Advice for a friend

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
trixy
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:18 am

Advice for a friend

Postby trixy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:29 am

So a good friend of mine is about ready to submit his applications and he asked me to look over his personal statement. I asked if he would mind me asking a message board that I've followed for additional advice and he said go for it.

Below is his personal statement: He said, and I quote, "This is one version of this personal statement. I have another version that doesn't have as much background and buildup and I'm trying to decide which to use. Is this sufficient or should I use the one that focuses more on a 'lesson learned?'

That is all he gave me, I have not seen this other version he has. So, I guess to help him out I would like some feedback on this version he has given me. I have got some opinions on it but I want to keep those to myself until I hear other people's thoughts:


Sweat dripping, calves cramping, lungs straining, and blood pumping, those few hours went by quickly. Suddenly, my body went cold as I left the gym. I was numb to that Halloween night’s biting air because I was in shock. I was just cut from my high school’s basketball team. My father and grandfather were both decorated players in ****** and I too grew up with an insatiable love for the sport; however, that passion for the sport was not enough for me to make the ***** High School team. The team had recently won three straight ****** state championships, so the environment was daunting and the fear of failure had consumed me. I was confused, but my reaction has sculpted my outlook and approach to the rest of my life.
That experience opened my eyes to what I needed to do in order to succeed in any facet of my life. Simply enjoying basketball and playing it all the time had not been enough; I needed to truly dedicate myself to whatever I did next.
Tennis was a sport that I had not played competitively, and I decided this was the perfect solution, to start from scratch. I wanted to show myself that I could accomplish something if I put my mind to it. The next few months were particularly grueling. While dealing with all of the challenges that come with starting high school, I was trying to become skilled enough at an entirely new sport to make the varsity team. It was customary for the team to hold interest meetings prior to tryouts, and these meetings revealed how difficult the process was going to be. The room was full of students who had been playing their entire lives, kids who taught tennis lessons and were experienced tournament players. Fear engulfed me at that moment, and I was suddenly standing back in that basketball gym, questioning my decision.
I suppressed that fear and began practicing whenever I could. The cold air those next few months reminded me of my failure and it inspired me to work at it everyday. Tryouts that February went well and I was ranked the eighth best player at tryouts, good enough to make the thirteen-man roster. My failure on the basketball court helped me realize that this was simply the first step in a long journey. Earlier in life I would have been satisfied with merely making the team, but not now, I wanted to become a leader.
Working hard inspired a confidence in myself and I exploded out of my shell. I was named captain both my junior and senior years in recognition of this effort. As captain of the team I tried to inspire strong work ethic and passion in my teammates. For example, we hosted player led practices every week prior to the start of the season. All of the hard work paid off for the team and myself. Our team was ranked number one in the state my senior season and I was named a member of the All-Conference team my junior and senior seasons. Having just started the sport a few years before, I finally began to realize what I could do if I set my mind to it and trusted myself to be a leader.
That cold and disappointing Halloween night became the best thing to ever happen to me. My failure inspired me to change, I now put my heart and soul into everything I do, and to try and be a leader in any way that I can. If I am fortunate enough to be admitted to your law school, I will bring this same passion as I remember what that disappointing night taught me. I will strive to learn as much as I can from the faculty and my classmates, while trying to inspire my fellow classmates in any way that I can.

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CorkBoard
Posts: 3216
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: Advice for a friend

Postby CorkBoard » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:00 am

Well, this topic should probably go because it's about high school/being on a HS sports team, so there's that.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Advice for a friend

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:08 am

He's probably better off starting from scratch. High school or childhood stories should be avoided unless they are great stories. A guy not making the basketball team and then making the tennis team as a back-up doesn't really qualify. This story doesn't really show what kind of person your friend is, and the story makes it seem like your friend has done nothing relevant since being on a high school tennis team. (On a related note, if he tries to salvage this current version, he needs to do a much better job of explaining "Why tennis?" It seems like just a random choice he settled for after failing at basketball.)

trixy
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:18 am

Re: Advice for a friend

Postby trixy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:57 am

Thanks for the replies that is what I was thinking as well. Just wanted to make sure I was giving him good advice!




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