Personal Statement second draft. Can you help me out?

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sumtimesuwonder
Posts: 52
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Personal Statement second draft. Can you help me out?

Postby sumtimesuwonder » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:37 am

Concerns I have:
1. Am I too cocky?
2. Am I too dramatic?
3. Is it a good topic.

In my opinion, my adult life began the day my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Before this seemingly cataclysmic event, I was a kid. I was immature, irresponsible, and without motivation. My life had yet to find purpose or meaning. My mother’s illness was the catalyst that gave me the direction that I had previously lacked. I was suddenly forced into situations that had serious consequences, and I could no longer step aside like a child. It was under these conditions that I developed the responsibility of an adult, and the direction toward a future career in law. The story of my development begins with my father breaking the news to me over the phone.

“Ryan, your mother has a tumor in her stomach and she’s going to need surgery,” I heard coming through of the tiny cell phone speaker. It was shocking news. She seemed so healthy a week before. Now, her life was in danger. A future without my mother was an uncertain one. She was always there, acting as a safety net I could always fall back on. The thought of her loss left me feeling exposed and vulnerable. The threat of having to interrupt my education suddenly seemed very real. Luckily, my father was able to scrape together enough money to keep me in school and I had the savings to support myself otherwise. As if the new financial strain was not enough, I was continually scheduling very difficult classes at Penn State. The slate included classes in fields such as organic chemistry, physics, biology, political science, and Spanish. Never did I schedule a semester of less than 15 credits (for financial reasons of course). I was also forced to come home often. As my mother’s condition deteriorated, I was making the 3 ½ hour drive every other weekend.

Needless to say, it was difficult to succeed in conditions such as these. I learned how to cope through my work, both in school and in employment. Scholastically, my work served as a distraction from the problems I was experiencing back at home. I felt the need to validate my continued attendance at school with success. As a result, I poured my heart and soul into my schoolwork. I had never felt so satisfied by academic accomplishment in my life. I got my first taste of law education during this period of time in the form of a constitutional law class that was a requirement for my major. It focused on reviewing important Supreme Court decisions, and how they set up precedent for future cases. I enjoyed the detail that was required for me to prosper in the class. The act of poring over decisions produced the impulse that eventually motivated me to look into an education in law.

My employment was another important piece of my maturation process. Over the summer, I worked at an imaging center called Viewmont Medical Services. I was responsible for attending to patients basic needs, as well as preparing them for their procedures. My experience at Viewmont allowed me to meet a wide variety of people, some of whom I developed a relationship with. I noticed a pattern within those who were recovering from their maladies. Those who seemed to be improving had maintained an air of positivity about them. It was this positivity that got them through their tough time. It was an attitude that rubbed off on me as time went on. It kept me confident in my future, both without my mother and as a prospective law student. A positive attitude is what has kept me vigilant in seeking a career in law, despite the grim job prospects. I might not have faith in the improvement of the legal market, but I have faith in myself. I trust that I will succeed in the competitive environment that law has in store for me. Just like the patients at Viewmont, I will persevere.

My mother eventually passed away in March of 2011, only a year and a half after her diagnosis. A void has been left behind within my extended family. My mother was somewhat of a leader amongst my kin. Her tough love and strong will acted as an emotional backbone for my aunts, uncles, and grandmother. With her loss, many of my family members did not know where to turn for strength. I believe that I have been able to fill this role, providing emotional support to those who have lost their rock. Two years ago, I would not have been capable of such a role. My ability to move on with life has given my relatives a model of how to proceed. I am often asked how I have been able to adjust so quickly. My answer is always the same. I believe that setting a goal, and working toward it is the best way to deal with adversity. Every obstacle faced is only a temporary hindrance. Law school is only the next obstacle I have to climb, and I believe that the adversity I have overcome has prepared me for whatever lies in the way of my dream: a career in law.

Master Tofu
Posts: 235
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:43 pm

Re: Personal Statement second draft. Can you help me out?

Postby Master Tofu » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:47 am

I think it's too dramatic. Also you tend to meander - there are too many things in there. I would try to be more focused.

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

Re: Personal Statement second draft. Can you help me out?

Postby horrorbusiness » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:12 am

My condolences about your mom.

I dont think you're cocky at all. Dramatic, maybe, but that can be fixed. I think the topic is good if you adjust some things.

Before this seemingly cataclysmic event,


Uhh, it only seemed cataclysmic, or what is really?

I heard coming through of the tiny cell phone speaker.


delete this please, sounds like something a novice fiction writer would say.

