What do you think of this idea for a personal statement?

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What do you think of this idea for a personal statement?

Postby dean159 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:03 am

Hi all,

I'm planning on applying for entry in Fall 2012 so I thought it'd be a good idea to get started now on getting my personal statement together. One idea that I've thought of is to discuss my relationship with my grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, and how that's influenced my values and views on life. In particular, I was thinking of focusing upon when I participated with him and my mother on a 'March of the Living Program' in Poland, where I travelled with him to his hometown, saw his mother's grave (she died in the town after the Nazis arrived but prior to him being taken to the camps) and travelled to a number of different death camps before marching in Auschwitz with thousands of others on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust memorial day).

My main worry in doing this is that while I do honestly believe that my grandfather's experienced have been truly influential, I fear that it might be perceived as focusing too much on someone else and their experiences and not enough on mine. That's the reason why I particularly want to stress my own personal trip to Poland with him, but at the same time I'm worried that might not be enough. Otherwise, I can't really think of another topic at the moment though so it seems to be the best option available.

My only other option I've thought about is to talk about how I'm actually applying from Australia and why I want to study in the US. But I thought that that was probably more suitable for a diversity statement and so I should focus on a different aspect of my personality in the PS.

Do you guys think that sounds at all like it could be the foundation for a good personal statement? Obviously it depends on how I write it but I just wanted some general opinions before I really start trying to put it all together.

Thanks so much.


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Re: What do you think of this idea for a personal statement?

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:44 am

It's not a bad idea, but the key is to be able to find some connection to the effect it has on who you are and to emphasize that. How did this experience shape you, does it have anything to do with your desire to study law, did it change the way you think about what's important in life, etc.

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Re: What do you think of this idea for a personal statement?

Postby icecold3000 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:28 am

Writing about your holocaust surviving grandfather as a mentor could be a fine topic if done properly. Like the above poster said, the key would be to make sure you focus it on how this relationship affected you, not just a short biography of your grandfather. Be warned though, it is generally difficult to find the proper balance between mentor/author in a personal statement.

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Re: What do you think of this idea for a personal statement?

Postby Flips88 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:30 am

If you can use it as a brief introductory anecdote and then expand on what you value and how that has influenced your goals in life, I think that could make for a powerful PS

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