "I'm smart enough, I'm good enough, and doggonit! People like me!"

When you say that you were doing well in school without much effort so you decided to challenge yourself, I expect to then see a confident guy who steps out and does student body work, gets involved in extracurricular activities, volunteer work, etc. You then crush that image by painting yourself as an introvert, a person who accomplished relatively silly things like playing the guitar, solving a Rubics Cube, and learning programming language. Your attempt to describe making the Dean's List sound like a monumental thing is also ridiculous. Most of the applicants that you are competing against didn't think much of this "accomplishment," it just happened. Hint: you need to find some solid accomplishments to talk about.

Your grammar needs some help. Along with ending your sentences in prepositions as CanadianWolf pointed out, you drop the semicolon incorrectly x2.

To me, your PS does not describe a confident go getter. It describes someone who who lost some weight, had no life responsibilities except for school, inevitably did well, and then graduated with nothing to do but apply to law school.

Ktenas
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Re: First Draft - Shred my Personal Statement!

Postby Ktenas » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:09 pm

Yea, i took out all of the little silly things, like guitar and stuff. I had a part time job as a programmer throughout school, do you think it would be wise to include some of my accomplishments at work?, like reducing a programs runtime by over 50%? I dont know if that seems interesting to law school admissions committees. Also what about including the scholarships i got, they are on my resume, but i do want to include some achivements in the PS.

As for the not thinking i was going to graduate, i went to a community college first and was struggling, the reason i went was because my dad forced me, i was going to take over his business, i didn't want to include any of this in the PS, so i just took out the line "I did not see myself getting a degree " completely.

I took out the deans list, i wasnt trying to say it was a huge accomplishment, i was trying to say that i set a goal, accomplished it, and what took originally took me a lot of effort to do, now became second nature and almost trivial. But i see where u are coming from, so i also took this out too. (i kept it in when referring to my original goal for school)

I revised my original post to my latest PS. I haven't taken everyones criticism into consideration yet. Still working on the earlier ones.

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esq
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Re: Second Draft - Shred my Personal Statement! *Edited*

Postby esq » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:21 pm

If you can show that you were not only a good student, but you worked and were successful at it, that is always a good thing - certainly much better than the image you paint with the Rubic's Cube stuff.

I think the scholarships and deans list stuff, unless you have a fitting story about an extraordinary scholarship project, is definitely resume material.

Unless you have some compelling reasons as to why a lifetime student who was just going through the motions (see most college graduates) wasn't going to graduate, I think that it would be more appropriate to paint yourself as a half-assed student who became a straight A student through an all around physical and mental transformation.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Second Draft - Shred my Personal Statement! *Edited*

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:54 pm

"...with felicitous discipline..." :?: Sorry, but this modifier seems inappropriate & unnecessary.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Second Draft - Shred my Personal Statement! *Edited*

Postby blsingindisguise » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:59 pm

I disagree with people on two points here:

1) I actually LOVE the Tony Robbins angle -- it's the kind of thing no one else would think of writing their essay about, and it's also honest. Although I might leave out the part about the youtube video -- seems irrelevant and diminishing.

2) People get too hung up on the idea that you should never talk about something on your resume as though it's a hard rule of essay writing. I think that's bullshit. If it's part of your theme, which is an overall upward trajectory of self-improvement stemming from a realization about your attitude toward life, then by all means mention it. I.e. it's fine to discuss things from your resume as long as they're part of the narrative and you're not just compiling a list of everything you've accomplished.

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Paraflam
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Re: Second Draft - Shred my Personal Statement! *Edited*

Postby Paraflam » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:58 pm

lose - verb: be deprived of or cease to have or retain (something) : I've lost my appetite
loose - adjective: not firmly or tightly fixed in place : a loose tooth

C'mon...

ITEDreamer
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Re: Second Draft - Shred my Personal Statement! *Edited*

Postby ITEDreamer » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:03 am

Ktenas wrote:I was at an all time low. I had spent the last half hour staring at myself in the mirror, disgusted at the person looking back at me. I was about 100 pounds overweight. I had no plans for the future and my life lacked any sort of direction. I had just graduated high school and enrolled in courses at the local community college. I was always an average student in high school, the idea of attending law school was inconceivable. I couldn't even stand the sight of myself in the mirror and I finally came to the realization that I was unhappy with my life and that some major changes were needed.

