Let me know what you think

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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TheJanitor6203
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Let me know what you think

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:58 pm

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Last edited by TheJanitor6203 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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t-14orbust
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby t-14orbust » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:02 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it spelled 'hangar?'

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:09 pm

t-14orbust wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it spelled 'hangar?'

Good catch, thank you.

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t-14orbust
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby t-14orbust » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:11 pm

law school has always been a dream of mine but I had already filed that dream away into the “never going to happen” file of my mind


I think it sounds weird that you're filing it away into the file in your mind. How about filing it away into the 'never going to happen' cabinet of your mind, instead?

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:19 pm

t-14orbust wrote:
law school has always been a dream of mine but I had already filed that dream away into the “never going to happen” file of my mind


I think it sounds weird that you're filing it away into the file in your mind. How about filing it away into the 'never going to happen' cabinet of your mind, instead?

I've been debating with myself over this line for a while. I think I'm just going to delete the second half so it reads "law school has always been a dream of mine but I had already filed that dream away."

Thoughts?

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t-14orbust
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby t-14orbust » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:22 pm

Personally I'm not sure of exactly how formal it needs to be, considering that it is a personal statement after all. I feel that your writing style gives me an idea of the kind of person you are, but others may think it's a little too cutesy. I'd say to wait for other input.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:25 pm

t-14orbust wrote:Personally I'm not sure of exactly how formal it needs to be, considering that it is a personal statement after all. I feel that your writing style gives me an idea of the kind of person you are, but others may think it's a little too cutesy. I'd say to wait for other input.

I've been told that it is on the informal side which I don't think is a bad thing and the others that told me that didn't think it was necessarily a bad thing either but what do you mean by "cutesy?"

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:29 pm

Also, I'm just curious what type of person you think I am after reading it. I'm curious to see if my true personality show through my writing.

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t-14orbust
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby t-14orbust » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:30 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Also, I'm just curious what type of person you think I am after reading it. I'm curious to see if my true personality show through my writing.


What did I gather? I get from this that you're a hard worker with good leadership qualities that aspires to lead and serve. It seems that your style of leadership and communication is more on the end of friendly and encouraging rather than being that of an uptight hardliner. That's why I liked the little quirks to the statement that brought your personality out. It seemed to me like you are an easygoing guy when it comes to dealing with people, but can buckle down and get to work when the time comes.

Of course, the statement isn't perfect yet. Wait for others to comment on more structural/thematic stuff. Nonetheless, I think you're on the right track, though I'm no expert by any means.
Last edited by t-14orbust on Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:33 pm

t-14orbust wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:Also, I'm just curious what type of person you think I am after reading it. I'm curious to see if my true personality show through my writing.


What did I gather? I get from this that you're a hard worker with good leadership qualities that aspires to lead and serve. It seems that your style of leadership and comunication is more on the end of friendly and encouraging rather than being an uptight hardliner. That's why I liked the little quirks to the statement that brought your personality out. It seemed to me like you are an easygoing guy when it comes to dealing with people, but can buckle down and get to work when the time comes.

Of course, the statement isn't perfect yet. Waut for others to comment on more structural/thematic stuff. Nonetheless, I think you're on the right track, though I'm no expert by any means.

Pretty accurate description. Thanks for your help. I guess we'll have to see what others think.

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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby NYstate » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:35 pm

"Succumb to the inevitable" is cliche.


The sentence ending " two years early" should be "two years ago" or " two years earlier". I don't think earlier reads right.

The sentence "it was during this time" should be stronger. Maybe something like " on that long bus ride, I decided". It's just too passive.

I think the paragraph starting with " eight years ago" could be rewritten. You can say that you had always dreamed of being a lawyer and then mention why you filed it away. Say something like I had always dreamed of being a lawyer but [ why you gave up that dream- too big a challenge; too young??; joined the army and thought that was your career?]. That eliminates the "filed away part."


I'm on my phone so it is tough to edit. I think this is a good draft. The last paragraph need work so they sound more active. Also, don't need to mention GPA if you want to write an addendum. Why were your grades so bad exactly?
Last edited by NYstate on Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:38 pm

I think in the line where you say "As a leader" you should just say "As a Staff Sergeant" instead, because I wasn't sure what kind of leader you meant (I mean I figured officer but I didn't know more than that).

I think you could maybe cut a sentence from the very beginning -- it takes a little too long to get going for such a short essay, and you're kind of just paraphrasing the same thought (you are anxious about what is about to happen) multiple times in different ways.

I was intrigued when you said you always wanted to be a lawyer but never believed it could actually happen, and it would be interesting to know more specifically why you wanted to be a lawyer so badly (if it's true that it was really your "dream" -- if not I would avoid saying this, since lots of people say it without meaning it), and I would also like to know why it was so impossible to believe it would happen -- you grew up poor? You were a bad student? Your family situation was difficult? You didn't know any lawyers? Some applicants are coming in with the attitude of "My dad's a lawyer, my friends' dads are lawyers, of course I can become a lawyer. No big deal."

