First Draft of a PS.. helppppp!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
hking4
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:25 am

First Draft of a PS.. helppppp!

Postby hking4 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:27 pm

Alright, here was my first real try at a generic personal statement (I plan to modify it slightly for fit each apps requirements)

Please be as honest as possible and don't worry about being mean...I actually encourage it! haha

Well, here it goes:

For most eighteen year olds, going off to college is accompanied with feelings of uncertainty, fear, and excitement. Personally, I couldn’t wait to be on my own and living by my own rules. Little did I know, my first year away from home would not be anything like I expected.

In high school, I was a hardworking student. I made good grades and took school very seriously. My parents and I had high hopes that these habits and attitudes would accompany me to college. However, after the first few weeks of classes, it became clear to me that not only did I not know how to study, but also that I did not know how to manage my time. I was struggling in my Chemistry and Calculus classes and quickly fell behind. After barely skating by in the first semester, I knew that the hard sciences were not for me. For the second semester, I decided I would take some of the general education requirements and signed up for Sociology and Anthropology. I loved the ethical debates we would have in class and all the social and political issues we addressed. This is what prompted me to change my major to Political Science. I had always been vaguely interested in going to law school, but had done nothing to act on it until this time.

Just when my grades started to turn around and I thought I had college life figured out, I got a phone call from my mother. She was hysterical; she explained to me that there was an explosion in the coalmine that my cousin Nick worked in and that rescuers have yet to get anyone out. She told me that she and my grandparents (as well as the family members of the other miners) were heading to the mine. Before I could think of anything else, I knew I had to be with my family. Four days passed as bodies were identified and families were notified that their loved ones did not survive. However, my cousin had yet to be recovered, along with three others. We all had hope – if anyone could make it to an air chamber, it would be Nick. It was not until the fifth evening that we were notified that there were no survivors. At first I couldn’t allow myself to believe it. How could it be that this person I grew up with and loved so much could cease to exist so suddenly? Disbelief was shortly followed by sorrow. I slowly began to come to terms with reality. The resulting lawsuit from the accident gave me a lot of exposure to labor law and workers rights. After the investigation of the site, it was discovered that the accident was preventable. The company had compromised worker safety in exchange for increased profit. This was the first of many experiences that further convinced me that I wanted to go to law school.

Nick’s death made me realize many things, but most importantly, it brought to my attention that life is too short not to seize any and all opportunities that are given to you. I knew that I had to get my life on track. With a fresh start at a new university, I quickly began to set out new goals for myself. Through the Political Science department at West Virginia University, I saw many opportunities to advance my education in numerous unique ways. It first occurred to me that I could travel Europe and earn Political Science credit after attending a study abroad Q&A at my university. A program in comparative politics based in Strasbourg, France was my first choice. I knew that if I wanted to be accepted into the program, my grades would have to improve. I worked very hard in my first semester and ended up with a 4.0 for the term. I applied and was accepted into the month-long summer program. I had the privilege of visiting many institutions of the European Union and listening to guest lectures from employees there. After returning home, I knew that I had to go back to Europe.
In the fall of 2011, a new program at my university was being proposed that would give students the opportunity to attend law school for a semester at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. I continued to work hard in school in order to become candidate for the program. I was accepted to the program and even earned a small grant from the Political Science department. Manchester is what really showed me that I wanted to pursue a legal education. I enjoyed my classes, despite the fact that they were difficult. I especially enjoyed my Jurisprudence class and came out with a First Class mark (equivalent to an A in the United States). Additionally, I took Tort, which was much different than any other class I’ve taken in undergrad. It took a while to become adjusted to the style of legal writing, but all in all, I feel that my time in Manchester better prepared me for law school than any undergraduate course I could have taken in America. I also showed myself that I could adapt and survive in a foreign environment. On the surface, our cultures are quite similar, but many of the students I lived with, had classes with, and befriended were not from other countries throughout Europe and Asia.

I strongly feel that without going through the tragedy of my freshman year, I would not be where I am today. Instead of dwelling on the sadness of the event, I make sure that I do things that would make my cousin proud. ***Here I will say some more specific stuff for whatever law school

Thanks guys =)

alex.feuerman
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:32 pm

Re: First Draft of a PS.. helppppp!

Postby alex.feuerman » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:34 pm

For most eighteen year olds, going off to college is accompanied with feelings of uncertainty, fear, and excitement. Personally, I couldn’t wait to be on my own and living by my own rules. Little did I know, my first year away from home would not be anything like I expected.