I used to be fat. Not overweight, pudgy, or rotund. I was obese. I carried an extra hundred pounds and was so ashamed that I once went three months without looking at myself in the mirror. I could not bear what I saw and I could not believe this was my life. My weight had become a barrier to my success physically, academically, emotionally, and in my personal relationships. I felt alone and empty. Then one day after high school, I was driving myself to the community college where I had been hiding and I heard a voice on the radio say, "If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you always got." I realized that the life I hated had been my own choice.

I took the first step of my personal transformation when I decided that it was time I finally get myself in shape physically....


Now get real. Talk about the pain you felt as you lost the weight and the knowledge you gained as you realized why you carried the weight in the first place. You were fat for a reason. Talk about the wound.

Ktenas
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Re: Second Draft - Shred my Personal Statement! *Edited*

Postby Ktenas » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:19 am

ITEDreamer wrote:
Ktenas wrote:I was at an all time low. I had spent the last half hour staring at myself in the mirror, disgusted at the person looking back at me. I was about 100 pounds overweight. I had no plans for the future and my life lacked any sort of direction. I had just graduated high school and enrolled in courses at the local community college. I was always an average student in high school, the idea of attending law school was inconceivable. I couldn't even stand the sight of myself in the mirror and I finally came to the realization that I was unhappy with my life and that some major changes were needed.

I used to be fat. Not overweight, pudgy, or rotund. I was obese. I carried an extra hundred pounds and was so ashamed that I once went three months without looking at myself in the mirror. I could not bear what I saw and I could not believe this was my life. My weight had become a barrier to my success physically, academically, emotionally, and in my personal relationships. I felt alone and empty. Then one day after high school, I was driving myself to the community college where I had been hiding and I heard a voice on the radio say, "If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you always got." I realized that the life I hated had been my own choice.

I took the first step of my personal transformation when I decided that it was time I finally get myself in shape physically....


Now get real. Talk about the pain you felt as you lost the weight and the knowledge you gained as you realized why you carried the weight in the first place. You were fat for a reason. Talk about the wound.



I actually have a really great story to show this!
Last edited by Ktenas on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paraflam
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Re: Second Draft - Shred my Personal Statement! *Edited*

Postby Paraflam » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:27 am

Ktenas wrote:
“We would all be a lot more comfortable if you weren't sitting next to us”. These words shattered any remains of self confidence I had left. I was at dinner with a few of my friends when a stranger, unhappy with the seating arrangements, let his voice be heard. Throughout dinner I tried to fight back the tears and keep composure. On the verge of breaking down, I went to the bathroom and stared at myself in the mirror. I was disgusted by the man staring back at me. How did I let myself get like this? I was not just overweight, I was obese. I had reached 300 pounds and was still gaining weight. My weight had become a barrier to my success physically, academically, emotionally, and in my personal relationships. I was alone and empty. I was so preoccupied with my weight problem that I had no plans for the future. My life lacked any sort of direction. I had just graduated high school and enrolled in courses at the local community college. I was always an average student in high school, the idea of attending law school was inconceivable. I realized that the life I hated had been my own choice. It was time for change.

I really like the general direction of this. Could potentially be an excellent PS.

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: Second Draft - Shred my Personal Statement! *Edited*

Postby FantasticMrFox » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:39 am

Ktenas wrote:I had just graduated high school and enrolled in courses at the local community college. I was always had been an average student in high school--and the idea of attending law school was inconceivable. I realized that the life I hated had been my own choice. It was time for change.

"I realized that the life I hated had been my own choice."
I think that sentence needs more conviction; I tried to rephrase it but couldn't exactly find the right words (mainly because I don't really know what you were trying to say with "my own choice"--as in life-style choices, right?)

Also, "It was time for change." I think that is the climatic point of your PS (well, at least of that anecdote) so make it stronger. Try: "I needed to change." or "I had to change."

And I think you can add more of the idea that you didn't have any direction by putting an adjective of similar connotation to the "courses at the local community college" or somewhere in that sentence. Oh and a question: are you using "just" as a temporal adverb? If it's temporal, it should be removed and if it's the other use of the word, then it should be replaced with some other word.

