2 page personal statement *Final Draft*

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john1990
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2 page personal statement *Final Draft*

Postby john1990 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:17 pm

Booker Washington once said “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed”. While I reflect upon my life through the lens of Booker Washington’s wisdom, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. My quest for knowledge has endured through a gauntlet of extraordinary obstacles, which should be considered when evaluating my position.
When I was a freshman in college, I was experiencing an education for the first time since dropping out of high school in the eleventh grade to help support my mother who is permanently disabled and legally blind. We had been living together in a small trailer on the outskirts of town since her separation when I was twelve years old. However I soon felt the desire to return to school and realize my potential.
I had no car, and the closest college was five miles away. But, I was determined to achieve redemption, so I decided to bike the 10 miles every day to and from school in the oppressive snow filled streets. I soon realized that this could only be a temporary solution. When I was eighteen I decided that I had to move into the city to facilitate my education.
I was able to find affordable housing alone; but, my new apartment was located in the ghetto of Schenectady. It was above a liquor store next to a bar and a funeral home. However, I was used to living in subpar conditions, and I thought that I could make my time there perfectly uneventful. But, I was wrong.
One evening in the winter of 2008 as I enjoyed my studies at my living room desk, I overheard a man enter the hallway of my apartment building. Moments later, I heard him kick in my neighbor Sarah’s door. I heard loud thudding noises as she was beaten and thrown into the walls of her home. I immediately phoned the police. But, after a few moments of listening to her cries I decided that I had to intervene.
I burst into the hallway and pounded on her door, but there was no response. The situation looked bleak, but I refused to give up and let this injustice stand. So I took a step back, took a deep breath, and charged the door.
I felt the door cave against my weight, and as I came into Sarah’s living room I surveyed the apartment. I was confronted with a ransacked living room, at the center of which a man lay atop my downstairs neighbor. He was still assaulting her, and completely oblivious to me despite my loud entry. I ran over and promptly subdued the intruder.
As we waited for the police to arrive I watched the suspect vacillate between states of anxiety, depression, and violence. Fortunately, I was able to take charge of the situation by talking with him and calming him.
Finally, I heard the police come through the main door in the hallway. I stood up briskly and walked over to the apartment’s mangled front door. I explained the situation to the officers at the doorway, and left the scene to them. I knew that they would be better able to carry out justice with me out of the way.
I returned to my apartment and immediately resumed studying for my upcoming exams at my desk. As I studied, I was burdened by the sounds of the investigation in the hallway. They seemed to be ongoing for hours. The officers sounded unimpressed with the intruder’s story.
Later, Sarah was brought to the hospital where she was treated for her injuries. The next day she was safely relocated. In the morning I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer so that I could help people through difficult situations which are too emotional and complex for them to overcome without counsel.
***I may write something brief about the specific school here at the end in 50 words, but i'm worried it may sound forced

smokemonsterfromLOST
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:26 am

Re: 2 page personal statement *Final Draft*

Postby smokemonsterfromLOST » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:45 am

I would drop the first paragraph. It's trite, and your own story is more interesting and moving.

fanellex
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:38 pm

Re: 2 page personal statement *Final Draft*

Postby fanellex » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:59 pm

Absolutely. Maybe keep the quote though, see how it reads. Smoke's comment follows the advice of "show, don't tell." Your story very obviously flows from Mr. Washington's advice without further guidance.

Use that valuable space to make your "why law" point more solid. Maybe bridge your desire for legal advocacy to a school using specific clinics in areas of personal interest?

laurgirl
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:53 pm

Re: 2 page personal statement *Final Draft*

Postby laurgirl » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:31 pm

These are the changes I would make if it were my own ps. *Anything in red is what i suggest using instead of what you had.

Booker Washington once said “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed”. While I reflect upon my life through the lens of Booker Washington’s wisdom, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. My quest for knowledge has endured through a gauntlet of extraordinary obstacles, which should be considered when evaluating my position.

