Rough Rough Draft Please Critique

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crv8623
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:40 am

Rough Rough Draft Please Critique

Postby crv8623 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:01 pm

As I walked into the Dean of Students office I couldn’t help but smell the flowers, notice the smiling faces of the people around me, and the cheerfulness of the secretary when she told me to sit down for a moment and wait. None of these moments of happiness could change the emptiness I was feeling inside of me. I couldn’t help but wonder how I let my life get so far off track, how I let my priorities get so skewed, and how I let myself wander so far away from my goal of becoming a lawyer.
It didn’t take long for the secretary to announce to me that it was my turn to enter the office. I don’t think I ever walked with such a heavy step in my entire life. I sat down and they began to announce the charges against me. I was drunk and proceeded to start a fight with my best friend and my roommate. As I was sitting there they were repeating the incident and the possible punishments against me it seemed as though my dream was seeping away. It was declared that I could face a possible punishment of up to two semester’s suspension. Throughout my entire life up to that point I lacked a catalyst, something that would thrust me into change, something I could use to ignite the willpower inside of me. After a long conversation they decided to reduce the sentence to a one term suspension and the catalyst presented itself. After the meeting one of the deans took me aside and told me the one thing I had been waiting to hear my entire life: “He believed that I would be able to change and that I would be able to accomplish the goals I had set for myself.”
His one word believe was what I had been waiting to hear my entire life. Deep down inside of me until that moment I didn’t know if I had it in me to change my life. I didn’t know if I had the ability and the determination to change my path, push through the obstacles that life would present to me, and achieve my ultimate goal. His belief in me was the catalyst for my change. I spent my time off volunteering and working part time at a local retail shop eager to get back into school, eager to show him that his belief in me would not go unfulfilled.
The next fall I returned to school rejuvenated. I felt like a new person, with a new path, and with a sense of resolve not to submit to desires that could negatively affect me. I took a personal interest in every class I was registered for. I no longer drank in excess and I no longer was lured into actions that could throw me off my path. I became a new man, with new priorities, and with a new sense of direction. I was determined to prove my dean correct. I felt a new sense of determination and drive that I had long been lacking. I joined varsity swimming and raised my GPA to a 3.3 the year following the suspension and then to a 3.7. I used his belief in me as a catalyst that changed my entire life. I no longer am a person that doesn’t have a plan, I no longer am a person that lacks the determination and the willpower to push through obstacles, I am ready. I am ready to continue on my path. I will never forget that incident and I will never forget the change it created in me. I am eager for the challenges law school will present me and I am eager to utilize who I am now to push forward towards my goal.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Rough Rough Draft Please Critique

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:45 pm

crv8623 wrote:As I walked into the Dean of Students office I couldn’t help but smell the flowers, notice the smiling faces of the people around me, and register the cheerfulness of the secretary when she told me to sit down for a moment and wait. [need to keep the structure of the list items parallel.] None of these moments of happiness [they're observations, not moments] could change the emptiness I was feeling inside of me. [extremely trite description] I couldn’t [contractions are generally discouraged in formal writing such as a PS] help but wonder how I had let my life get so far off track, how I had let my priorities get so skewed, and how I had let myself wander so far away from my goal of becoming a lawyer.

It didn’t take long for the secretary to announce to me that it was my turn to enter the office. I don’t think I had ever walked with such a heavy step in my entire life. I sat down and they began to announce the charges against me. I was drunk and proceeded to start a fight with my best friend and my roommate. [I assume that this is the charge against you and that you weren't drunk and fighting in the dean's office. Your tenses need help.] As I was sitting there [comma] they were repeating the incident [really, they were drunk and fighting too? consider 'relating' or 'describing.'] and the possible punishments against me it seemed as though my dream was seeping away. It was declared that I could face a possible punishment of up to two semester’s [semesters' -- plural possessive] suspension. Throughout my entire life up to that point [comma] I had lacked a catalyst, something that would thrust me into change, something I could use to ignite the willpower inside of me. [oh good grief. Igniting the willpower? Really?] After a long conversation [comma] they decided to reduce the sentence to a one term suspension and the catalyst presented itself. After the meeting [comma] one of the deans took me aside and told me the one thing I had been waiting to hear my entire life: “He believed that I would be able to change and that I would be able to accomplish the goals I had set for myself.” [Did the dean say 'he' or 'I'? Unless he was talking about one of the other deans, a direct quote needs to say 'I'. Or an indirect quote could use 'he'. Your pronouns are confusing. Also, we have no idea if this incident was a one-time or habitual thing. We have no idea that you were underachieving--plenty of people with high grades get in trouble and even get kicked out of school.]