Ktenas
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Re: Second Draft - Shred my Personal Statement! *Edited*

Postby Ktenas » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:08 am

*deleted*
Last edited by Ktenas on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ITEDreamer
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Re: Second Draft - Shred my Personal Statement! *Edited*

Postby ITEDreamer » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:16 pm

Ktenas wrote:Im trying to convey that the life i was living (average student, obese, no self confidence, etc..) was because of the conscious lifestyle choices i was making. I had no one to blame but myself. Im having a hard time wording "I realized that the life I hated had been my own choice."
What you should be trying to convey is that where once stood a self-hating underachiever, now stands a winner. We really do not need to know who hurt you or how. We also do not need to be told about your determination, attitude, etc. We need to be shown. I believe the statement about 'you being in control' and the choice being yours even if the choice is subconscious is a great way to explain how you transformed (that is your epiphany). So I think you can work that. I feel like you are missing that point though and saying that the pain and humiliation is what turned you. I wouldn't do that. I think an opening or awareness is a greater angle.


I'm also unhappy with the sentence "These words shattered any remains of self esteem I had left.".
This is playng the victim. If you want to use the restaurant scene you need to turn it inward. "He said what I felt inside. The world was better off without me." But also you must quickly pivot from your rock bottom/epiphany to you "Rocky running in the streets"

I want there to be more of an impact, i want to show the reader just how much these words stung.
If you want to convey the feeling you had then why dont you do that? "Those words stung, and as I fought back the tears I realized they hurt not only because I was humiliated, but because I believed them"

When he said this, i decided not to eat dinner because i felt so bad about myself. What pissed me off the most was, he continually taunted me during dinner. Anyone have any ideas on how i could rewrite that line
So what you are saying is we live in a world of assholes? This matters on your PS how? This is about you, not all the jackasses in the world. My point is, facing your demons and actualizing your true self is an inspiring story. Hearing about yet another victim is not.

"We would all be a lot more comfortable if you weren't sitting next to us”. These words shattered any remains of self esteem I had left. I was at dinner with a few of my friends when a stranger, unhappy with the seating arrangements, let his indignation be known. Throughout dinner I tried to fight back the tears and keep composure. On the verge of breaking down, I went to the bathroom and stared at myself in the mirror. I was disgusted by the man staring back at me. How did I let myself get like this? I was not just overweight, I was obese. I almost reached 300 pounds and continued to gain weight. My weight had become a barrier to my success physically, academically, emotionally, and in my personal relationships. I was alone and empty. I was so preoccupied with my weight problem that I had given very little consideration to my future. My life lacked any sort of direction. After high school I aimlessly enrolled in courses at the local community college. I had been an average student in high school, the idea of attending law school was inconceivable. I realized that the life I hated resulted from the lifestyle choices I made. If I were to be happy, I needed to change.
["We would all be a lot more comfortable if you weren't sitting next to us”. The stranger at the next table's words stung, and as I fought back the tears, I realized they hurt not only because I was humiliated in public, but because I believed the message. Carrying an extra hundred pounds, I was ashamed to eat in public restaurants. I went to the restroom to regroup and spent a half an hour looking at the unrecognizable man staring back in the glass.]

Ktenas
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Re: Second Draft - Shred my Personal Statement! *Edited*

Postby Ktenas » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:46 pm

*deleted*
Last edited by Ktenas on Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ktenas
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Re: Fourth Draft - RE-Shred my Personal Statement!!!

Postby Ktenas » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:00 pm

I just revised my PS again. I think im getting close to being done. I just ran it through a grammarly.

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Magnolia
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Re: Fourth Draft - RE-Shred my Personal Statement!!!

Postby Magnolia » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:24 pm

Ktenas wrote:“We would all be a lot more comfortable if you were not sitting next to us.” The words of a stranger who accompanied my friends and I to dinner words had a profound impact on me. As I fought back tears and tried to maintain composure, I realized it was not only because I was humiliated, but because I believed his words to be true. I went to the restroom to regroup and spent half an hour looking at the unrecognizable man staring back in the glass. How did I let myself get like this? I was embarrassed to be seen in public. I was not just overweight; I was obese. I was almost 300 pounds and continuinged to gain weight. My weight had become a barrier to my success physically, academically, emotionally, and in my personal relationships. I was alone and empty inside. I was so preoccupied with my weight problem that I had given remarkably little attention to my future. My life was devoid of direction. After high school, I aimlessly enrolled in courses at the local community college. I was an average student in high school; the idea of attending law school was inconceivable. I realized that the life I had grown to hate resulted from the conscious choices I made. I realized that I did not have to stay unhappy with myself. If I were to live the life I wanted I needed to change [Are these realizations happening during your time in community college or while you were staring in the bathroom mirror? Proximity makes it sound like the former, but I think it's supposed to be the latter?].

