PS Feedback

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ptorsten13
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:05 am

PS Feedback

Postby ptorsten13 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:16 pm

This is a second draft personal statement, but I'd love any feedback as to how it could still be improved. It would be great if it seems finished, but I'm skeptical.

While at UCLA, I was diagnosed with a rare lung condition which, while not life-threatening, significantly altered my lifestyle. Accustomed to having substantial physical and mental energy, I found myself only being able to concentrate for short bursts of time, a reality that increasingly frustrated me. In an attempt to process these struggles, I started journaling. Initially, these writing sessions focused on commemorating the loss of a former life, but, eventually, they blossomed into penetrating analyses of life experiences, both personal and universal. Writing not only allowed me to explore the depth of my personal experiences, but it shaped and refined my analytical skills. It has extended the influence of this process beyond mere verbal explanations and into the written arena—a necessary skill for success as an attorney.

According to my mother, I was mute until the age of four and unfortunately for not much longer. Upon recognition of the “problem”, I was taken to the doctor, tubes were inserted into my ears, and, depending on whom you ask, I began talking immediately and incessantly. But on June 1, 1996, things were different. The right words seemed close, as if they were just beyond my grasp. My uncle had passed away, and he deserved a fitting farewell. Through his unmitigated acceptance of me, my uncle had played a significant role in my development. Moreover, his kindness stood in stark contrast to the unsolicited displeasure of my father.

As my father’s namesake, I always thought that the similarity between us ended with our name. He liked muscle cars and football, while I spent my time reading: the newspaper, The Hardy Boys, and the back of Wheaties boxes. Yet, standing to deliver my uncle’s eulogy, I locked eyes with my father, and, somewhere between rhyming couplets, my clever limerick seemed to have vanished. My cheeks were wet; my uncle was gone. I closed my eyes in hopes that maybe when I opened them he’d be there saying this was all an unfortunate joke. When I opened them, however, my father was there—this time, by my side. With my father standing beside me in front of our family and friends, I finally felt as though he had made an effort to understand the man I was becoming. After my uncle’s funeral, it became easier to see my dad for who he was. Our blossoming relationship imparted a sense of confidence and empathy that, when paired with my innate desire for thoughtful analysis, was a cornerstone for successful work within a team construct.

Within my core group of high school friends, I had become the resident counselor, or, as they would often say, “the voice of reason”. While counseling never surfaced as a viable career option, those peer counseling sessions imparted a deeper, and possibly more significant, desire—analytical problem-solving. Independent of any practical component, analysis is, at best, mere philosophizing and, at worst, inhuman. Therefore, whether I was pouring over the theoretical considerations of a friend’s relationship crisis or abstract applications of complex theology, human empathy grounded my analysis. It was this developing skill that allowed me to effectively work in a variety of team settings: athletics, leadership, business, and education.

These communication skills and traits have allowed me to excel in two very different career fields: tax accountancy and high-school English education. As a tax accountant, I would evaluate a client’s range of business interests and their current economic situation to strategically determine tax ramifications for current and future years. Researching legal precedents for various tax positions and drafting client correspondence was rewarding, but it lacked the direct, personal component that I cherished. As a teacher, I am able to utilize my analytical skills, and I have the opportunity to impart these skills and a love of learning to the next generation. However, with the increased focus on standardized testing, there is little room for analytical writing.

During my undergraduate years, I always assumed that the road of life would lead me to law school, as I had a fascination with both the written and living constitution and its ability to address the myriad of societal issues we face in every generation—an interest I still maintain. Practical considerations derailed my original plans, but I have matured into a compassionate, resolute, and diverse individual. Over the last nine years and two careers, I have developed a multi-faceted view of how the law impacts different professional fields, and I believe these experiences have prepared me for the rigors of law school and a rewarding career as a lawyer.

horrorbusiness
Posts: 669
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:49 pm

Re: PS Feedback

Postby horrorbusiness » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:30 pm

Uhh, you have WAY too many different topics going on here. Way too many.

Lung condition, introspective journaling, early speech issues, problems with your father, uncle's death, reconciliation with father, counseling your friends, being a tax accountant, being a teacher, enjoying the constitution, wanting to be a lawyer.

Does that seem like a reasonable progression to you? Put yourself in the reader's shoes. This is just overwhelming and highly disjointed. I say pick a few of these, combine them into a cohesive whole, and then try to polish that product.

ptorsten13
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:05 am

Re: PS Feedback

Postby ptorsten13 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:55 pm

horrorbusiness wrote:Uhh, you have WAY too many different topics going on here. Way too many.

Lung condition, introspective journaling, early speech issues, problems with your father, uncle's death, reconciliation with father, counseling your friends, being a tax accountant, being a teacher, enjoying the constitution, wanting to be a lawyer.

Does that seem like a reasonable progression to you? Put yourself in the reader's shoes. This is just overwhelming and highly disjointed. I say pick a few of these, combine them into a cohesive whole, and then try to polish that product.


Thanks for the feedback. I'm trying to develop the thesis, mentioned in the last paragraph, that I have developed into a compassionate, resolute, and diverse individual that is ready for the challenges of law school. The events that I described were intended to show that development. How would you recommend that I structure it to make it more clear/less overwhelming? Specifically, which topics should I focus on?

Thanks again.




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