Rough idea for personal statement critique?

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Rough idea for personal statement critique?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:27 am

Very rough beginning to possible personal statement...any critiques/suggestions would be appreciated.

When I came to college, I noticed a strange phenomenon—all of my new friends assumed my parents were divorced. It wasn’t because the divorce rate is so high or because their parents were divorced—it was because I never mention my father. I can’t remember the last time I started a story with “My dad always says…” and that’s probably because he says nothing.

People who grew up in homes filled with screaming curses and flying dishes would probably roll their eyes. But people who grew up in silence, like me, know that it can be just as hard. I thought my pre-teen spats with my father and the periods of not speaking afterwards were a normal part of growing up. But as the years went on, his quick temper seemed to be replaced by a deafening silence, and instead of me as the main target, it was my mother. There would be periods of time when he didn’t speak to her for weeks or even months. Even if she said something to him in front of me or my brothers, he’d look at her in stony-faced silence.

My mother always puts the happiness of her children above her own, and wanted us to grow up with a father. She has far less resources than my father, making only half of his salary. Divorce, which my mother has secretly begun saving for, brings with it a host of terrifying questions. How will she afford an attorney? Who gets the house and everything in it? How will my younger brothers be affected? But how are they affected now? They, like me, have grown up in silence. Possessions or money should not be enough to hold people together, and nobody deserves to live in silence.

I have always known that I wanted to be a lawyer, and looking back at my household situation shows me why. As alone as I might feel falling asleep in my silent house, I know I’m not the only daughter out there dealing with this, that my brothers are not the only sons, and my mother is not the only wife. It’s not that my mother lacks the will to make a change, she lacks the resources. It’s a common saying that parents always want better for their children than they had themselves, but what about when a child wants a better life for her parent too?

My mother will act long before I have the resources to help her do so. But there are other mothers out there with children hoping the same as I do, and they need to be told that they do not have to be silent. And one day, I will have the resources to help them speak.

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Re: Rough idea for personal statement critique?

Postby bluepenguin » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:40 am

First paragraph can probably go. I'd suggest adding a sentence to P2 to give the relevant information for the transition. P1 is doing you no favors.

Not quite sure what you're describing. You mention spats and a temper, but also talk about silence.

Some writing issues that can be cleaned up.

You'll need to be a lot clearer about your point with this. I don't quite know what you're trying to say about yourself or your aspirations with this.

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Re: Rough idea for personal statement critique?

Postby xodaryll » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:00 am

What I was looking to expand upon at the end was that because of my family situation I have been drawn to family law so I can help other families, wives/husbands. children, etc. and this has motivated me throughout my academic career/in my extracurriculars etc. Thanks for the critiques about what I have so far.

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Re: Rough idea for personal statement critique?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:55 pm

This is great. Sincere & convincing. Well-written. Flows well. Would be even better as a Yale 250.

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