I don't like the first paragraph. It's not a strong opening line, I would try to come up with something better or just simply start off with the below paragraph.


In high school, I was a hardworking student. I made good grades and took school very seriously. My parents and I had high hopes that these habits and attitudes would accompany me to college. However, after the first few weeks of classes, it became clear to me that not only did I not know how to study, but also that I did not know how to manage my time. I was struggling in my Chemistry and Calculus classes and quickly fell behind. After barely skating by in the first semester, I knew that the hard sciences were not for me. For the second semester, I decided I would take some of the general education requirements and signed up for Sociology and Anthropology. I loved the ethical debates we would have in class and all the social and political issues we addressed. This is what prompted me to change my major to Political Science. I had always been vaguely interested in going to law school, but had done nothing to act on it until this time.

I think the strongest part of the essay is your discussion of Nick's death and how it affected you and made you realize why law would be a good career choice. The entire above paragraph sounds a little like an addendum, or simply whining. Don't make excuses. I would just take off or reduce the entire bit from However to not for me.

Just when my grades started to turn around and I thought I had college life figured out, I got a phone call from my mother. She was hysterical; she explained to me that there was an explosion in the coalmine that my cousin Nick worked in and that rescuers have yet to get anyone out. She told me that she and my grandparents (as well as the family members of the other miners) were heading to the mine. Before I could think of anything else, I knew I had to be with my family. Four days passed as bodies were identified and families were notified that their loved ones did not survive. However, my cousin had yet to be recovered, along with three others. We all had hope – if anyone could make it to an air chamber, it would be Nick. It was not until the fifth evening that we were notified that there were no survivors. At first I couldn’t allow myself to believe it. How could it be that this person I grew up with and loved so much could cease to exist so suddenly? Disbelief was shortly followed by sorrow. I slowly began to come to terms with reality. The resulting lawsuit from the accident gave me a lot of exposure to labor law and workers rights. After the investigation of the site, it was discovered that the accident was preventable. The company had compromised worker safety in exchange for increased profit. This was the first of many experiences that further convinced me that I wanted to go to law school.

Nick’s death made me realize many things, but most importantly, it brought to my attention that life is too short not to seize any and all opportunities that are given to you. I knew that I had to get my life on track. With a fresh start at a new university, I quickly began to set out new goals for myself. Through the Political Science department at West Virginia University, I saw many opportunities to advance my education in numerous unique ways. It first occurred to me that I could travel Europe and earn Political Science credit after attending a study abroad Q&A at my university. A program in comparative politics based in Strasbourg, France was my first choice. I knew that if I wanted to be accepted into the program, my grades would have to improve. I worked very hard in my first semester and ended up with a 4.0 for the term. I applied and was accepted into the month-long summer program. I had the privilege of visiting many institutions of the European Union and listening to guest lectures from employees there. After returning home, I knew that I had to go back to Europe.
In the fall of 2011, a new program at my university was being proposed that would give students the opportunity to attend law school for a semester at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. I continued to work hard in school in order to become candidate for the program. I was accepted to the program and even earned a small grant from the Political Science department. Manchester is what really showed me that I wanted to pursue a legal education. I enjoyed my classes, despite the fact that they were difficult. I especially enjoyed my Jurisprudence class and came out with a First Class mark (equivalent to an A in the United States). Additionally, I took Tort, which was much different than any other class I’ve taken in undergrad. It took a while to become adjusted to the style of legal writing, but all in all, I feel that my time in Manchester better prepared me for law school than any undergraduate course I could have taken in America. I also showed myself that I could adapt and survive in a foreign environment. On the surface, our cultures are quite similar, but many of the students I lived with, had classes with, and befriended were not from other countries throughout Europe and Asia.

I strongly feel that without going through the tragedy of my freshman year, I would not be where I am today. Instead of dwelling on the sadness of the event, I make sure that I do things that would make my cousin proud. ***Here I will say some more specific stuff for whatever law school

Not a super long proof read but my computer is working werid right now.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: First Draft of a PS.. helppppp!

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:39 pm

Is the last sentence of the fourth paragraph correct ?

hking4
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:25 am

Re: First Draft of a PS.. helppppp!

Postby hking4 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:47 pm

yea I just noticed an error in the last line of the 4th paragraph... it should read "most students were from countries throughout Europe and Asia"




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