Yale 250 Feedback

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Mr. Elshal
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Yale 250 Feedback

Postby Mr. Elshal » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:16 pm

Hi all,

I have almost no idea what the Yale 250 should (or should not) be about, and I could seriously use some feedback on whether I am even going in the right direction. Any help is welcomed.


I watched as the waves tore away a piece of my life. The pier I had just been standing on was groaning and creaking, struggling to maintain its hold on the shore. These sounds were what prompted me to move onto the relative safety of the beach. The wooden staircase was the first piece to go. With a loud snap, it wrenched free of its supports and began its journey out to sea. Not long after, the remainder of the pier followed.

Until this point, Hurricane Irene had seemed like just another storm, something that would come and go and eventually become just a vague memory. My family was on the New Jersey Shore, just like every other summer that I could remember, and we had decided not to evacuate as the storm drew closer. After being cooped up in our house for a full day, without any power, I felt the need to go outside. I waited until the winds started to die down a little—the eye of the storm—and rode my bike down the block, to the pier where almost all of my childhood summer memories had taken place. This pier was where I had my first kiss, where I met my best friend, and where I had played my first solo guitar concert. In effect, this pier played a significant part in shaping who I am today.

As I watched the pier float away, with sand and spray blowing in my eyes, I felt a certain sadness, but not for the memories that had been attached to it—I still had those. Instead, my sadness was for the future memories that I had taken for granted would happen on this very same pier, and now it was washing away. It was while reflecting on this scene, later on, that I finally realized it is not the place that makes the memories significant, but the memories that make the place significant, and I determined to make the most of everywhere I go in life.

NightmanCometh
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Re: Yale 250 Feedback

Postby NightmanCometh » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:58 am

Check this out: http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissi ... tross.aspx

Overall, I think that this 250 is very well written, you clearly spent a lot of time on this. Biggest problem though- it's longer than 250 words. As you can see in the link above, the dean says this is a dealbreaker- the word limit is crucial in this exercise.

Just cut it down, and I think you have a very solid 250!

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: Yale 250 Feedback

Postby Mr. Elshal » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:05 am

NightmanCometh wrote:Check this out: http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissi ... tross.aspx

Overall, I think that this 250 is very well written, you clearly spent a lot of time on this. Biggest problem though- it's longer than 250 words. As you can see in the link above, the dean says this is a dealbreaker- the word limit is crucial in this exercise.

Just cut it down, and I think you have a very solid 250!


Thank you. I just wanted to make sure I was on the right track before I started editing it down, so I really appreciate your feedback (and the link)

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kwais
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Re: Yale 250 Feedback

Postby kwais » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:41 am

I think this 250 is ok. It reads a little like "woe is me, there was damage to the place where I summer." You don't establish enough of a connection to the pier to write about it. I think you should consider another topic, one that is either more personal, or more creative/fun.

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: Yale 250 Feedback

Postby Mr. Elshal » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:14 am

kwais wrote:I think this 250 is ok. It reads a little like "woe is me, there was damage to the place where I summer." You don't establish enough of a connection to the pier to write about it. I think you should consider another topic, one that is either more personal, or more creative/fun.


Like I mentioned before, I think part of the issue is my lack of direction on this. I really have very little idea of what they want, even after reading the blog post and a few threads. Is it just supposed to be well-written, very short essay?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Yale 250 Feedback

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:12 pm

I think that creativity is probably a very important aspect sought in an applicant's Yale 250. In my opinion, your piece is well written, engaging & creative.

P.S. After a quick word count, it appears that you need to delete about 88 words in order to comply with the 250 word limit. These 88 words could be most easily deleted from the middle paragraph. For proof of this, read just your first & last (third) paragraphs without reading the middle paragraph.

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LoveLife89
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Re: Yale 250 Feedback

Postby LoveLife89 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:07 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I think that creativity is probably a very important aspect sought in an applicant's Yale 250. In my opinion, your piece is well written, engaging & creative.

P.S. After a quick word count, it appears that you need to delete about 88 words in order to comply with the 250 word limit. These 88 words could be most easily deleted from the middle paragraph. For proof of this, read just your first & last (third) paragraphs without reading the middle paragraph.


+1

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RSterling
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Re: Yale 250 Feedback

Postby RSterling » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:23 pm

kwais wrote:I think this 250 is ok. It reads a little like "woe is me, there was damage to the place where I summer." You don't establish enough of a connection to the pier to write about it. I think you should consider another topic, one that is either more personal, or more creative/fun.


I didn't get this vibe at all, OP, if that helps. I think this is a great topic. Obviously, you're not able to go in depth on every memory that you've made at the pier, but this is something that nearly everyone can relate to. Like the other poster said, it's long, but I think this will make for a really great 250.

mmbt123
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Re: Yale 250 Feedback

Postby mmbt123 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:30 pm

I thought it was well written also but the last line is a little too cliche for me (maybe that's just me).

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: Yale 250 Feedback

Postby Mr. Elshal » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:59 am

Hey all,

I updated this a bit and would appreciate some more feedback. (also, I know it's 3 words over, I just wanted to get some opinions for now)


The pier I stood on was groaning and creaking, struggling to maintain its hold on the shore. As I jumped down to the beach below, the wooden staircase wrenched free of its supports with a loud snap and began its journey out to sea. Not long after, the rest of the pier followed and I watched as the waves tore away a piece of my life.

Like every summer I could remember, my family and I were on the Jersey Shore. We had decided not to evacuate as Hurricane Irene drew closer. Being cooped up in our house with no power, I needed a change of scenery so I biked through the eerie lull of the storm’s eye, to the beach.

Standing on that sand, I began to relive memories and feelings: the excitement before giving my first guitar concert, the butterflies before my first kiss, and the joy of meeting my best friend. All these memories and more had taken place on the same pier that now was washing away.

With sand and spray blowing in my eyes, I realized it was not the pier that made my memories significant; it was the experiences I had enjoyed so much. With this revelation in mind, I resolved that, no matter where I went in life, I would always seek out new experiences and create unique memories. With a fresh sense of determination, I left the beach where the pier used to be, and rode out the rest of the storm with a smile.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Yale 250 Feedback

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:46 pm

DELETE: "and more" from the third paragraph.

Also, the ending "with a smile" doesn't work, in my opinion.

Overall, I thought that your first attempt was a much better effort.




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