Potentially my final draft-PLEASE critique, want to submit!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Perstephanie
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Potentially my final draft-PLEASE critique, want to submit!

Postby Perstephanie » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:29 pm

This is my newest draft, after trying to implement eleemosynary2's suggestion. Any critique is seriously appreciated!

“Why do you never talk about the important things?” Rachel asked me, one eyebrow raised. I sat dumbfounded for a moment, thinking. My friend was referring to the fact that for months I had been hanging out with my friends as usual, sleeping at their houses. We discussed guys, my paintings, parties, anything and everything. What she found odd about this was the fact that while I was spending yet another night in her bedroom, my mother was at home readying herself for the next day’s round of chemotherapy.

Throughout my last few years of high school, I rarely discussed my mother’s colon cancer. I vastly preferred to focus on anything light, fun, or occasionally vapid. In essence,I wanted to feel normal. It seemed easier to push past the fact that my mother had had to shave her thick brown hair, that she had been sick in public once when she couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time, and that I could often hear my father crying in their room. It didn’t seem strange to me that I wouldn’t air these sorts of things to other people until Rachel brought it up.

It also didn’t seem strange to me that I would begin ducking out of classes. I would go down to the art room and work on a painting instead of sitting through math or I’d visit the nurse’s office to feign sick on the days that my mother had chemo so that I could leave and read in the hospital while the staff worked around me. I was doing what I had to in order to graduate, but it wasn’t my main concern. I had larger issues to worry about, and attending to them or putting them out of my mind with something other than schoolwork seemed more important. I did manage to graduate and get myself enrolled in the local community college, but even so, most of my time that first semester was spent taking the bus from school to the hospital, then on to work.

It was at the beginning of my second semester of college that things went from bad to the worst. My mother had gone into the hospital on a Friday in January while I was at work. She went in with the same sort of complaints she usually had. I was worried, but I wasn’t worried enough to cut my shift at work short. Hospital visits had become a matter of course for my family. I had no way of knowing that this would be my mother’s last stay.

The week that followed was undoubtedly the hardest of my entire life. I watched my mother go from the woman who was constantly pushing me to work harder at school, the woman who pushed me to pursue a career that would help people, to a woman who was nearly insensible when I would visit. A woman to whom I had to gently explain that she couldn’t come home yet, though she pleaded, after my father had left the room in tears.

When my mother passed away, I recognized that I could no longer push the important things aside. My family was irrevocably changed, and I needed to change as well. After a few months of letting grief affect my school work, I dug in. I applied—and was accepted to—a state school, where I majored in Culinary Arts. I had always been interested in law and the ways it could be applied to better both one’s personal situation and the world around them, but I wanted to make sure I had a degree that could stand on its own should something get in the way of a career in law. My artistic side and attention to detail worked well in the culinary world.

At <Name of School> I began staying in to study. I wrote papers rather than go out with my friends. I became known for my grades and my willingness to speak up in class, asking questions and making my own assertions during discussions. I made the Dean’s List repeatedly, and enrolled in the Honors program. I even did a bit of tutoring for an accounting class that I was excelling in. When I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I graduated with honors. The one unifying thought that led to all of these accomplishments, both inside and outside of the classroom, was that I had made it through the most difficult time in my life thus far.

I believe that the ordeal of my mother’s long illness has served to strengthen my resilience, and has given me a uniquely focused perspective on my future. Though I have long harbored an interest in legal study, the drive my experiences have instilled in me will be the defining trait that enables me to fulfill a successful career in law.
Last edited by Perstephanie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Perstephanie
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Re: PLEASE Critique, want to submit soon!!

Postby Perstephanie » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:00 am

Anyone?

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Perstephanie
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Re: PLEASE Critique, want to submit soon!!

Postby Perstephanie » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:46 pm

Mannnnn.

eleemosynary2
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Re: PLEASE Critique, want to submit soon!!

Postby eleemosynary2 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Hi Perstephanie -

Firstly, I am sorry for your loss and impressed by your resilience.

I have seen a few PS's now that deal with personal loss, and I feel most of them have spent too much time talking about the loss itself and the associated trauma. That is important, but it's also important to spend time talking about yourself and your development/growth in response. Consider transitioning to that more in the middle of the essay and using more concrete examples in the 2nd half.

Good luck.

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Perstephanie
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Re: PLEASE Critique, want to submit soon!!

Postby Perstephanie » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:58 am

Thank you!

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Perstephanie
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Re: Potentially my final draft-PLEASE critique, want to submit!

Postby Perstephanie » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:20 pm

There, I tried to sort of show a bit more of myself and added a bit of "how this could relate to law school" because a few schools require it. Pleeeeeeeeease critique.

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fruitoftheloom
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Re: Potentially my final draft-PLEASE critique, want to submit!

