Possible Personal Statement Topic...Too Personal?

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Possible Personal Statement Topic...Too Personal?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:30 am

Hi! I'd appreciate some advice. I'm writing the first drafts of my personal statement and I'm wondering if the topic is too personal. I'll be writing about my relationship with my estranged father and how the end of our relationship inspired me to want to go to law school. Obviously our relationship didn't end on a good note. There was some abuse and I ended up having to call the cops on him which was my last memory of him. Help me out, is this too personal?

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Re: Possible Personal Statement Topic...Too Personal?

Postby bobbypin » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:44 am

I think you should write it and then determine if it's too personal to share.

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Re: Possible Personal Statement Topic...Too Personal?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:40 am

Here is an incredibly rough draft. If you all wouldn't mind critiquing it I'd appreciate it!

The point of me telling this story isn’t for you to feel sorry for me, but is to illustrate one thing: why I want to go to law school. My father was a good dad up until he wasn’t. After he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s he began to distance himself from my mom and I. Instead of being the person I thought I knew he started to lash out at my mother and I yet manage to retreat at the same time. He wouldn’t speak a word to me for weeks at a time and then there would be times where his screaming was relentless. I never wanted to go home because I didn’t feel safe there. In the end I knew the situation at home would somehow resolve itself, and that it would most likely be ugly, I just didn’t know when it would happen.
One Sunday afternoon the situation at home did resolve itself and I saw my father for the last time. I was locked away in my room doing my homework when I heard an eruption of yelling. This wasn’t anything unusual. I went into the living room to see what was going on when I caught my father with a raised hand to my mom. My mother yelled at me to call the police and I did. I wish I could say this was the first time this happened, but it wasn’t. As I dialed I could feel my hands shaking and I felt hot tears streaming down my face. The 911 operator calmly asked what the emergency was and I struggled to utter a response. Finally I managed to gasp that my father was beating my mom and he wouldn’t stop. Everything else was a blur. In what seemed like seconds there were two officers knocking at my front door. The officers put cuffs on my father and escorted him outside. Ultimately he wasn’t arrested but this was my last memory of my father.
I wish I could say I was sorry to see my father go, but I would be mistaken to not say that our relationship didn’t teach me something. It was because of the way In fact the last memories of my father taught my three important things: no one deserves to be treated the way that my father treated my mother, I want to do whatever I can to stop that treatment from happening to others, and the way I want to fight for victims is by becoming a lawyer. Whether he realized it or not my father’s actions are one of my biggest inspirations for wanting to go to law school. I didn’t enjoy the last few years with my father. In fact I hated it. But the experience gave me a drive to succeed which I did not have before. This drive has not only given me a goal to work toward, but it has also given me reasons to achieve this goal no matter how trite they may seem.
Like I mentioned earlier the purpose of sharing the story behind my last memories of my father was not to gain pity, but it was to demonstrate something significant that has happened to me which has shaped who I am and who I want to be. If I am accepted into your law program I can guarantee I’ll bring a unique perspective and drive to learn the law. I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to fight for those who’ve been wronged by accepting me at your school.

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Re: Possible Personal Statement Topic...Too Personal?

Postby Doovyhan » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:08 am

3 things I want to say.

1. first paragraph does little to illustrate anything other than character development of your father. I'd start with the 2nd paragraph, and condense the whole thing.

2. Don't make it sound like going to a law school is out of personal vengeance. You are not going to gain anything from it.
I understand that you've been through a lot, but you will be better off showing the readers that you are less focused on what had happened to you, more focused on how the event shaped you.

3. Nobody said anything about gaining pity, so why bother mentioning it yourself? It sounds like you are very aware of the fact that the story is bound to get some pity yet you are still sharing it. I'm pretty sure that's not your intention. Weave your narrative in a more detached, nonchalant manner.

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Re: Possible Personal Statement Topic...Too Personal?

Postby Cerebro » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:14 am

Use "me" when you are participating in the sentence as a direct or indirect object. Use "I" when you are participating as a subject.

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Re: Possible Personal Statement Topic...Too Personal?

Postby bmore » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:34 am

I don't think the topic is too personal but I don't think this is well written. It sounds to me that early on you are connecting his behavior to his disease but then you lose sight of this. The section where you talk about how this taught you something is hard to follow. The entire 3rd paragraph is poorly written. Not sure how you/we conclude that his actions gave you a drive to succeed? "Like I mentioned earlier". NO!!! How does what happened to you relate to being wronged? and the law? You have an interesting story. You don't need to be so literal to try to connect it to law and law school. You also need to show more about you and what qualities you have. Hope this helps.

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