Personal Statement Direction

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

Postby fsuitw » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:17 pm

Below is a personal statement I submitted with applications for the 2010 cycle. Looking at it now, I'm positive I had no idea what I was doing and want to prepare a much more appropriate PS for my upcoming submissions. Any input would be greatly appreciated...

"Office of Admissions
University of Colorado

Dear Admissions Committee:

Thank you for considering my application to the University of Colorado @ Boulder Law School. I would be privileged to have an opportunity to receive a Juris Doctor from your institution. By way of introduction, I am a recent graduate of Arizona State University with a history major. I chose history because I believe an undergraduate in that area provides a strong foundation for my planned graduate studies. I am also a member of the ASU Track & Field Team.

As a freshman in high school, I was introduced to track and field, specifically the throwing events, and found I thrived on the rigor, discipline, and attention to technical detail required for the sport. I did well, at a local level; my throwing distances were above average; but I was not nationally recruited so I decided to try out at Arizona State. At best they would let me walk on to the team with the thought that maybe I could be good my senior year. Knowing there was much to learn and this program had the best teachers; I accepted the status of ‘underdog’. I trained hard, honed my skills, and established myself as a team leader. Still, no one expected anything stellar. I had already exceeded everyone’s expectation of a walk-on athlete. Everyone’s, that is, except mine. I knew that through focus and dedication, I could achieve more. In March 2009, at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships, I proved it. I entered the throwing circle for my fifth attempt in the weight throw and, in the minutes that followed, I knew what it meant to be ‘the best’. I won the competition. What was never meant to be was a reality and all anyone could do was stare. I was like a flightless bird suddenly finding itself on the moon when, moments before, the mere thought of flying seemed daunting.

The measure of a man is not defined by the expectations of others. It would have been easy to coat tail on the victories of my team-mates but, after that day in Texas, I knew I could never settle for ‘good enough.’ I have, to date, earned 4 All-American honors, won an NCAA Division I Championship, and received a USA Track and Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, while maintaining a 3.70 GPA. Participating in track and field has given me a tremendous amount of focus and drive and, above all else, the confidence necessary to apply my talents toward anything I want to accomplish.

I have enjoyed a storied and successful athletic career but now I am ready to fully apply myself to studying the law. Although the odds seems against me, I am reminded of my experiences up to this point, and that even as an underdog I can be the best. I will employ the same qualities that put me at the top of the podium - tenacity, discipline, and attention to detail – to advance me to the top of the class. I will not settle for any less.

Thank you, again, for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you.


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Re: Personal Statement Direction

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:23 pm

Um...not a great start.
Doesn't tell me anything about you that I don't get from the line about track on your resume.

The first paragraph is entirely superfluous--you don't need to address the adcomms, thank them, or introduce yourself. The first paragraph should be catchy, to draw the reader in and make them want to read more. (Also, don't use a quote.) Same with thanking them at the end and signing it like a letter. Just don't.

Sports can be a great PS topic, but you need to write more about how it changed/defined/influenced you. Tell the adcomms something about you as a person, not just that you threw the discus and improved a lot. Put some emotion into it. You have the start of it with your bit about not settling, but it needs more elaboration on that and less step-by-step detail about the timeline of your entire track career.

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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:12 pm

Re: Personal Statement Direction

Postby fsuitw » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:45 pm

Thanks for the input. At the time all I had really ever done was sports and school so I was never really that clear about what I could right about. After having worked full time and gained some actual life experience, I am wondering if I should focus my PS on sports at all.

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