Postby fruitoftheloom » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:35 pm

Perstephanie wrote:This is my newest draft, after trying to implement eleemosynary2's suggestion. Any critique is seriously appreciated!

“Why do you never talk about the important things?” Rachel asked me, one eyebrow raised. I sat dumbfounded for a moment, thinking. My friend was referring to the fact that for months I had been hanging out with my friends as usual, sleeping at their houses. We discussed guys, my paintings, parties, anything and everything. What she found odd about this was the fact that while I was spending yet another night in her bedroom, my mother was at home readying herself for the next day’s round of chemotherapy.

Throughout my last few years of high school, I rarely discussed my mother’s colon cancer. I vastly preferred to focus on anything light, fun, or occasionally vapid. In essence,I wanted to feel normal. It seemed easier to push past the fact that my mother had had to shave her thick brown hair, that she had been sick in public once when she couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time, and that I could often hear my father crying in their room. It didn’t seem strange to me that I wouldn’t air these sorts of things to other people until Rachel brought it up.

It also didn’t seem strange to me that I would begin ducking out of classes. this reads a little awkwardly. I would phrase instead "It also didn't seem strange to me when I started skipping classes". I would go down to the art room and work on a painting instead of sitting through math or I’d visit the nurse’s office to feign sick on the days that my mother had chemo so that I could leave and read in the hospital while the staff worked around me. I was doing what I had to in order to graduate, but it wasn’t my main concern. I had larger issues to worry about, and attending to them or putting them out of my mind with something other than schoolwork seemed more important. I did manage to graduate and get myself enrolled in the local community college, but even so, most of my time that first semester was spent taking the bus from school to the hospital, then on to work.

It was at the beginning of my second semester of college that things went from bad to the worst. I would say "from bad to worse". The worst sounds a little awkward My mother had gone into the hospital on a Friday in January while I was at work. She went in with the same sort of complaints she usually had. I was worried, but I wasn’t worried enough to cut my shift at work short. Hospital visits had become a matter of course for my family. I would say standard or normal instead of "a matter of course" I had no way of knowing that this would be my mother’s last stay.

The week that followed was undoubtedly the hardest of my entire life. I watched my mother go from the woman who was constantly pushing me to work harder at school, the woman who pushed me to pursue a career that would help people, to a woman who was nearly insensible when I would visit. A woman to whom I had to gently explain that she couldn’t come home yet, though she pleaded, after my father had left the room in tears.

When my mother passed away, I recognized that I could no longer push the important things aside. My family was irrevocably changed, and I needed to change as well. After a few months of letting grief affect my school work, I dug in. I applied—and was accepted to—a state school, where I majored in Culinary Arts. I had always been interested in law and the ways it could be applied to better both one’s personal situation and the world around them, but I wanted to make sure I had a degree that could stand on its own should something get in the way of a career in law. My artistic side and attention to detail worked well in the culinary world. Personally, I would omit the "I wanted a degree that would stand on it's own". Instead, maybe talk about how Culinary Arts can better people's lives?

At <Name of School> I began staying in to study. I wrote papers rather than go out with my friends. I became known for my grades and my willingness to speak up in class, asking questions and making my own assertions during discussions. I made the Dean’s List repeatedly, and enrolled in the Honors program. I even did a bit of tutoring for an accounting class that I was excelling in. When I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I graduated with honors. The one unifying thought that led to all of these accomplishments, both inside and outside of the classroom, was that I had made it through the most difficult time in my life thus far. I think you might want to reword this last sentence a little - when you say "unifying thought" I feel like it should be something about your mother - otherwise maybe talk about how having made it through the most difficult time in your life, there's less pressure or something? (Ie, how hard can college be? Look at what I've already gone through).

I believe that the ordeal of my mother’s long illness has served to strengthen my resilience, and has given me a uniquely focused perspective on my future. Though I have long harbored an interest in legal study, the drive my experiences have instilled in me will be the defining trait that enables me to fulfill a successful career in law.


I think your statement is good. I get a good sense of 'you' and you show, rather than tell, how your experience shaped/changed you. I think that the last sentence is all that you need to connect it to law, you don't need the part about wanting a degree that will stand on it's own. Good luck!

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Perstephanie
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:04 pm

Re: Potentially my final draft-PLEASE critique, want to submit!

Postby Perstephanie » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:40 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
I think your statement is good. I get a good sense of 'you' and you show, rather than tell, how your experience shaped/changed you. I think that the last sentence is all that you need to connect it to law, you don't need the part about wanting a degree that will stand on it's own. Good luck!


Thank you! I didn't know if I should mention why I chose an undergrad degree in culinary because it seems like a big disconnect that I'm applying for a law degree, so I figured I'd at least give it a brief mention, but I'll rethink it. I really appreciate your suggestions!




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