I would cut the line where you explain your GPA.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:59 pm

The GPA stuff is in there because I don't want to do an addendum and it helps illustrate that the Army has helped me mature. Do you think the addendum is a better option than touching on it in the ps?

The reason my grades sucked was because I really didn't care about them. College credit helps you get promoted in the Army but they don't care if you get a C- or A+, it all counts the same. I used to stop submitting homework once I had a passing grade. Yeah, I know- stupid, but at the time I was planning on making a career out of the Army...

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Ramius
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby Ramius » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:07 pm

I have to echo that the GPA explanation doesn't really fit with the rest of your PS. You spend a solid few paragraphs developing pathos with the reader about the difficulty of deploying on the family and the psyche and then completely diverge into a "why law" and "why GPA" discussion. It's completely inconsistent, and while it answers questions you definitely want to answer for admissions, it just doesn't fit together. If you're going to focus on the military/deployment/sacrifice/leadership angle, then leave the GPA and why law stuff off unless you can tie your decision to go to law school into one of the aforementioned topics.

This isn't a bad PS, it's just not really coherent from beginning to end.

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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:53 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:The GPA stuff is in there because I don't want to do an addendum and it helps illustrate that the Army has helped me mature. Do you think the addendum is a better option than touching on it in the ps?

The reason my grades sucked was because I really didn't care about them. College credit helps you get promoted in the Army but they don't care if you get a C- or A+, it all counts the same. I used to stop submitting homework once I had a passing grade. Yeah, I know- stupid, but at the time I was planning on making a career out of the Army...


How bad is your overall GPA? It might not be worth discussing at all -- an addendum is usually for when you have a good excuse, like serious illness or something. Maybe your GPA just is what it is at this point -- I had a bad GPA myself and I was definitely immature and didn't give a fuck at the time, and then I worked full time and grew up and then I went to law school. But if you're going to do it, it's probably better to do a separate, short addendum. Maybe some adcoms will think "I didn't see anything but the Army in the future so I didn't have a reason to do my best" as a justification.

NYstate
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby NYstate » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:54 pm

What do you think about cutting the two paragraphs before the end? Or maybe just the one that is third from the bottom.

You give enough information that ad commd can figure out you have leadership and all those other qualifications. Not sure you have to spell it out, but I don't think that it does.

I think you should write a GPA addendum but don't say that your grade didn't matter to the army so you did the minimum. Think about all the stress you had from your family, job, etc. normally that might not warrant an addendum on its own, but adding in the fact you were deployed in war zones might give you an edge.

I just don't like to see people discuss low GPA in the PS because it often doesn't fit.

Also, think about why you thought you couldn't be a lawyer and how you see it differently now.

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Ramius
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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby Ramius » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:02 pm

NYstate wrote:What do you think about cutting the two paragraphs before the end? Or maybe just the one that is third from the bottom.

You give enough information that ad commd can figure out you have leadership and all those other qualifications. Not sure you have to spell it out, but I don't think that it does.

I think you should write a GPA addendum but don't say that your grade didn't matter to the army so you did the minimum. Think about all the stress you had from your family, job, etc. normally that might not warrant an addendum on its own, but adding in the fact you were deployed in war zones might give you an edge.

I just don't like to see people discuss low GPA in the PS because it often doesn't fit.

Also, think about why you thought you couldn't be a lawyer and how you see it differently now.


I've thought about it more, and I think you'd be better off without a GPA addendum. You don't have a GOOD reason for a low GPA, so just play up your positives that you want ADCOMs to key on and let them pleasantly forget that your GPA is below their median. If you do this effectively enough, they will (within reason) forget about it.

Tell a great story and keep them enraptured and the people reading it will see only the parts you want them to focus on.

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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:45 pm

Thanks for all of the advice everyone. Here is the revised ps. I think I want to add a paragraph above the second-to-last paragraph elaborating on why I didn't think I'd be able to go to law school but I can't figure out how to put it into words. The summary is I just felt like the financial responsibility of two kids and a wife would prevent me from doing it but now I don't. Also, the answer to why I've always wanted to be a lawyer isn't all that great. My uncle is a lawyer and I've always looked up to him and when I was a kid I thought the show "JAG" was the coolest ever. That's where it started anyways- my reasons now are deeper than that.
Last edited by TheJanitor6203 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:54 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:How bad is your overall GPA?


LDAS GPA 3.28

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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:36 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:How bad is your overall GPA?


