What do you guys think of my personal statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ashawnt
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:25 pm

What do you guys think of my personal statement

Postby ashawnt » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:03 pm

Hey guys I just finished the second draft of my personal statement and I would love some advice from people who know their stuff. Please PM me and I will sent it over to you. I'm also writing a diversity statement and addendum so I might send that to you as well. Also do any of you know anyone that I can hire to help me with editing for grammar etc?

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bluepenguin
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:33 pm

Re: What do you guys think of my personal statement

Postby bluepenguin » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:05 pm

You can send it my way.

Essay edge. It's expensive but solid.

ashawnt
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:25 pm

Re: What do you guys think of my personal statement

Postby ashawnt » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:07 pm

Given the lack of replies I decided to just post it..along with my addendum.


“It’s not possible for you to complete 47 units of coursework in two quarters” my counselor stated, as she looked at me with worrisome eyes gauging to see if I had lost my mind or not. “Even if you obtained the deans permission and raised your unit cap to 22 units a quarter, you would still be 3 units short of graduation.” Perhaps my counselor was right and I was indeed over my head but I was desperate to find a solution. It was the beginning of the Fall quarter of my senior year at the University of California Riverside.
My mother had just informed me she would need to undertake surgery by March and would have to shut down [name of family business]; our small family owned business. Finishing all courses for graduation in two quarters would allow me to manage the business for my mother while she recovered from surgery but according to my counselor this was an impossible task to accomplish. I spent hours that night researching every possible solution to my predicament until I came upon concurrent enrollment. A program that allows students to take courses at two institutions simultaneously, effectively solving my dilemma. I marched into my counselor’s office the next day with all the necessary paperwork filled out and patiently waited as she processed the documents in disbelief. I left campus that afternoon relieved to know that I would be able to move back to San Diego and aid my mother, but overwhelmed at the enormous challenge that lay before me. I had never put myself in such a precarious situation, especially not one that required me to venture so far from my comfort zone. At the time I thought my biggest reward would be saving my family business. What I didn’t know however, was that my decision would significantly strengthen a cornucopia of my skill sets, allow me to discover a new found appreciation for the growing process, and create an unshakeable confidence in my abilities as a student.
At the beginning of my fall quarter I soon realized that the studying foundation I had acquired my previous year was inadequate for the 22.5 units I was currently enrolled in. Consequently, my biggest priority became to strengthen my core skills and habits. I learned how to be a more efficient note taker, how to breakdown complex abstract theories into their most modest forms, and became religious about sitting in the front of the class every day. I developed personal relationships with my professors and regularly found myself picking their brains after class or in office hours. Strengthening these abilities in addition to honing my time management skills became an indispensable factor in delivering my 3.8+ fall G.P.A. This eventually led to the dean of UCR granting me permission to increase my unit cap for the subsequent quarter.
Despite only needing 24.5 units in the winter quarter to graduate. I enrolled in 26.5 so I could participate in Undergraduate Research with my former professor on Middle Eastern Americans, a research topic I couldn’t resist turning down. The skills and habits I had acquired during the fall made my final and also most challenging quarter at UCR the biggest success of my college career.
Looking back on the 49 units I completed during my last two quarters at UCR what has stuck with me the most is how much I have grown by pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. By synthesizing 4 quarters of coursework into two I have proven to myself that I am capable of more than I could have ever imagined, leaving me to wonder, what else I could accomplish, if placed in the right environment. I know that the habits, skills and confidence I have acquired during my time at UCR will play a crucial role in determining my success in law school and can’t wait for the personal growth that will accompany the new challenges I will face at any legal educational institution I attend.





Addendum
Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to you to explain why my Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 grades do not compare adequately to the rest of my transcript. That year my father had a stroke and my family foreclosed on our home. Many of the family responsibilities my father usually undertook were placed on me throughout that time. We were extremely fortunate to have relatives to live with while we got back on our feet and I am happy that I was able to be there for my family during such a difficult period. Unfortunately my increased responsibilities and the stress involved with my father’s health as well as my family’s financial challenges had a tremendous negative impact on my grades that year. In hindsight I now realize that I should have taken the year off of school instead of trying to manage all of my responsibilities. I wanted to inform you of my family circumstances so that you have some context in evaluating my transcripts. Please feel free to contact me if you need any additional information in regards to this matter.

Sincerely,
My name

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bluepenguin
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Re: What do you guys think of my personal statement

Postby bluepenguin » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:39 pm

Your writing would be greatly improved by taking just about every large word you have in there and replacing it with a simpler, more appropriate word. E.g: synthesizing > combining, ("my father usually") undertook > did.

The topics are solid, the macro writing (story structure, transitions, delivery etc) needs improvement, and the micro writing (word choice, grammar, style) is a long way away.

You need to chill on the addendum.

(___ year), my father had a stroke and (for X consequent reason) my family foreclosed on our home. Many family responsibilities were placed on me during that time(, such as X, Y, & Z). (I believe) My increased responsibilities and the stress involved with my father’s health as well as my family’s financial challenges (affected) my grades that year.

ashawnt
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:25 pm

Re: What do you guys think of my personal statement

Postby ashawnt » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:07 pm

Thanks for the advice blue. I was under the assumption that using more "sophisticated" terminology would be a positive not a negative but understand that there are certain areas in my PS where it could seem "forced".

Is there any way I can get advice as far as how to improve style,transitions and delivery etc? These suggestions are kind of broad can you be more specific or offer examples? I feel like it's difficult to improve my PS and stay with the two page limit.


Also I was thinking about writing a DS. I'm a bilingual iranian american which I think adds lots of diversity to me. But I am also a high school drop out who has a college degree which is pretty rare as well. What do you guys think? Also how long should a DS be?

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bluepenguin
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Re: What do you guys think of my personal statement

Postby bluepenguin » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:44 pm

ashawnt wrote:I was under the assumption that using more "sophisticated" terminology would be a positive not a negative but understand that there are certain areas in my PS where it could seem "forced".


Generally you want variety: in word sophistication, sentence length, sentence structure, transitions, etc. A few appropriate SAT words are good, but only if used correctly and preferably if they're the best word available to convey your desired meaning.

ashawnt wrote:Is there any way I can get advice as far as how to improve style,transitions and delivery etc? These suggestions are kind of broad can you be more specific or offer examples? I feel like it's difficult to improve my PS and stay with the two page limit.


Hmm, nothing I can do easily. I'd suggest you read Orwell and the Elements of Style
http://www.resort.com/~prime8/Orwell/patee.html
http://www.jlakes.org/web/the-elements-of-style.pdf

I'm sure there are other resources online.

ashawnt wrote:Also I was thinking about writing a DS. I'm a bilingual iranian american which I think adds lots of diversity to me. But I am also a high school drop out who has a college degree which is pretty rare as well. What do you guys think? Also how long should a DS be?


I'd say don't write about being Iranian unless you have a specific story that illustrates your diversity. Better to check the ethnicity box and put your language skills on the resume.

Writing about how you transitioned from HS dropout to college graduate would be a good topic for a DS.

ashawnt
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:25 pm

Re: What do you guys think of my personal statement

Postby ashawnt » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:59 pm

Thanks blue ill definitely make some of those changes. Any other ideas guys?




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