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Central theme chosen, but unsure where to go from here...

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:05 pm
by yong1ekim

I was hoping to get some advice/direction before I committed to drafting my personal statement.

I wanted to write about a person who has influenced me the most in my life.
I have grown up with a younger brother who has struggled with both epilepsy (seizure disorder) and HCM (heart disorder). I believe growing up with my brother has both shaped my core values, as well as honed my most refined skills. Furthermore, through some years of introspection, I came to the conclusion that these values and skills intersect with those of a lawyer (hence my decision to pursue law school).

From here...

I do not know whether it is best to go the personal, anecdotal route--reflecting on a specific incident and "showing, not telling" what I value and what I've learned


Going the chronological autobiography route--explaining, in a more general manner what it was like growing up with my brother (and perhaps reflecting more on my feelings and things that I've learned)

Thanks in advance for your input!

Re: Central theme chosen, but unsure where to go from here...

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:40 am
by endless_sekai
I would combine both. Your life with you brother can hardly be summed up with one anecdote. Nor can the depth of it be appreciate by just doing more general lessons. You should try to pick one good anecdote and mix some more general instances in. That way you can paint a fuller and more complete narrative than you would be doing either alone. That is, you should show what you have learned, but you should also demonstrate that the general instances and experienes with you brother have really made you think critically reflect about things. It may be slightly more challenging to do then one of the other, but the statement will be much better if it includes both in my opinion.

Re: Central theme chosen, but unsure where to go from here...

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:39 pm
by yong1ekim
Thank you so much for the feedback. I'll definitely take your recommendation(s) into consideration. I've read on so many forums and in so many books to "show" not "tell", but I've been having a hard time finding the fine line between what an adcomm can infer and what should be stated explicitly for them. Anyway, I'll post a rough draft soon and hopefully you as well as the other TLSers can give me more input.

Have a great day!