It was shocking news. She seemed so healthy a week before. Now, her life was in danger. A future without my mother was an uncertain one.


are you doing these short choppy sentences for some sort of dramatic effect? doesn't come off well.

Luckily, my father was able to scrape together enough money to keep me in school and I had the savings to support myself otherwise


oh no, a college student would have had to use his savings for... college? and your dad paid for it anyway? kinda pointless... (other people have much, much, much worse financial problems, my friend)

Never did I schedule a semester of less than 15 credits (for financial reasons of course).


this sentence is terrible, beginning sounds like abe lincoln and the use of parentheses is pretty bad. you haven't convinced anyone that you're actually poor (but you could fix this).

I was making the 3 ½ hour drive every other weekend.


so what?

As a result, I poured my heart and soul into my schoolwork. I had never felt so satisfied by academic accomplishment in my life.


so the one time you actually worked hard and enjoyed school was because of this tragedy. now that the tragedy is moving more and more behind you, what motivates you in the future? did you permanently change? (hint: yes, you did, so tell me that you did)

despite the grim job prospects. I might not have faith in the improvement of the legal market,


not sure if you have the authority to say this, as a someone legally-naive undergrad (hey, i am too, and most of us are. just saying). i feel like the adcomms would read this and say "well fuck you too, then" if they feel you're uninformedly bashing their industry.

My mother was somewhat of a leader amongst my kin.


please get rid of 'somewhat' and 'kin'. cheesy/unnecessary

lies in the way of my dream: a career in law.


as a grand finale, i'm not sure you've even tried to convince us that law is actually your DREAM.

---

i think you have a lot of good material and are on the right track with the maturation/strength idea...

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sumtimesuwonder
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Re: Personal Statement second draft. Can you help me out?

Postby sumtimesuwonder » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:28 pm

Thank you horror business for the detail in your response. I see where you are coming from, I might just scrap the whole financial aspect. It really isn't a good argument and it makes me look like im entitled to more than I have.

As a result, I poured my heart and soul into my schoolwork. I had never felt so satisfied by academic accomplishment in my life.


so the one time you actually worked hard and enjoyed school was because of this tragedy. now that the tragedy is moving more and more behind you, what motivates you in the future? did you permanently change? (hint: yes, you did, so tell me that you did)


I also definitely agree with the expanding upon the academic success aspect of my paper into the future. My does make it seem like my success was limited to a small amount of time, which obviously isnt true.

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

Re: Personal Statement second draft. Can you help me out?

Postby horrorbusiness » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:47 pm

sumtimesuwonder wrote:Thank you horror business for the detail in your response. I see where you are coming from, I might just scrap the whole financial aspect. It really isn't a good argument and it makes me look like im entitled to more than I have.

I also definitely agree with the expanding upon the academic success aspect of my paper into the future. My does make it seem like my success was limited to a small amount of time, which obviously isnt true.


Yeah, keep in mind lots of people need to take out loans to get through school.

You can definitely fix the second part you mention pretty easily. Just make sure that you make it clear you changed as a person/student, and tell us how you will treat school going forward. Good luck!

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Personal Statement second draft. Can you help me out?

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:13 pm

I think it is fine to say that you began to act responsible when your mom got sick. I don't think you should assign that to adulthood. Lots of young people are very responsible and do the things they need to do.

imjustjoking22
Posts: 461
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:46 am

Re: Personal Statement second draft. Can you help me out?

Postby imjustjoking22 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:44 pm

Also, quick note, but "forced to come home often" reads wrong... were you really "forced"?

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Deadlights13
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Re: Personal Statement second draft. Can you help me out?

Postby Deadlights13 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:42 am

A future without my mother was an uncertain one. She was always there, acting as a safety net I could always fall back on. The thought of her loss left me feeling exposed and vulnerable. The threat of having to interrupt my education suddenly seemed very real.


Due to the nature of your topic it would be better appreciated if you focused the expression of concern on the potential struggles your mother must endure. It would demonstrate more maturity that your concern is for your mother, rather than your own fear of losing her. Try to shift the focus to your concern for her needs, not your own. It is implied that this is taxing on your emotions and that it would naturally create a barrier to placing academics as your first priority; thus, the details of the former do not need extensive description.
I hope this isn't offensive, as I appreciate your loss; but as a mother my first reaction was that you were more concerned with your own needs rather than your mother's. I am sure that is not the case, but your delivery communicated that to me. I hope this helps. Good luck with your revisions.




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