Please Review

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
devinnye
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:13 pm

Please Review

Postby devinnye » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:44 am

Hey there,
If you guys aren't bored of reading other people's personal statements yet, here's another. Being honest, I'm not terribly happy with it. It doesn't feel like a story that was terribly unique to me. It lacks the jaw-dropping aspect of many others that I've read. But as a white male from the mountain west, I don't have too much crazy stuff in my life. Self-inflicted pain for the sake of a feat of strength is about all I've got. Please let me know if this one just straight-up sucks. I have a couple of other back up ones. It's due Friday, so I'd appreciate any commentary or critiques. This is still a pretty rough draft, so I'm open to any changes or ideas you propose. I'm assuming it's too long, but I honestly don't know. Thanks in advance!


“Happy birthday to me,” I thought to myself, my feet and legs ablaze with pain. I then groaned mentally as I saw the next sign: Mile 20. On the bright side, I only had 6.2 more miles to go. On the down side, I had 6.2 more miles to go. But I have always affirmed in my personal life that if one is going to do something, one should give everything they’ve got, and that was how I was going to run this race.

Six months previously, I had signed up to run my first marathon on my birthday. I have been a runner for years. It started in high school as a way to still be active in “sports” without getting destroyed by the other kids who had been training since the age of four. It was mostly so I could say “Hey look! I did a sport!” on college applications. I didn’t plan on developing the love for running that I now have. It escalated in the years after high school. I started running 5k’s, then 10k’s and even half marathons, and doing well. I had always lacked the time to correctly train for a marathon, but my desire to push myself to the next level in my racing led me to finally try my hand at the marathon.

So when I saw that a marathon was going to be held, six months away and even on my birthday, I thought to myself that I would not only have time to train, but I would have the motivation to really get ready. Because I was already in good running shape, I would only need three to four months to train, not the full six. In retrospect giving myself more time was a bad idea, because it lulled into a false sense of security. “Oh, I can skip my long run this weekend. I’ll have time later.” Boy was I wrong! Before I knew it I had three weeks before the marathon and I had skipped and postponed so much of my training that I would never be ready. I was committed, and in spite of my failure at training I decided I would follow through and not only accept the consequences of my choice, but be sure to learn from my mistake. It was a lesson I wouldn’t need twice.

Finally the day came. Reluctantly, I woke up at three to get ready and be to the bus with my fellow marathoners at five in the morning, so the race could start at seven. Dreading what the rest of the day may hold, I repeated to myself my mantra for the race: you’ll finish or you’ll die trying. Unfortunately, either of those were real possibilities when running a marathon you hadn’t trained for. I made small talk with some other runners, while wondering what in the world I was doing there. Was I really about to subject myself to 26.2 miles of torture? For fun? On my birthday? I must have a problem. Finally we got to line up at the starting line, and even with how nervous I was with my lack of training, I found myself lining up with the faster runners because I couldn’t admit to myself that I might not be ready for this. The gun went off and I started in on a day I won’t soon forget.

The first few miles I was still trying to find my pace, but I found a good one and stuck with it. That is, until mile 10. I had been pushing myself way too hard for those first 10 miles, and I started feeling it. I started slowing down, against my will. Each mile was harder than the last, and I started hurting in places that I didn’t even know could feel pain. It was only through my desire to finish that I kept going. Each mile seemed like it took hours. I desperately sought for anything to distract me from the pain which was turning from searing and shooting to dull generic pain. It was everywhere. I told myself that I just needed to make it to that tree there, and then that cone just a little bit ahead. But I couldn’t stop. It meant too much to me. I had made a goal, and I would follow through.

Mile 18 saw me starting to take breaks during the aid stations where I would walk instead of running through them. The pain made me slow down, but my desire to finish made me start up again. Mile 20 let me see how far I had come as I exited the scenic canyon in which the marathon had started. It was an impressive feeling, which under any other circumstance would be cause to stop and pat myself on the back, but my feet, legs, and arriving supporters reminded me that I still had another six miles to go, which would surely not be an easy task.

At this point, however, the supporters were starting to come out and cheer as the race moved into populated areas, and even if I could have failed myself, I couldn’t have failed those cheering me on. The cheering and shouts pushed me to run even harder. It seemed that every shout was intended directly for me, and I couldn’t fail them. They were running vicariously through me, I imagined, and I wasn’t going to let them fail. A few people even cheered out my nickname for myself that I had on my shirt: Slacker. This was my way of reminding myself that I needed to push harder, that I needed to try harder and be better. I couldn’t let myself be a real slacker, and so I had to go on the offensive to improve myself.

