Personal statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Personal statement

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:32 pm

So I've been getting a lot of different recommendations from that the intro is too novelistic to it's awesome that I used that style. Really don't know what to do with it.

Also I had other recommendations like I somehow needed to turn this into why I want to go into law school but I said I didn't think it was necessary. I think the ending might need more clarification or changes but I don't know how exactly I should go about so please give me advice.

It's 1996 and I've somehow gotten myself in the chokehold of one of my classmates. I squirm in vain to get free but, in response, I only feel the hands around my neck getting tighter and my panic setting in. I see kids laughing and pointing, oblivious to how serious the situation was becoming. Noise starts to become more distant. I begin to steadily hear the beat of my heart getting louder. My limbs become heavier. My vision tunnels. I gasp for breath, my face and mouth covered with small gritty stones. I cough and spit to catch my breath.
You see, for most of my childhood and adolescent life, I've been the victim of bullying. It's taken its form from name calling, intimidation or even punches, kicks, hair pulling, shoves, etc. I can remember when I would be sitting in the corner of the lunchroom, feeling the salty lump in my throat and holding back my tears. It's a terrible feeling to be bullied. You want it to stop but you don't know how. Anything said or done could be scrutinized and mocked by others so you say and do nothing. You try to shrink yourself so small and speak so softly when you need to so that you're not noticed. But from experience, I know this strategy doesn't work.
It wasn't until my junior year in high school that I decided to join the wrestling team. It was a decision made spontaneously but one driven by a desire throughout the years to be able to stand up for myself. And so I signed my name on the list of other names for the wrestling team anxious yet hopeful for what was to come.
I soon discovered that training for wrestling was one of the most physically demanding sports that I've ever participated in my whole life. I found myself wheezing as I moved for the takedown, the struggle and the pin. I could feel my muscles ache but my mind was sharp. I analyzed the different components in grappling and found myself becoming more proficient in it. My breathing became more measured and my posture more ready. After high school, I transitioned from wrestling to Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo.
I fought hard to win second for my first tournament in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Grappling with six other trained people can prove to be exhausting. While I lost the finals to another opponent, I still felt accomplished at being able to compete and get so far. The day was not over though as I had to compete in a second tournament later on that day that consisted of wearing a judo gi. As soon as I started though, I went for a throw and all I heard was a loud crack of a whip and felt myself falling. God what pain had descended upon my poor knee. Though I did not know it at the time, I had just torn my anterior cruciate ligament.
I learned during those months that you do not appreciate something as much as you do when you lose it; and there I had lost my ability to walk. I crutched everywhere for months, especially to physical therapy where I worked on getting back into it. While at times frustrating and difficult, I felt determined to get back on my feet and compete again. I encouraged myself that since I've observed others too using crutches, I shrugged it off as something that I too would overcome. It was nothing more than a small roadblock to my quest for self-reliance as I struggled against my temporary disability.
Then came the surgery and that soon ended my delusions of self-autonomy. The pain, to say the least, was excruciating. While I cannot give specifics due to my lack of a medical degree, from what I gathered the doctors had cut open my knee, surgically removed my patellar tendon to use as an ACL substitute, and drilled holes and inserted screws into my femur and tibia (the big leg bones that you can generally think what your knee connects)¬¬— and boy, did it feel that way.
While the overall recovery took months, I was immobile in bed for nearly two weeks. I had the constant whirring of a machine attached to my leg that was designed to constantly flex my knee and straighten it for ten hours a day. Aside from the physical pain, I found my situation fairly familiar. I had once again been placed in a position of vulnerability and my heart grew bitter at this fact, unforgettable with the whirr of the machine as a monotonous reminder of my shortcomings.
But solitude had allowed me to reflect clearly on my predicament. Where I thought I would have to suffer this trial alone, I found such love and compassion amongst my family and friends that helped remind me that all was not lost. My mind traveled many places throughout this period from the mundane to the abstract, but the most fruitful of my explorations were to discover my motivations for why I had trained so hard. I went through many secondary reasons such as that I had wanted to get into shape or that I wanted to impress some girl but upon deeper introspection, I could still see that I was bound by my past. While my bullies were no longer there to verbally and physically abuse me, I had to live with the fear that there would be someone else who would take advantage of me and that in a way I deserved the bullying for being weak and socially awkward. What I truly wanted from all this was inner peace but anger and fear were obscuring my path. To suddenly grasp and experience firsthand the lesson that the capacity to forgive was easier than the maintenance of hate and pride was astonishing. My soul felt a great weight depart from it and so I had, for the first time in such a long time, been able to breathe deeply, exhale, and smile.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Personal statement

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:40 pm

bump

swhiz
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:24 pm

Re: Personal statement

Postby swhiz » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:44 pm

"wrestling was one of the most physically demanding sports that I have ever participated in my whole life."



"The day was not over though as I had to compete in a second tournament later on that day that consisted of wearing a judo gi."

To the adcoms, which are probably not very familiar with terminology such as this, I would avoid going in depth, instead being a little more general.


Another note, this is the kind of statement you submit if your LSAT score and GPA allow you much slack. If you have a 4.0 GPA and 180 LSATs you need not fear any disgruntled adcoms, but otherwise I would save some space to focus on a particular and specific reason why you want to go to x law school, why you have interest in x program, and so forth. Some adcoms are polarized to the paragraph of a statement which discusses their school, skipping everything along the way.

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fruitoftheloom
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:38 pm

Re: Personal statement

Postby fruitoftheloom » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:11 pm

I think the statement needs a little tweaking. While most of the interviews have discussed that you don't need to specifically state "Why law", you do need to show a trait that connects to law school or would be useful for law school. I'm not sure that you quite make that bridge here. Some tips from me (take them or leave them):
1) I think when you describe your jiujitsu you go into too much detail. I would leave it at something like, I placed second in a tournament, and then I broke my knee.
2) The description of your knee surgery is way too graphic. It made me uncomfortable. You can simply leave it at "it was excruciating".

Finally, this:
My mind traveled many places throughout this period from the mundane to the abstract, but the most fruitful of my explorations were to discover my motivations for why I had trained so hard. I went through many secondary reasons such as that I had wanted to get into shape or that I wanted to impress some girl but upon deeper introspection, I could still see that I was bound by my past. While my bullies were no longer there to verbally and physically abuse me, I had to live with the fear that there would be someone else who would take advantage of me and that in a way I deserved the bullying for being weak and socially awkward. What I truly wanted from all this was inner peace but anger and fear were obscuring my path. To suddenly grasp and experience firsthand the lesson that the capacity to forgive was easier than the maintenance of hate and pride was astonishing. My soul felt a great weight depart from it and so I had, for the first time in such a long time, been able to breathe deeply, exhale, and smile.


This needs to be tightened up and you need to add some meat. I think here is where you get to the part that's like "here's why you should want me in your school", but you don't quite reach it. First, just say you had a lot of time to think. Omit most of the other bullshit. Second, don't talk about "deserving" the bullying for being "weak and socially awkward". (This makes me think, shit, we'd better interview him, he'll never find a job...). Finally, I don't think the lesson "it's easier to forgive than carry hatred" is a good personality trait that makes me want you in my school. Instead, I think you need to talk about how you overcame that, it gave you a new perspective in life, now you want to help other bullied kids? I'm not sure - you have something here, but you need to delete the bullshit and really tease out what you learned, how you grew, how you overcame. And it can't be nonsense like "I decided to forgive. Then butterflies flew up everywhere, and it rained puppies." Because I don't buy that. If that really is all you learned, maybe emphasize how that affected your life/outlook..

Hope this helps. Good luck!




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