Writing about Confidence (or a lack thereof) in PS???

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Salfies13
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Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:04 pm

Writing about Confidence (or a lack thereof) in PS???

Postby Salfies13 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:00 pm

I. am. stuck.

I don't know what to write my personal statement about. I have a couple of options that I am going to work on, but I wanted some advice about speaking about confidence in your PS.

I've known I wanted to be a lawyer since I was 10. No joke. No lie. My entire life has been spent working towards this dream. I've had an internship at a law firm from the age of 15 til now, etc, etc,. THE PROBLEM IS...I've had absolutely NO support from my family in pursuing this dream. Every time my dad would have to write a check for tuition payments, he would say, "Another thing I'm wasting my money on that you'll never be". He tried to bring me down every time I saw him. Another example I can give to you guys so you get a little more background: I went to college straight out of high school 1,000 miles away from home. My dad came to visit 2 weeks after I had moved into my dorm. He wanted to take me out shopping to get supplies and things that I didn't bring out there. Come to find out, he had dropped my name to the a recruiter at the Air Force Academy in an attempt to get me to do something other than law. For weeks, my phone blew up with the many phone calls from recruiters. It got so bad that I actually changed my phone number.

I use to cry every time he would say something negative, but I got to this point in my life where his approval is meaningless to me. That is what I wanted to write about, but I kinda thought that the adcomm would not want to know that so many people (including my family) is unsupportive of my dream.

What do you think?? Any help is greatly appreciated!! Thank you!!

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sach1282
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Re: Writing about Confidence (or a lack thereof) in PS???

Postby sach1282 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:03 pm

Anything (well, almost anything) that's well written can be a good PS. Write it up and swap with people using the swap thread on these forums.

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Kabuo
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Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:53 am

Re: Writing about Confidence (or a lack thereof) in PS???

Postby Kabuo » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:04 pm

If you write about this, you need to approach it as "overcoming adversity," not "I have no confidence." And, if you are a guy, I think it will look pretty beta.

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Gizmo
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Re: Writing about Confidence (or a lack thereof) in PS???

Postby Gizmo » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:36 pm

Salfies13 wrote:My entire life has been spent working towards this dream.

If this means that you have an uber GPA/LSAT combo, you could just play it safe and write something boring and grammatically correct.

Salfies13
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Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:04 pm

Re: Writing about Confidence (or a lack thereof) in PS???

Postby Salfies13 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:56 pm

Thank you for all your replies! I am a girl BTW =) And yes, I have a great GPA...taking the LSAT in 15 days...Eek! So we will see, but in any case, I would never write a boring PS just to get by.

Of course I would talk about the "aha" moment of where I felt confident in myself. I just don't know if this is a good topic to write about. I feel like it reveals a lot of vulnerability.

dani_burhop
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: Writing about Confidence (or a lack thereof) in PS???

Postby dani_burhop » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:29 pm

What I would worry about here is that this topic has the potential to veer into diary territory. You still have a lot of energy around how unfairly your family has treated you, and that might come through as stressed out and aggravated.

That said, it is possible to write an essay that touches on the fact that you do not have a support structure, but that you've persevered regardless. If you focus on how you've overcome, you could have a fine essay.

For applicants with very emotional topics, I usually recommend "writing it all out" - you might just need to get all that energy out and on paper, so you can concentrate, you know? Be forgiving of yourself, allow yourself to feel hurt and hard done by - but don't let that energy overflow into the final PS too much.

I do agree with an earlier commenter re: risk - if you are a good match for a school numbers-wise, there's no need to take a big risk in the PS. The biggest risks should be taken for law schools that applicants need to get to sit up and take notice, because otherwise they'll pass the applicant over for someone with better stats. A great personal statement is truly memorable and written beautifully; many personal statements are straightforward and well-written; most aren't that great, or veer into needlessly off-the-mark territory.

I'm not saying play it safe - but I am saying, don't take risk just for the sake of it.

Best, Dani

CanadianWolf
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Re: Writing about Confidence (or a lack thereof) in PS???

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:37 pm

OP: As written, your original post in this thread raises concerns about your maturity & emotional stability. In my opinion, the best way to get reasonable advice about a personal statement is to write it & seek critiques.

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theadvancededit
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Re: Writing about Confidence (or a lack thereof) in PS???

Postby theadvancededit » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:35 pm

Salfies13 wrote:Thank you for all your replies! I am a girl BTW =) And yes, I have a great GPA...taking the LSAT in 15 days...Eek! So we will see, but in any case, I would never write a boring PS just to get by.

Of course I would talk about the "aha" moment of where I felt confident in myself. I just don't know if this is a good topic to write about. I feel like it reveals a lot of vulnerability.


This topic could go over very well if you're careful... but could go awry if you're not. While it does suck that your family has treated you like that, writing in detail about how they made you cry could seem too much like an emotional plea.

Your main goal should be to come across as well-adjusted, mature, and confident about your ability to succeed in law school . Whatever you write about should illustrate that in some way. Writing about confidence is a good way to do it, but focus on yourself, not on your family's treatment of you.




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