I realized that the pain I had felt derived itself from the attention I was giving it. In my previous training runs for all my races, I never let myself feel the pain. I had learned how to ignore the pain. Focusing on my running, realizing what I had accomplished, and, in complete honesty, seeing that I was almost done effectively shut the pain out of my brain. It still wasn’t easy, but stopping wasn’t an option. I turned the corner after passing mile 25 and I could see the finish line, and as odd as it sounds, I swear I could taste the sense of accomplishment. I waved at the masses that were cheering my fellow runners and I on, and even managed to smile once or twice.

Words fail to fully capture my feelings at the finish line. The elation, and pain, I felt were overwhelming. I took my medal for finishing and purposefully went somewhere that my family couldn’t see while my eyes teared up with emotion at my accomplishment. It took all the determination I had to push to that finish line, and I was there. I had done what I set out to accomplish. It is the way that I have lived my life and this was one of the moments that has proved to me that I not only can do, but will do what I set out to. I learn from my mistakes if I make them, and become better. For example, after learning from this marathon, several months later I went on to win third place in another marathon because I knew how to prepare and I put myself to the task.

Throughout my life I have learned firsthand the importance and value of determination and effort. Running a marathon didn’t require any exceptional skill or talent on my part, but it did require sustained struggle to achieve my resolution. Law school will be fundamentally the same. I acknowledge that it will be exceptionally difficult, and that I might stumble along the way. However, I have the determination and desire to forge ahead to reach my goals, and I have the passion for law, confidence in my ability, and humility to learn that will enable me to find success in my future at law school.

XLogic
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:22 am

Re: Please Review

Postby XLogic » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:17 am

Your entire essay topic "on running" should either be one paragraph or you need to weave it into your life story, and how it relates to law school. I don't think it is sufficient to base your entire essay this one run, and then only bring up "law" and your life determination in the last paragraph.

Rewrite please.

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BelugaWhale
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:31 pm

Re: Please Review

Postby BelugaWhale » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:24 am

XLogic wrote:Your entire essay topic "on running" should either be one paragraph or you need to weave it into your life story, and how it relates to law school. I don't think it is sufficient to base your entire essay this one run, and then only bring up "law" and your life determination in the last paragraph.

Rewrite please.

this.

run with the story, dont let it run you.

cooldude87
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:51 pm

Re: Please Review

Postby cooldude87 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:25 am

i wouldn't post this on here, maybe email ppl who have done it before, have been on here for a while

bfigsan
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:06 pm

Re: Please Review

Postby bfigsan » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:29 am

I see what you're going for here, but the bottom line is that this essay isn't about law school.

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ManOfTheMinute
Posts: 1562
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:54 am

Re: Please Review

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:39 am

bfigsan wrote:I see what you're going for here, but the bottom line is that this essay isn't about law school.


Yeah... I wouldn't tie it in. Let the reader tie law school into it for you. You stating it just sounds desperate

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Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Please Review

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:47 am

cooldude87 wrote:i wouldn't post this on here, maybe email ppl who have done it before, have been on here for a while


It is annoying when people don't just post their personal statement. It allows people to see the evolution of the statement, and it prevents wasted effort by offering similar revisions that were done a few minutes ago by another poster. The OP has less than 10 posts on TLS--I don't think he's worried about being outed.

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Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Please Review

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:09 am

As for actual feedback on the statement in the OP: I disagree with some of the other posters harping on how you need to tie it to law school. That's not necessary. I think you have a pretty good story to tell. The problem is that it really should be one page shorter. You write well, but you could probably cut a sentence or two off every single paragraph. You're providing too much info and bogging down the story. (I found myself to start skimming at times, even though I was initially interested.) I recommend going through this and cutting away all the surplusage.

What to do after you cut around 1/2-1 page? Maybe try to incorporate or imbed a short story within the larger one or try to connect the running to another character trait you've exhibited in a particular way. Or just simply have a PS that isn't a full 2 pages single spaced.

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Jsa725
Posts: 2003
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:20 pm

Re: Please Review

Postby Jsa725 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:54 pm

.




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