Is there any positive?

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

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Is there any positive?

Postby tbird » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:13 am

I couldn't sleep, so I rattled off a new PS about a new subject. I wonder if any of it is any good? I don't really like how it flows alot, and I want to tie it together a lot more. But basically I am trying to show adcomms who I am, and how I became who I am. I am just trying to show them things about me that you don't get from my GPA, LSAT, or Resume. I am not really trying to explain at all why I want to go to law school. Let me know if this is an ok approach once I improve the delivery. I don't have any sob stories, or significant diversity to write about. Thanks.

“We’re going to tie you down and poor beer down your throat.” This was the typical banter that I heard and received from my “friends” beginning at age 13. Growing up in a small town, you don’t get to choose who your friends are going to be. Most of mine had lofty goals of becoming very successful drug dealers, with little thought about the future, and hopes of maybe graduating high school. I can remember nights in high school where I would go to my best friend’s house, and he would have multiple bags of marijuana, cocaine, and hallucinogenic mushrooms spread out on his pool table ready for sale. None of them ever spoke of attending college, or really ever discussed plans for the future. It was always “where is the next keggar?” or “hey can you be our designated driver tonight?” That was the extent of their thoughts about the future. Most of them planned to do what their parents had done, and what almost everyone in town does-go work at the copper mine.

I on the other hand never tried drugs or alcohol during my adolescent years, despite the never ending peer pressure from my friends and others. I made it a goal to stay away from such things, and at a young age being able to go against the grain so-to-speak gave me very strong convictions about who I am, and how I want to direct my life. It also instilled in me great confidence in my ability to mesh with crowds, and associate with people that do not share my beliefs, and honestly have values and beliefs that are quite the opposite of my own.

I never intended to work at the copper mines. I think that is a fine career, but I really just wanted to get out of the small town, get some education, and see what else was out there. Having friends and peers that don’t really share your goals can make reaching those goals very challenging. There were many times while taking honors English classes, Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics classes that were all not required courses, and none of which included my friends, when I really questioned what I was doing in them. What was the point? The possibility of getting out of town, and attending college kept me motivated to keep working towards my goasl. I found that I had a great interest in Science and Mathematics, but never really knew how that interest might serve me. Unfortunately, High School was never challenging for me, and I finished in the top 5% of my small graduating class with little effort. I don’t attribute doing well at my High School to my personal ability or effort at that point, but more to the mediocre education available at the only high school in town. I later learned when I began college how poor my high school education was.

After graduating High School, I moved to Gilbert, Arizona. I didn’t know how to become enrolled in College courses, and felt that I was not prepared to begin my college career. I didn’t really know what I would study, or what careers really interested me. I worked construction for a year to pay the bills, and then decided to serve a two year service mission to the Dominican Republic. Serving a mission changed my life completely, and changed me as a person completely. Serving a two year service mission is difficult on many levels. It is difficult emotionally, in that you deeply miss your friends and family, with only weekly letters as communication. It is difficult physically, living in third world conditions where there is rarely electricity, no running water, and most people have dirt floors. It is difficult economically, in that you pay to be there, and receive no compensation for your service. And it is difficult spiritually, to motivate yourself to do service and religious work every day for two years when you are really just a young man trying to figure out who you are. Serving the Dominican people was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I learned to love a people completely different than myself, or anyone I had ever associated with. It also helped to me to learn about myself, about a deep desire that I have to succeed, and to do honest and hard work in all that I face. The largest factor that it has been for me is a reference point of something difficult that I accomplished. Returning home, I also felt a lot more mature, and ready to pursue my college education even though I had a late start. I pondered my High School interest in Science, and decided to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering.

As I have now worked through my college career at Arizona State University, I have had my fair share of challenges, the same as any student. Most of my challenges have been due to my poor high school education, and the three year disconnect from education from age 18 until age 21. I have had these two significant challenges and blessings of being raised in a small town, and also of serving a service mission to help motivate me to push through. Every day I think about a difficult experience, situation, or trial that I was able to overcome either in my small town life, or on my mission, and that helps me get through whatever I face now. I always know that I have been through worse, and harder, and that I can be successful even in the most difficult situations.

Growing up in a small town, and moving to a large city defines who you are. Every time I tell someone where I grew up, they cannot withhold their disapproval. They always assume it must have been awful, and are always surprised to meet someone from a small town with goals and dreams as lofty as their own. I am especially sick of all of my in-laws making jokes about my town. Most of my current friends call me a small town success story. I don’t think I have achieved anything yet, but am very happy to know who I am, and what I can push myself to work through. I have no doubt I will continue to reach for and achieve my dreams. It makes me sad now to see where most of my friends have ended up over the past few years. I think of how different my life would be now if I had given into their pressure, and followed their lifestyles and study habits. I am extremely grateful that I did my own thing, and am excited about what the future holds.

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Re: Is there any positive?

Postby CorkBoard » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:43 am

There is way too much going on in this PS.

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Re: Is there any positive?

Postby kwais » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:48 am

"Stop starting PSs with quotes" said Kwais to the 357th poster on TLS.

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Re: Is there any positive?

Postby MayBJack426 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:50 am

I think you have a lot of great content to work with here. I'd pick maybe 1 or 2 of the events you discuss to really zoom in on. Mission work stood out to me, as did growing up in a small town. Like you said, delivery needs improvement, but good, honest content to work with.

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Re: Is there any positive?

Postby Liquox » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:05 pm

kwais wrote:"Stop starting PSs with quotes" said Kwais to the 357th poster on TLS.


Interesting story, but leave the high school part out, and drop a few "I ... never... ect"

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