Very, very rough Yale 250 - Critique Please

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:22 am

Very, very rough Yale 250 - Critique Please

Postby lakers24fan » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:29 pm

More than happy to look over anyone else's, if you wish to PM me :)

Staring at the full moon, I find myself in awe of its idiosyncrasies: the yellow complexion, the dark valleys and basins that cut across its lighter features, how it seems to float in midair so effortlessly. But what truly catches my eye is its sheer magnitude; I had never taken the time to appreciate just how colossal the moon is. A wave of emotion engulfs me – feelings of meekness and admiration remind me how privileged I am to be able to experience the universe and one of the moons within it. As an eight year old, I realize that the world is so much bigger than sports, Pokémon, and videogames. And I ask myself, “Why, and how, am I here?”

Great thinkers throughout the ages, from philosophers examining ontology to existentialists, have offered compelling but ultimately unsatisfying explanations to my question. I cannot pretend to even begin to know the nature of my being. But I have never forgotten that moment under the moon, for it inspired me to value my existence as something to be experienced and appreciated in itself. Simply to be is a miracle; life, and specifically consciousness, is a marvel that lends itself towards contemplation and self-indulgent philosophical notions of transience and wonder. The very fact that something – anything – like the moon exists is beautiful and transcendent, and the fact that I exist to consciously appreciate these things, an even more profound phenomenon.

User avatar

Posts: 1281
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Very, very rough Yale 250 - Critique Please

Postby Cicero76 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:36 am

Unfortunately, this sounds like someone took a thesaurus and started picking "hard" words at random and sticking in "hard" grammar things, like the semicolon in the first paragraph that is maybe technically correct but nonetheless stylistically awkward. While I do know what all of the vocabulary means, this is still not at all an easy piece to read. It doesn't flow, and I can't really figure out where it's going or what exactly you mean to say--the wonder you feel at the moon floating in the sky makes you ponder feelings of transience? That's trying too hard--it's a 250 essay, not an excerpt from Simulacra and Simulation.

I do think the admiring the moon idea could work, but there needs to be a reason. Maybe astronomy is your passion and you have a bunch of cool telescopes to further your hobby--make that clear. Maybe the moon really does awaken a feeling of wonder in you--but make the feeling of wonder clear, not the thesaurus you were using to make your sentences sound fancy.


Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:17 pm

Re: Very, very rough Yale 250 - Critique Please

Postby analytic_philosopher » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:52 pm

Unlike the previous response, I don't think your essay is stylistically awkward. I don't find it difficult to read and I do think it "flows."

However, content-wise I think it's quite unsatisfactory. You say that as an 8 year old you had the most awesome and profound existential experience which "inspired [you] to value [your] existence as something to be experienced and appreciated in itself.'' Yet you pooh-pooh the great philosophers of the past who have tried to say something about such experiences because the philosophers were too "self-indulgent?" Can you even begin to justify anything you're saying? To claim that as an 8 year old, you experienced something that is beyond the grasp of all philosophers and thinkers makes you sound down right cocky and arrogant. This is certainly not an appropriate essay when your audience is a room full of Yale professors.

If I am a Yale professor, who am I more likely to side with? The "great thinkers throughout the ages, from philosophers examining ontology to existentialists" or some kid who's telling me that as an 8 year old he experienced something more profound than all of that?

Return to “Law School Personal Statements?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.