Being a freshman in college was my first experience of education since dropping out of high school in the eleventh grade to help support my permanently disabled and legally blind mother. We had been living together in a small trailer on the outskirts of town since her separation when I was twelve years old. However I soon felt the desire to return to school and make use of my potential. I had no car, and the closest college was five miles away. But, I was determined to achieve redemption, so I decided to bike the 10 miles every day to and from school in the oppressive snow filled streets. However, I soon realized this could only be a temporary solution so when I was eighteen I decided that I had to move into the city if i hoped to facilitate my education. I was able to find affordable housing alone; but, my new apartment was located in the ghetto of Schenectady. It was above a liquor store next to a bar and a funeral home. However, I was used to living in subpar conditions, and I thought that I could make my time there perfectly uneventful. I was wrong.

this should all have been one paragraph. You have too many paragraphs with one or two sentences.

One evening in the winter of 2008 as I enjoyed my studies at my living room desk, I overheard a man enter the hallway of my apartment building. Moments later, I heard him kick in my neighbor Sarah’s door. I heard loud thudding noises as she was beaten and thrown into the walls of her home. I immediately phoned the police. But, after a few moments of listening to her cries I decided that I had to intervene.

I burst into the hallway and pounded on her door, but there was no response. The situation looked bleak, but I refused to give up and let this injustice stand. So I took a step back, took a deep breath, and charged the door.

I felt the door cave against my weight, and as I came into Sarah’s living room I surveyed the apartment. I was confronted with a ransacked living room, at the center of which a man lay atop my downstairs neighbor. He was still assaulting her, and completely oblivious to me despite my loud entry. I ran over and promptly subdued the intruder.

As we waited for the police to arrive I watched the suspect vacillate between states of anxiety, depression, and violence. Fortunately, I was able to take charge of the situation by talking with him and calming him.

Finally, I heard the police come through the main door in the hallway. I stood up briskly and walked over to the apartment’s mangled front door. I explained the situation to the officers at the doorway, and left the scene to them. I knew that they would be better able to carry out justice with me out of the way.

I returned to my apartment and immediately resumed studying for my upcoming exams at my desk. As I studied, I was burdened by the sounds of the investigation in the hallway. They seemed to be ongoing for hours. The officers sounded unimpressed with the intruder’s story.

Later, Sarah was brought to the hospital where she was treated for her injuries. The next day she was safely relocated. In the morning I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer so that I could help people through difficult situations which are too emotional and complex for them to overcome without counsel.

I still think you need to connect this incident and the question "why law" better. You only mention it in one sentence at the end.
Last edited by laurgirl on Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FryBreadPower
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:46 pm

Re: 2 page personal statement *Final Draft*

Postby FryBreadPower » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:38 pm

fanellex wrote:Absolutely. Maybe keep the quote though, see how it reads. Smoke's comment follows the advice of "show, don't tell." Your story very obviously flows from Mr. Washington's advice without further guidance.

Use that valuable space to make your "why law" point more solid. Maybe bridge your desire for legal advocacy to a school using specific clinics in areas of personal interest?


No. Never ever start with a quote.

geauxsaints
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:52 am

Re: 2 page personal statement *Final Draft*

Postby geauxsaints » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:32 am

Hey John, I think you have a solid personal statement, but I was wondering if you would be interested in my advice?

First, I would remove many of the adverbs and adjectives. I crossed out some of the words that I think you should exclude. Using -ly ending adverbs takes away from your writing and places too much unnecessary emphasis. In my opinion, stronger writing in general uses few adjectives and adverbs.