I took the first step of my personal transformation when I decided that it was time I finally get myself in shape physically. I tried to control my weight problem for years. Constant failure led me to believe that my weight problem was insurmountable and any attempt to change it was futile. “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.” These words of inspiration helped me develop the attitude which I used to shed almost 100 pounds. Losing the weight took an immense amount of discipline and dedication and sacrifice. I had to make sacrifices. Day after day I relentlessly annihilated my body at the gym. I ran until the point of collapse. I pushed rep after rep until my muscles gave out, and then I pushed myself even further. There were times when progress seemed stagnant; times that I felt that I was wasting my time and could never accomplish my goals. I channeled this frustration and fear of failure into motivation. I would not choke on failure. Every day I reminded myself of my goals and my motivation for achieving them. I refined my strategy to accomplish them as needed. If I were to lose weight efficiently and effectively, I was going to need to arm myself with the necessary information. I spent hours researching effective exercise and diet regimens. I tested each one thoroughly until I found one that worked. I started learning learned how the human body works. It was learning about the science behind exercise and dieting that renewed my interest in learning [Can you rephrase this so you're not using learning twice? My immediate question was "Your interest in learning what?].

After 10 long and strenuous months, I finally achieved my goal. I successfully turned my dreams into reality. I attained the physique I wanted. I felt as if I was on top of the world. My confidence was at an all time high. The beliefs, attitudes, values, perspectives, and lessons [This list is too long. Pick 2 or 3.] I learned on my weight loss journey are essential to the person I am today and the reason for my personal and academic success. With a new found confidence fused with discipline, inspiration, motivation, determination and perseverance [Again, pick 2 or 3], I realized that with the right mind-set I could accomplish anything. I decided to take my new ideology and apply it to my studies. I finally started to realize my true potential for academic success.

At first, my newfound outlook on school began with the sole objective of proving to myself that I am capable of making the dean's list. I realized that just as I needed to refine my diet and exercise plan to get the results I wanted, I would have to adopt apply this mentality with to my study habits. I learned how to become a more efficient reader, practiced my general problem solving skills, and significantly improved my time management and organizational skills. More importantly, however, I changed my attitude toward my capacity to learn. I stopped believing that some subjects were beyond my level of comprehension. With the right amount of dedication, I could learn anything I wanted. I started to excel academically. As I matured intellectually, my incentives became much more than respectable grades and maintaining my GPA. I developed a zealous thirst for knowledge. When I started classes at Illinois State University my focus shifted entirely away from grades. I chose a major that would help challenge and refine my creative, analytical, and critical thinking abilities. As time went on, I realized that challenges were no longer just obstacles that needed to be overcome, they were opportunities to improve myself.

I believe all of my personal and academic experience has provided me with a solid foundation for pursuing a legal education. I hope to rise to the great challenges that law school has to offer. I believe that my academic potential has yet to be fully realized. I look forward to continually pushing myself to see what I am capable of accomplishing. More importantly, I look forward to enjoying the success in which I shall undoubtedly achieve.

The weightloss bit is good, but then when you transition to talking about how you applied it to your school work, it starts to sound like a GPA addendum. Can you talk about how you applied those same attitudes to other areas of your life, so that we get a sense of your complete transformation, instead of just physically and academically? Right now it sounds a little bit like "I used to be a fat Van Wilder, but then I lost weight and realized maybe it shouldn't take me 9 years to graduate, so I stopped being lazy and then I made the dean's list. BTW, I won't be lazy in law school."

I think you should cut the entire last paragraph. If your strength and ability to overcome challenges isn't readily apparent from the rest of your essay, then your PS isn't doing it's job. Plus, if I don't already believe those things about you by that point in the essay, flat out telling me isn't going to be convincing. Besides, you don't need to tell your readers why or how hard work and determination will be beneficial in law school.

It's a good start, but it needs more work, particularly the second half.




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