Is this topic too risky?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
eric922
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Is this topic too risky?

Postby eric922 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:04 pm

I'm trying to decide what to write in my personal statement and one of the things that came to mind were my experiences in high school. I went to a very strict fundamentalist school ran by the Southern Baptist Convention. The school taught us that evolution was false, the earth was created in six days and the Bible was the word of God and anyone outside the Christian faith was dammed. I got in trouble several times for holding controversial opinions, I remember a few times I challenged the teachers on the issue of evolution. I also remember I was called to the principal's office because I had checked out the Quran and other religious texts from the library and they didn't approve of me reading them (I'm still not sure why they had them if we weren't supposed to read them.) I was planning on using this to discuss my intellectual curiosity and my love of learning, but I was worried it could risk offending someone. What do you all think?

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Is this topic too risky?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:12 pm

Hard to say without actually seeing it written out, but it seems like it would make for a weak personal statement. From the way you described it, it kind of feels like you have a persecution complex from the experience, which might induce some eye-rolls when there will be other candidates with actual persecution-type stories in their personal statements.

eric922
Posts: 311
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Is this topic too risky?

Postby eric922 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:13 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:Hard to say without actually seeing it written out, but it seems like it would make for a weak personal statement. From the way you described it, it kind of feels like you have a persecution complex from the experience, which might induce some eye-rolls when there will be other candidates with actual persecution-type stories in their personal statements.

I never thought of it that way. That definitely wasn't what I was going for, but now that you mention it I can see how it would come across like that.

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Shmoopy
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Re: Is this topic too risky?

Postby Shmoopy » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:18 pm

I don't think the "I like to argue with teachers and challenge authority" story is very interesting to law schools. Lawyers, just like everyone else, have to know how to take shit from superiors and accept institutional rules.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Is this topic too risky?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:19 pm

eric922 wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:Hard to say without actually seeing it written out, but it seems like it would make for a weak personal statement. From the way you described it, it kind of feels like you have a persecution complex from the experience, which might induce some eye-rolls when there will be other candidates with actual persecution-type stories in their personal statements.

I never thought of it that way. That definitely wasn't what I was going for, but now that you mention it I can see how it would come across like that.


In general, it's usually best to be positive in a personal statement and avoid bashing or blaming others. The danger in this topic is it's somewhat unavoidable to be negative about the school and that distracts from you writing about yourself and your positive qualities. Maybe there is an angle to take that would make for a strong personal statement out of this topic, but I don't currently see one.

eric922
Posts: 311
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Is this topic too risky?

Postby eric922 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:28 pm

I can see that this wasn't a good angle to go so I've got a few more ideas I'll work on. Thanks for the advice.




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