You should consider restructuring a majority of your sentences.

john1990 wrote:Booker Washington once said “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed”. While I reflect upon my life through the lens of Booker Washington’s wisdom, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. My quest for knowledge has endured through a gauntlet of extraordinary obstacles, which should be considered when evaluating my position.
When I was a freshman in college, I was experiencing experienced an education for the first time since dropping out of high school in the eleventh grade to help support my mother who is permanently disabled and legally blind. We had been living lived together in a small trailer on the outskirts of town since her separation when I was twelve years old. However I soon felt the desire to return to school and realize explore my potential.
I had no car, and the closest college was five miles away. But, I was determined to achieve redemption attend, so I decided to bike the 10 miles every day to and from school in the oppressive snow filled streets. I soon realized that this could only be was a temporary solution. When I was At eighteen, I decided that I had to move into the city to facilitate my education.
I was able to find found affordable housing alone; but, my new apartment was located in the ghetto of Schenectady. It was above a liquor store next to a bar and a funeral home. However, I was used to living in subpar conditions, and I thought that I could make my time there perfectly uneventful. But, I was wrong.
One evening in the winter of 2008 as I enjoyed my studies at my living room desk, I overheard a man enter the hallway of my apartment building. Moments later, I heard him kick in my neighbor Sarah’s door. I heard loud thudding noises as she was beaten and thrown into the walls of her home. I immediately phoned the police. But, after a few moments of listening to her cries I decided that I had to intervene.
I burst into the hallway and pounded on her door, but there was no response. The situation looked appeared bleak, but I refused to give up and let this injustice stand crime occur. So I took a step back, took a deep breath, and charged the door.
I felt the door cave against my weight. As I came into Sarah’s living room I surveyed the apartment. I was confronted with a ransacked living room, at the center of which a man lay atop my downstairs neighbor. He was still assaulting her, and completely oblivious to me despite my loud entry. I ran over and promptly subdued the intruder.
As we waited for the police to arrive, I watched the suspect vacillate between states of anxiety, depression, and violence. Fortunately, I was able to take charge of the situation by talking with him and calming him.
Finally, I heard the police come through the main door in the hallway. I stood up briskly and walked over to the apartment’s mangled front door. I explained the situation to the officers at the doorway, and left the scene to them. I knew that they would be better able to carry out justice with me out of the way.
I returned to my apartment and immediately resumed studying for my upcoming exams at my desk. As I studied, I was burdened by the sounds of the investigation in the hallway. They seemed to be ongoing for hours. The officers sounded seemed unimpressed with the intruder’s story.
Later, Sarah was brought went to the hospital where she and was treated for her injuries. The next day she was safely relocated. In the morning I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer an attorney so that I could help people through difficult situations which are too emotional and complex for them to overcome without counsel.
***I may write something brief about the specific school here at the end in 50 words, but i'm worried it may sound forced


The changes I made are just recommendations, but I would considering re-writing the entire statement. It is an AMAZING story and you are a hero, but the structure and writing style is weak.

You need to elaborate further on how this event motivated you toward pursuing a career as an attorney. Did you have any experiences with Sarah after the police left?

ryemanhattan
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:31 pm

Re: 2 page personal statement *Final Draft*

Postby ryemanhattan » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:38 am

you should take at least 90% of the previous poster's edits. and the quote is clumsy. Try to write a concise opening paragraph that is in your own words... think of all the other personal statements the admissions people will read that start with some grandiose quote. It's also not relevant to the break-in story, which isn't really an obstacle you overcame, but rather a f*&ed night that you reacted to very well. Your connection between the familial hardship and the break-in is ok, but you've really got two things you are trying to impart in this essay: 1. You overcame hardships 2. You are a bad-ass. Lose the quote which only addresses the former and find language that covers both...

ie I have not had things handed to me and, when things have gotten really difficult, I have risen to the occasion... in these ways I have shown myself that I have the fortitude and moral compass required to be an attorney... etc.

good luck.

ryemanhattan
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:31 pm

Re: 2 page personal statement *Final Draft*

Postby ryemanhattan » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:40 am

[quote=In the morning I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer an attorney so that I could help people through difficult situations which are too emotional and complex for them to overcome without counsel..[/quote]

Also this sounds more like motivation to become a social worker or priest.




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