Personal statement (in progress)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Personal statement (in progress)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:23 pm

Hi guys, I am still drafting this just that I feel a bit stuck. I have this much but I don't really know how to turn it. Can you guys give me some critique in order to assess how I can continue or perhaps refine it?

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I was born in the city of Tirana, the polluted capital of the hermetic Stalinist “Socialist People’s Republic of” Albania, on a brutally hot July day in 1987, in the midst of a nationwide power outage and cholera outbreak that would claim the lives of hundreds. The family to which I was born is a microcosm of the country-wide divisions created by the regime. My father is the son of a disillusioned communist who fought as a partisan in WWII, while my mother is the daughter of a staunch anti-communist who witnessed the extermination of his family and spent several years in a labor camp. Although one more so than the other, both sides of my family suffered a bleak, impoverished and persecuted existence.
I had no share in this experience; I was born shortly after the death of Albania’s dictator and my formative years were in the U.S. My Albanian experience seemed like little more than a dream, but for years I glorified it. As a child I would amaze my American friends with my grandfather’s story as a guerilla fighter, or the oppressive poverty and brutality that characterized life in a Stalinist state; when my high school class read Orwell’s 1984, my teacher asked me to say a few words about the horrid system my family endured, and I would gleefully provide family stories to entertain and terrify the class. This performance gave me an identity, something that could separate me from being just another White guy in a middle class neighborhood. However, while I put on this mask for my friends and classmates, my parents were striving hard to fit into another one.
In my late teen years, I finally asked my mother why she and my father chose America over, say, Germany, Austria or France. After a short argument, my exasperated mother exclaimed: “In Europe, we are just shitty Albanians; in America, we are White!” This statement has had a profound effect on me. It seemed to put stain on the heroic image I promoted for my family. I could no longer take pride in an “oppression narrative” if my parents embraced an identity the privileges of which were the byproduct of oppression. At the same time, I found it hard to fault them for this.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

stickershocked
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Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:17 pm

Re: Personal statement (in progress)

Postby stickershocked » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:31 pm

Way too much use of the passive voice ("was experiencing," "were also experiencing.") This may be a little bit old-school, but I was taught that when writing something like a personal statement or cover letter--in fact, when writing in general--you want to avoid the passive voice as much as you can.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Personal statement (in progress)

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:42 pm

Not a fan of your entire last paragraph to be honest... the rest of it is a little too much about how it affected your parents and not quite enough about what you did about it

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Personal statement (in progress)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:50 pm

It was shot from the hip. I have to do a lot of changes to it. It was based on a different personal statement for Fulbright (I won the first round but lost in the second), but I need some better ideas for how it will relate to law. Part of the problem is keeping things brief: this whole thing feels like a setup and only now I turned around and realized it's almost the length of most personal statements. I feel like I may be over-thinking in some regards.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Personal statement (in progress)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:52 pm

Hey guys, I made a complete revamp of the essay. I was wondering if people have some advice as to how to turn the rest of the story, what I should consider or take into account?




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