Trade PS and edit/feedback?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:20 am

Trade PS and edit/feedback?

Postby DeterminedToOvercome » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:30 pm

FYI this is my rough draft and no where near the finished product. I just wanted some feedback from outside sources to get a better understanding on what I can improve on and what to specifically focus on as I continue editing.

Thanks for your time!

I was merely a freshman trying to find where I belonged. As I began my high school experience, I was just as lost as everyone else, but I did not quite realize it at the time. I decided to take a chance and try out for the junior varsity baseball team. I was scared, nervous, and unsure of what the future may hold. Would I be good enough? What if I did not make the team? What would everyone else think if I failed? These were the concerns I had and I am sure that many of my friends were just as apprehensive. Consequently, I let the pressure and fear of failure overwhelm me. I found myself dwelling too much on my mistakes and letting them consume me. Time and time again, I worried whether or not I could live up to the high expectations I had set for myself. In the end, I just wanted to be successful. As fate would have it, these junior varsity baseball tryouts resulted in a turning point in my life. At the time I didn’t realize it, but looking back it was exactly what I needed. During one of the practices I let my fears get the best of me. I had placed so much emphasis on the outcome that I could not focus on what was occurring at the moment. I had misfielded a routine fly ball in the outfield. Immediately panic began to set in. Then again as the next fly ball was hit in my direction I made another error. Over and over again the reality of failure became apparent. Right before my eyes I saw my opportunity slipping away. I did not know how to handle failure and as a result I decided to quit. I threw my fielder’s glove down on the outfield grass and slowly walked away in disappointment.

Unfortunately I had given up on myself. However, my coach had not. He took me to the side and told me that quitting would not solve any of my problems. He told me I had two options from which to choose. I could go back on the field and try again or accept failure. I was surprised that despite my faults, he was willing to give me a second chance. More importantly, he had shown that he had faith in what I could achieve. When I had reached an all-time low and saw no hope in the future, he saw the potential. He was more than a just a coach to me, he was an instrumental figure in my life. Even to this day, I never forget when I wanted to quit because it was hard or because there was the possibility of failure. My coach not only taught me about the game of baseball, but he taught me life lessons that I will carry with me forever. He instilled a drive to continue pushing forward despite the obstacles and challenges that I may encounter along the way. I have taken that advice to heart and try to adhere to it in my everyday life.

During my undergraduate career in college, I realized I wanted to become an instrumental figure in someone else’s life just like my coach. I decided my best opportunity was to pursue a degree in secondary education with a concentration in history. Despite my family’s objections about my chosen career path, I persisted and continued with a clear goal in mind. I wanted to have an impact on someone else’s life and help them realize their full potential. Surprisingly the doubt and fears that I had when I was a freshman in high school still existed. I had not fully overcome them. I worried whether or not I could be an effective educator. More importantly I wanted to make a difference. Despite my fears, I stayed the course. I refused to give up and quit even when I questioned the teaching profession. I knew I had to try and failure was not an option.

Although student teaching proved difficult and trying at times, I persevered. Shortly after graduation I was hired as a high school history teacher and eagerly awaiting the opportunity to make a difference, no matter how big or small. I began teaching at an inner city school with an unfortunate reputation. I had mixed emotions about how I would perform. All the same questions began to overwhelm me. Would I be good enough? What would everyone else think if I failed? These were the issues I seemed to be unable to escape. I realized that I could only be as successful as I allowed myself. Sure, I did have days where I had the perfect lesson planned and it turned out to be an utter failure and there were other days where I had mediocre lessons and they turned out to be a success. I remembered what my coach had taught me; you can either try again and again or accept failure.

I used this as motivation and became determined to shift my focus on the students who were struggling. Regrettably, my colleagues have given up on some of their failing students and labeled them as “unreachable.” I knew that was not the truth. Each and every one of the students was reachable and had the potential to succeed. All they needed was someone to believe in them and help them realize what they were capable of achieving. I do not know if I have had the same impact on my students as my baseball coach had on me when I was a freshman in high school. However, I do know that I have had a few success stories of helping turn apathetic students around and on the path to success. Experiences such as these during my teaching career remind me of the importance of my profession and the responsibility I have to give back to society.

Although my experience as a teacher has been rewarding, I want to achieve more and push myself further than I can envision. Therefore I have decided to pursue an education in the field of law. One of the more invaluable aspects I have been able to take away from being a teacher is self-reflection. I am continuously considering how I can adjust to solve problems that I encounter with my students. How can I become a better teacher? How can I more effectively educate my students? I have realized I have a strong desire to be successful and strive for nothing less. I consider it my strongest weakness. I care too much and try too hard.
I believe that my experiences as a teacher would assist the law school in a variety of ways. I demonstrate leadership on a daily basis by instructing my students and assuming control of the classroom with the focus of helping them develop as individuals. As a history teacher I realize the importance of how our decisions play a pivotal role and impact the world around us. I value the importance of being engaged and the willingness to participate in a continual learning. Being a teacher has also provided more insight into the importance of preparation. I have fully experienced the downfall of not being properly prepared for a lesson. Winston Churchill famous said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” I cannot overstate the importance of Churchill’s quote. I understand how that can apply to all aspects of life. I know that as a law student and future lawyer I will be prepared no matter what because as I have said before, failure is not an option.

I firmly believe that law school complement and strengthen my skills, better preparing me for a future in the field of law. My goal is to graduate from (insert law school) School of Law with more than a degree that I can add to my educational credentials, but the opportunity to apply the skills I will undoubtedly gain from my experience. I fully expect that the ensuing three years as an (insert law school) law student will test my abilities and more importantly enable me to broaden my perspective. I hope to further myself not only on an educational level, but on a personal level as well. Throughout my experience as an educator on various levels, whether it is elementary, middle, or high school, I have concluded that too often we place restrictions upon ourselves as to what we can and cannot accomplish. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would become a high school teacher. I have gained a lot of invaluable experience as a result and I hope to include those experiences as I take on the challenge of attending law school and becoming an attorney. I am confident in (insert law school)’s ability to assist in my development by engaging in participatory learning activities, honing my leadership skills, broadening my perspective on various levels, awareness in regards to the impact of my decisions, and building positive relationships with not only my faculty and colleagues, but the community that I plan to serve as well.

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Re: Trade PS and edit/feedback?

Postby Jacq2212 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:54 pm

I think you focus too much on failure and weakness. I understand that you are trying to show that you worked through that and were inspired by your coach to coach someone else and kept pushing yourself hard. But you sound like an anxiety ridden person who is not necessarily going to be able to handle the stress of law school. Now, I don't mean to sound rude with any of this, trust me, I know my fair share of anxiety. But I think you can present your story and road in a much stronger way that show perseverance, inspiration, hard work, dedication despite failure, etc. :)

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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:20 am

Re: Trade PS and edit/feedback?

Postby DeterminedToOvercome » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:22 pm

You definitely described how I feel at times.

I need to shift focus from failure/weakness to perseverance, inspiration, etc. despite failure.

Were there any grammatical errors or awkward phrasing that stood out?

Thank you for your feedback.

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