His one word [comma] "believe" [comma] was what I had been waiting to hear my entire life. [Cliché. And repetitive.] Deep down inside of me[Cliché.] until that moment I didn’t know if I had it in me to change my life.[Cliché.] I didn’t know if I had the ability and the determination to change my path, push through the obstacles that life would present to me, and achieve my ultimate goal. His belief in me was the catalyst for my change. [This entire section is just painful. And it's telling, not showing.]

I spent my time off volunteering and working part time at a local retail shop eager to get back into school, eager to show him that his belief in me would not go unfulfilled. [There needs to be more of your transformation, not just one sentence to show and not just tell us that you changed.]
The next fall I returned to school rejuvenated. I felt like a new person, with a new path, and with a sense of resolve not to submit to desires that could negatively affect me. I took a personal interest in every class I was registered for. I no longer drank in to excess and I no longer was lured into actions that could throw me off my path. I became a new man, with new priorities, and with a new sense of direction. I was determined to prove my dean correct. I felt a new sense of determination and drive that I had long been lacking. I joined varsity swimming and raised my GPA to a 3.3 the year following the suspension [you were actually suspended? You never mentioned it, only possibilities.] and then to a 3.7. I used his belief in me as a catalyst that changed my entire life. [The catalyst does not do the changing, it merely starts a reaction.] I no longer am a person that doesn’t have without a plan[semicolon] I no longer am a person that lacks the determination and the willpower to push through obstacles[semicolon] I am ready. I am ready to continue on my path. I will never forget that incident and I will never forget the change it created in me. I am eager for the challenges law school will present me[comma] and I am eager to utilize who I am now to push forward towards my goal.


Overall, you've got some problems with clichéd phrasing, about eighty missing commas, and some tense and pronoun issues. But more seriously, the way it's written, I just don't believe you that the dean's words were actually the catalyst, and not the seriousness of getting in trouble. Had no one ever been encouraging to you before? Did you drink and fight because you lacked a role model, or lacked the self-confidence that you could succeed in school? I also don't know enough about you before the incident, to explain your bad behavior. These would be important details to include and would add verisimilitude.

crv8623
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:40 am

Re: Rough Rough Draft Please Critique

Postby crv8623 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:31 pm

I appreciate the response and I will use your comments to create a better personal statement.

Thanks!!

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

Re: Rough Rough Draft Please Critique

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:13 am

Is this an addendum or a PS? It works as an addendum if you make it more concise and write it better. But it does not work as a PS. Write a PS about a more positive topic.

crv8623
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:40 am

Re: Rough Rough Draft Please Critique

Postby crv8623 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:24 am

Is their anyway I could utilize that event in a personal statement, such as a personal statement about the growth of me as an individual?

I am working on another draft where I describe myself before the suspension and then after. I use the suspension as the incident that sparked a change in my mentality. This is backed up by a substantial increase in my GPA after the suspension.

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

Re: Rough Rough Draft Please Critique

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:15 pm

crv8623 wrote:Is their anyway I could utilize that event in a personal statement, such as a personal statement about the growth of me as an individual?

I am working on another draft where I describe myself before the suspension and then after. I use the suspension as the incident that sparked a change in my mentality. This is backed up by a substantial increase in my GPA after the suspension.


It is not uncommon for people to make some changes when they hit rock bottom, but it rarely makes an interesting read IMO. First, your bottom is no big deal and your catalyst of having one person you don't know believe in you is unrealistic and unsupported. Actually it was probably failure that motivated you not the Dean's kind words.

If you want to use this before and after advertisement (that is what it is) you need to develop a better angle. Describe how you used the semester off or explain what remedial efforts you employed when you returned. Did you see school with new eyes as a privilege and not a burden for example?

Anyway, the I got motivated and am now a new person schtick seems a bit overdone and often overplayed IMO.

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john1990
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Re: Rough Rough Draft Please Critique

Postby john1990 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:08 pm

This will not impress anyone. Sorry but it just creates a poor image




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