Personal Statement, close to final draft!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Cricha11
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:12 am

Personal Statement, close to final draft!

Postby Cricha11 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:06 pm

Hey everyone, this is pretty close to my final draft so any input on anything would be amazing! Thanks!


I was at mile seventeen when I hit the wall. Legs trembling. Body limp. The constant pounding of concrete below me exhausted my body yet I did not heed the warning. Through the fog of pain and exhaustion, I picked up a nearly inaudible but familiar sound. As it grew louder, it revealed itself: a bagpipe extraneously placed mid-marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. The song was Amazing Grace and suddenly my body went numb. My head started pounding and I began to sob. I was mid-way to achieving my 26.2- mile marathon in record time yet this noise threatened to halt my progress.

I reflected back to three years, four months, eighteen days, and approximately two hours before that moment. I was listening to that eerie sound through a small, black, radio my grandmother had purchased at the local drug store. The occasion was my mother's funeral; she was 48 years old and had a lifetime ahead of her. I'll never forget that bitterly cold Minnesotan winter day. The bagpipes' muddled sound cracking through the cold, plastic, speakers as her coffin unevenly swayed into the half-frozen ground. With these memories running through my mind, I composed myself and continued onward realizing I was nearing the eighteenth mile marker.

After mile eighteen, I was in uncharted territory: my training had included many long days of physical and mental preparation but I had only exceeded eighteen miles once prior to race day. I had been working for this moment for the last eight months, pushing my body to its limits with the ultimate goal in mind: qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Running the Boston is widely known as the pinnacle of success in the marathon world and securing a coveted spot is no easy task. My age group required a finishing time under three hours and ten minutes, roughly a seven minute and twenty-five second per mile pace. Daunting as it was, I knew that I could persevere: uncharted territory has been as much a part of my life as running has been.

At mile twenty, the race began to take a noticeable turn. No longer was I running for myself alone, I was running for my past, perhaps even from it. I reflected on the memories that had brought me here and the obstacles that I'd already surmounted. In life, and in this race, I had always applied two guiding principles: never give in and never give up. Applying these principles proved challenging. At twelve, I gave a speech to a group of twenty alcoholics, including my mother, and their families on how my mother's alcoholism had affected my childhood. I remained steadfast in my approach realizing failure was not an option: I was there to help my mother. At sixteen, when I packed my belongings and left my mother's apartment after she became so intoxicated that she could no longer form sentences. I remained strong, pushed toward the future, maintained my composure and finished out high school as an all-conference cross-country runner. Or at twenty, when I finally allowed myself to accept who I was: a gay male. Growing up with a family that was less than supportive of this unique attribute, I often found myself living a lie. As I grew into a young man, this eroded my sense of self-worth, denying my future and doubting my past. I finally persevered, accepted my future and cherished my past.

Closing in on mile twenty-four, memories were coursing through my veins. I had been reflecting on everything I had tried for so long to forget. Using my past to propel my future had never occurred to me. No longer would I be ashamed of my obstacles. These obstacles were what shaped my success, not hindered it. I began to realize that my true strength in life lay not in a simple path but in the unknown, the uncomfortable, and the uncharted. We all have our own races, some with more obstacles than others, but we learn to live by principles that enable us to continue forward with our past supporting our future. We never give up on the race.

By mile twenty-five, I had replayed all of the pent up emotions contained within me. The last eight miles had quickly become a spiritual awakening, purging my body of any doubts I had. Approaching mile 26.2, my head started pounding again and my body numb but with a renewed strength I pushed on. Crossing the finish line, I looked up at the large, red, numbers above me - '3:04'.

With a renewed vision I looked past the race and into my future. I realized that I was ready for the next uncharted territory, of which will be law school. With my determination and will to succeed I will successfully complete law school with all of its challenges and opportunities. With all of these hurdles behind me, my heightened sense of determination intact, I will be able to assist those who perhaps, like me, began their race running from their past instead of running with it.

stilles
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:15 am

Re: Personal Statement, close to final draft!

Postby stilles » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:37 pm

Wow, a very beautifully written PS and the marathon analogy works well. Great job! My only criticism is that I have no idea WHY you want to go to law school. That is, what experiences/events have encouraged you to apply to law school vs other graduate programs/career paths.

Also, you do a great job in conveying a strong sense of character and ability to overcome obstacles.

Good luck!

Cricha11
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:12 am

Re: Personal Statement, close to final draft!

Postby Cricha11 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:24 pm

Thank you!! And yeah Ive heard that critique from a few people who have read it. I am writing a few "Why X school" essays and hopefully that will address some of those issues.




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