DELETED - Thanks for all the feedback!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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DELETED - Thanks for all the feedback!

Postby MillerTime12 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:40 pm

Edit: Thanks for all the feedback!
Last edited by MillerTime12 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First Draft of PS - Please Critique!

Postby NZA » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:57 pm

MillerTime12 wrote:Hi all. I'm a long time lurker, but a first time poster. Below is the first draft of my PS. If anyone has time to look it over, I'd be very appreciative! Thanks!

I'm worried that some parts, in spite of their honesty, reflect poorly on me. Also, the last paragraph might be a bit over the top. I don't want the admission counselors to roll their eyes...


I became a father at the age of nineteen. It was on August 1, 2009, mere weeks before I would return to SCHOOL for my sophomore year, that my son NAME was born. While other students had spent their summer in a state of carefree bliss at beaches and parties, I had spent mine building a nursery, “baby-proofing” my house, and attending child-care classes. Perhaps needless to say, my life had taken a turn that I never could have imaginedin my most fantastic dreams.

Though I have been asked often, it is difficult to articulate exactly how I felt when I first discovered I was to become a teenage parent. I remember holding my girlfriend ever so tightly, both of us crying as we saw our lives crumbling before our very eyes. We were both raised with the commonly held,yet distinctly flawed Unless you talk about this later, it's an unnecessary editorial perception that becoming a teenage parent is an economic death sentence. It meant that dreams had to be abandoned and that we would most certainly struggle for the rest of our lives, barely able to make it from paycheck to paycheck. When the news broke (and it certainly was news), I could feel my community I know what you're trying to say, but I'd find a better word than community. What about...friends and family? Classmates? something like that. judging me. I was no longer looked upon with pride admired as the high school salutatorian, the one who might just escape this rural city and create a better future life.. Instead, I was now being written off as just another teen father, inevitably doomed tofail failure.

Admittedly,I was scared, nervous, and anxious I feel like anxiety and nervousness are pretty much the exact same...if not, they are definitely close. I'd cut one. all at once. After all, I was just a freshman in college who still lived still living with his parents and workedworking for minimum wage at the local movie theater. I was in no state not ready to be a father, to have another human being depending depend upon on me. However, I quickly realized that I needed to own up to my irresponsibility I don't like that at all. I'd say, "to accept responsibility for my child" or something like that.. I had no choice but to grow up and embrace parenthood with open arms. My fears and concerns had to be put aside to make room for this little boy who would teach me the true meaning of unconditional love. To put it simply, I was a boy trying to be a man. Too sappy.

Even though I anticipated life as a student-parent to be challenging, I had no idea what was in store how difficult it would be.. While most students struggle to balance classes, work, and extracurricular commitments, I have been forced to do this as a supplement to supporting (financially, emotionally, and physically) an infant. Classes were missed and assignments were turned in late. I will not deny that this has been and continues to be a struggle. Just being away from NAME makes it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Thanks in large part to an incredible support network, I have been able to overcome and grow as a result though. My exemplary GPA, notable work experience, and numerous extracurricular leadership positions attest to the fact that my newfound paternal role has certainly accelerated my capacity to manage time and priorities. A little braggy. Find a way to say this without sounding too proud of yourself, and I think it'll be a bit better.

I believe that becoming a father as an undergraduate is both a hardship that I have overcome as well as my greatest accomplishment. great sentence: I think it very much encapsulates what you're trying to express in this essay, which is a great way to open a closing paragraph. To be sure, having a son has changed the way I perceive the world. My son has allowed me to realize a purpose in life outside of myself. Awkward sentence. I don't entirely understand what you're trying to say, here. Coming from a blue-collar family that has yet to produce to a bachelor’s degree college graduate, I know that I want something better for my son. As a society, we seem stuck in the perception that what someone is born into is, inevitably, what he/she becomes. are you sure we really believe that? Also, awkward sentence. Also, -10 points for "he/she." You can easily rewrite this sentence to be gender neutral by making the "someone" a plural. If this is unclear, just ask me and I'll clarify. By attending law school, I hope to break this vicious cycle ugly cliche. Not only do I envision a life for me in which I exceed the accomplishments of my parents, but I also envision a life for NAME in which he achieves things I could only begin to imagine another ugly cliche. :P. I will work diligently as a father, student, and lawyer with my only impetus word choice being the hope that my efforts somehow enable NAME to be someone so much greater than me.

First, not a bad PS overall. It's not bad for a first draft in terms of the writing, you just have to tighten it up.

However, it definitely seems like we've got a confusing bunch of themes running through this PS:

1) Society judging you for having a kid as a teenager.

2) The difficulty of raising a kid as a teenager.

3) The joy of fatherhood.

4) Coming of age.

5) Your blue collar roots and overcoming societal expectations/providing a better life for your kid.

These themes all seem to be tangentially related, I will admit, and that's totally fine. But I'm not getting any strong point at all from this PS at all. This seems to be the over all idea: "I believe that becoming a father as an undergraduate is both a hardship that I have overcome as well as my greatest accomplishment." So maybe you should put this up front somewhere, instead of having it at the end.

But these issues are all pretty insignificant when compared, however, to a much larger (though not uncommon, I think) problem: you haven't told your audience why you want to/should be allowed into their law school. Lots of PSs seem to have this problem (mine old PS included), which is essentially one of balancing your very compelling personal story with the necessity of explaining why you will be a good law student.

After reading this, I feel like I know a little bit about you, and maybe a little bit about your personality. But this essay could easily have been a PS for someone applying to any kind of school: med school, dental school, b school, etc. Does that make sense?

So what I would do if I were you is cut out some of the paragraphs that are sort of pointless, and put in some paragraphs about how being a father has brought you to where you are now: a prospective law student.

Feel free to post any questions or PM me if you have any more questions. :) And good luck.


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Re: First Draft of PS - Please Critique!

Postby MillerTime12 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:21 pm

Wow, NZA! Thanks for the excellent feedback! This really helps.

I'll get to work making some changes and probably PM you with some questions.


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Re: First Draft of PS - Please Critique!

Postby caminante » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:52 pm

I agree with the feedback NZA had for you. I will add that the essay comes off as pretty generic when it comes to being a teen father. You used a lot of the phrasing that we all have heard on TV and movies about what it's like to be a teen father. While I'm sure that it's all true, we already have these images in our head from you just mentioning that you became a father at age 19. Instead of reinforcing our pre-conceived notions of teen fatherhood, try to illustrate some of the specifics of your experience.

You are definitely on the right track!


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Re: First Draft of PS - Please Critique!

Postby freestallion » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:06 am

I complete agree with the other critiques. I think you have a compelling story, but how does this relate to why you want to attend law school? If it doesn't relate at all, why would the adcomms want to admit you into their law schools?


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Re: First Draft of PS - Please Critique!

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:29 pm

My honest opinion is, I don't like this PS. To me, it does little more than describe a challenge you have faced, with some but few details about how you overcame it. But worse, you sound like a victim.

I think a better approach would be to focus on the choices/decisions you made, how your character helped you, and the lessons you learned along the way. You chose to keep the baby, you chose to stay in school, you chose to be an involved parent despite all that you had on your plate. See what I mean?


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Re: First Draft of PS - Please Critique!

Postby MillerTime12 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:30 pm

Solid feedback, everyone. I really appreciate it.

I'll keep working on it!

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