Personal Statement Help/Advice/Critiques

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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salsahips
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:53 pm

Personal Statement Help/Advice/Critiques

Postby salsahips » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:56 pm

I would greatly appreciate any advice anyone might have. It's a little short and I can probably squeeze in a couple of paragraphs. This is my first rough draft so grammatical errors might be present, but please point them out. Thanks.
Last edited by salsahips on Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

livelovelaugh49
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:10 pm

Re: Personal Statement Help/Advice/Critiques

Postby livelovelaugh49 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:50 pm

salsahips wrote:I would greatly appreciate any advice anyone might have. It's a little short and I can probably squeeze in a couple of paragraphs. This is my first rough draft so grammatical errors might be present, but please point them out. Thanks.

2001 was the defining year of my life. Not because I graduated middle school or accomplished any academic or athletic achievement. And no, the significance of that year is not predicated upon the attacks on 9/11. 2001 was the year my father had a seizure on a sidewalk, split his head open, underwent brain surgery, and spent weeks in a coma. The experience sowed the seeds for both the mettle and the motivation for overcoming hardship and seeing my goals through to their completion.
Staring at my father, a literal hybrid of man and machine, his breath being artificially respired and his heart artificially pumped, was the most frightening experience of my life. It was more frightening than the numerous times the policemen would knock on our door. Even more frightening than the countless times I had seen him on the verge of death during drug and alcohol induced stupors.
My father by all accounts had it coming, but all I could see was my dad on his deathbed. I went through the entire gamut of emotions. Fear, that he would die. Anger, that he would put me in such a situation. Relief, that if he would pass I would not have to deal with the constant emotional pain and suffering. Guilt, that I could possibly think such a thing. And right back to fear.
I am not re-telling this story to pity my way into law school, it serves a much larger purpose. This experience, more than any academic achievement or any personal triumph, still serves as my greatest motivator. Anytime I am faced with adversity it becomes significantly minimized when I think back to what I went through and the inner strength I was forced to exert. This experience was the culmination of a lifetime of disappointment and it taught me once and for all that what I wanted to be in life was everything my father was not.
My father had been a drug addict since I was born. Disappointment was a normal experience. Yet, as a young boy, I could not help but have the utmost adoration for him. He was superman as far as I was concerned, and the stark contrast between the superhero I envisioned and the reality I came to understand provided the context for my development from a young boy to a young man. I did not have a father to look up to; I had to figure out my way as I went along.
That path which led to where I am today was difficult and rife with challenges. I did not necessarily conquer them all and there were definitely times when I questioned whether I had what it took to become something great. Yet time after time, I reminded myself that I simply had to endure, and that I simply had to overcome whatever obstacles I might have faced. I reminded myself that at every juncture of my father’s life where his will was tested, he made the wrong decisions, and I would not allow myself to fall victim to the same fate.
Ironically, despite my father’s lack of providing me a positive role model, he still managed to offer me crucial lessons. For the rest of my life, I will look to my father, not with spite, or anger, or resentment – I have already metabolized those emotions – but rather I will look to my father as the perfect example of what I will not become.
No one is immune to mistakes, but it is how we respond to our errors that determines our character. No one is perfect, but it is how closely we approximate our ideals that determines our success. I fully intend to keep my father in mind whenever I am faced with failure so that I can assure that I will not be consumed by it.


I'll be honest in saying that I am not the best to give advice on personal statements right now as I am still having trouble writing mine, but I wanted to say that after reading many others, yours is one of the best ones I have read yet. It truly tells a story about who you are and what you aspire to be in terms of a persons character. You may want to include how this prove successful in law school/law in general (many people say you don't have to include this, so you don't necessarily have to take my advice). It's pretty clear that you are saying if you have the strength to endure that you can endure anything, that's what I got from it anyway, but you may want to tie it in to your future career somehow. Just a suggestion, but honestly great job!

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MrHaephestus
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: Personal Statement Help/Advice/Critiques

Postby MrHaephestus » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:10 am

I am conflicted about your statement. I think you could boil down all the stuff about your dad and the past into the opening paragraph, or first two paragraphs - tops. Then move to speak about anything you've done that's concrete and gives the reader something to point to and say,"ok, so the past with dad led to the candidate doing . . ., and that shows moxie."

You've got plenty about yourself, and about what's gone on / is going on in your head, but I need some "real world" stuff in here that demonstrates how you've taken your experience and used it advantageously.




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