Overcoming v. Whining

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
jared6180
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:47 pm

Overcoming v. Whining

Postby jared6180 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:16 pm

I have plenty of time to write a PS, but I was just thinking about it, and thinking about what I have overcome to get to where I am, and it is quite frankly a blessed miracle. Religious indoctrination, the deaths of both my grandfather and stepdad in a 12 month period, overcoming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from my time in the Army... and there is more...

I will spare you, the question I have thought is at what point does describing this and how I overcame it all start wearing thin and sound like I am whining about my life. My life has not been terrible overall, however I have been through things a good majority of the population would just never understand.

Thanks,
Jared

03121202698008
Posts: 3002
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: Overcoming v. Whining

Postby 03121202698008 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:18 pm

jared6180 wrote:I have plenty of time to write a PS, but I was just thinking about it, and thinking about what I have overcome to get to where I am, and it is quite frankly a blessed miracle. Religious indoctrination, the deaths of both my grandfather and stepdad in a 12 month period, overcoming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from my time in the Army... and there is more...

I will spare you, the question I have thought is at what point does describing this and how I overcame it all start wearing thin and sound like I am whining about my life. My life has not been terrible overall, however I have been through things a good majority of the population would just never understand.

Thanks,
Jared


If you want to avoid talking about whining, talk about those things and what you've learned from them. Don't just say, "whoa is me, I had PTSD but I'm awesome so I overcame it."

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

Re: Overcoming v. Whining

Postby fanellex » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:49 pm

Overcoming Adversity can be a very powerful genre of personal statement for people to write in depending on subject material. Even then, everything has and anything can work for a very strong statement. It's important to note that the majority of that strength comes from a masterful composition.

I wouldn't advocate writing about how you are the great person you are today because you lived through stubbing your toe or doing the dishes, but some little (and large) elements of life, as we know, contribute to who we are.

Personal statements are meant to be personal and if you want to talk about all of these miraculous elements of your life consider writing in the genre of Life Narrative or Constructing Your Identity and rely heavily on anecdote or first-person retelling of experience to guide your readers. Follow the age old writer's mantra: "show, don't tell."

good majority of the population would just never understand.


This is very dangerous thinking, especially for a personal statement. First of all, understanding is often times the easy part, especially for highly intelligent people (like adcomms?). Secondly, it comes off a little arrogant and perhaps bitter, or isolated. But thirdly, and most importantly, your goal in a personal statement is understanding. You should want people to understand you and your experiences. That's what this is all about.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.