Personal Statement Opinion and Advice on Topic Appreciated

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

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Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:08 am

Personal Statement Opinion and Advice on Topic Appreciated

Postby matt690 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:26 pm


Happy Holidays to everyone.

I'm currently trying to think of a personal statement topic and essay to write. After thoroughly reading some books and these threads, I know I want to choose a story that conveys who I am as a personal beyond what my resume says.

One topic that keeps coming to mind whenever I read essays and read about ideas is

Years ago, when I was about 13, a younger brother had cancer. My family was struggling, and I wanted to try and do something to cheer my brother up and to bring my family together after weeks and months of hardship. I spent weeks writing emails on on the phone trying to get in touch with the executive office of a cruise line my brother really liked. My family had been struggling financially, and we could not afford a vacation, and after weeks of being told "no" and that they could not help me, I spoke to an executive (CEO and his assistant) who gave my family a vacation. My family, especially my brother, were ecstatic.

This showed the emergence of my persevering personality. It shows my ability to connect with and effectively communicate with others, my ability to convince, and also, from another point of view, my caring and emotional connection to the less fortunate. It's the personality that helped me make the most of my abroad experience, that has helped me get through school not only with a 3.8 GPA but also having met some amazing faculty, and that has given me my passion for community service, and for having taken on community service leadership roles.

-Did this story happen too long ago to make it relevant? It really is a perfect example of who I am, and it's the emergence of my persevering, caring, argumentative and determined personalty, the one that helped me through college and that will help me push through law school and succeed as an attorney.
-How much time should I spend on the story, the years between, and then now (college and going into law school)? Should I relate this to law school?
-Do I need other examples? Other examples are really just how I communicate and take on leadership (academic and non-academic) roles in my everyday life.

Thanks so much for your opinions!


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Re: Personal Statement Opinion and Advice on Topic Appreciated

Postby JasonR » Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:02 pm

It's a nice story, but a story that begins and ends at age 13 is not really PS material.


Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:08 am

Re: Personal Statement Opinion and Advice on Topic Appreciated

Postby matt690 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:03 am

Thanks so much.

If I turn the initial story into who I am today and how its a basis of my personality - why I volunteer and am involved in the community due to the family incident, why and how I enjoy making the most of every day, and why I still enjoy talking with others, working with others, and will continue to look forward to these challenges in law school and as an attorney....

...would that be a potentially good PS? I'd be using this story at a young age that influenced who I am as a person now combined with how it began to show who I am as a person (what I do, how I try to help, how I persevere through challenges, how I talk to others).

It's the one example I can think of that both focuses on influencing who I've become while demonstrating strengths, personalities, and talents that show my character and capabilities for life/law school/being an attorney.

Thanks so much, really appreciate any opinions.


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Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Personal Statement Opinion and Advice on Topic Appreciated

Postby minnbills » Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:00 pm

I think you could use this story to help demonstrate a broader theme in your personal statement. But, like the above poster said, it can't be the centerpiece.

I would point to something more recent and use that (hopefully you can relate it to the story of your brother as well.)

It sounds like, at this stage, you're not really sure what to do. I went through that. My advice is just to keep writing and sooner or later you will have something solid to expand on.

Feel free to PM me with a draft when you feel ready.

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