LDAS GPA 3.28


Yeah that's not even all that bad. I wouldn't bother to write the addendum. Everyone has SOME reason for not getting better grades, know what I mean? Lots of people didn't try hard enough, didn't care, etc. Writing an addendum says "you should give me special consideration even though my GPA is low." That's ok if you were battling cancer or something, but otherwise why should you get a boost for admitting you didn't try hard when other people did try hard? Don't take that as a put-down, I just think it's better to own the mistakes and not ask for special consideration.

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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:24 pm

Some of you have said I should and some say I shouldn't but let me know what you think of this GPA addendum. It also occured to me that I should note why I have some many class withdraws on my transcripts.

Throughout my freshman and sophomore level classes, I earned an embarrassing 2.71 GPA. During this time period, I was still relatively new to the Army, I had just got married and my wife and I had our first child. I also spent over half of this time away from home conducting training in preparation for my first deployment to Iraq in 2007. I believe my upper level courses are a better indicator of my future academic potential. During these years, I earned a 3.74 GPA. It was during this time that I found a new desire to succeed academically and I learned how to balance my responsibilities as a leader, husband and father. I studied while helping my wife raise our boys, working an average of sixty hours a week and deploying in support of Operation New Dawn for in 2011. I would also like to address the large number of course withdrawals on my transcripts. This is due to the hectic and often unpredictable schedule that I have had to work around while I have been in the Army.

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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:33 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Some of you have said I should and some say I shouldn't but let me know what you think of this GPA addendum. It also occured to me that I should note why I have some many class withdraws on my transcripts.

Throughout my freshman and sophomore level classes, I earned an embarrassing 2.71 GPA. During this time period, I was still relatively new to the Army, I had just got married and my wife and I had our first child. I also spent over half of this time away from home conducting training in preparation for my first deployment to Iraq in 2007. I believe my upper level courses are a better indicator of my future academic potential. During these years, I earned a 3.74 GPA. It was during this time that I found a new desire to succeed academically and I learned how to balance my responsibilities as a leader, husband and father. I studied while helping my wife raise our boys, working an average of sixty hours a week and deploying in support of Operation New Dawn for in 2011. I would also like to address the large number of course withdrawals on my transcripts. This is due to the hectic and often unpredictable schedule that I have had to work around while I have been in the Army.


Ok yeah I think that's solid. I would take out the word "embarrassing" before 2.71.

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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby Ramius » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:38 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Some of you have said I should and some say I shouldn't but let me know what you think of this GPA addendum. It also occured to me that I should note why I have some many class withdraws on my transcripts.

Throughout my freshman and sophomore level classes, I earned an embarrassing 2.71 GPA. During this time period, I was still relatively new to the Army, I had just got married and my wife and I had our first child. I also spent over half of this time away from home conducting training in preparation for my first deployment to Iraq in 2007. I believe my upper level courses are a better indicator of my future academic potential. During these years, I earned a 3.74 GPA. It was during this time that I found a new desire to succeed academically and I learned how to balance my responsibilities as a leader, husband and father. I studied while helping my wife raise our boys, working an average of sixty hours a week and deploying in support of Operation New Dawn for in 2011. I would also like to address the large number of course withdrawals on my transcripts. This is due to the hectic and often unpredictable schedule that I have had to work around while I have been in the Army.


I personally wouldn't submit this, not because they aren't valid reasons, but because it's ultimately that you just hadn't learned time management as well as you know it now, which is what they'll see and deduce when they see your upward grade trend. That's incredibly common in college students, regardless of circumstance. I don't think this would hurt you, but I sincerely doubt it will help any either. Let your 3.28 be what it is and leave it alone. When it comes to that GPA, you're below the 25th of most of the higher ranked institutions, and once you're below median, they will make a judgment call on you as an individual if they're willing to ignore that fact. A 3.28 GPA won't be thrown out at anywhere below probably T6 (and even those COULD potentially reach for the right package), and the more military friendly T14 will view your 3.28 the same way they view a GPA that is .01 below their median.

With all that in mind, do you think this does anything to enhance your application?

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Re: Let me know what you think

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:43 pm

matthewsean85 wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:Some of you have said I should and some say I shouldn't but let me know what you think of this GPA addendum. It also occured to me that I should note why I have some many class withdraws on my transcripts.

Throughout my freshman and sophomore level classes, I earned an embarrassing 2.71 GPA. During this time period, I was still relatively new to the Army, I had just got married and my wife and I had our first child. I also spent over half of this time away from home conducting training in preparation for my first deployment to Iraq in 2007. I believe my upper level courses are a better indicator of my future academic potential. During these years, I earned a 3.74 GPA. It was during this time that I found a new desire to succeed academically and I learned how to balance my responsibilities as a leader, husband and father. I studied while helping my wife raise our boys, working an average of sixty hours a week and deploying in support of Operation New Dawn for in 2011. I would also like to address the large number of course withdrawals on my transcripts. This is due to the hectic and often unpredictable schedule that I have had to work around while I have been in the Army.


I personally wouldn't submit this, not because they aren't valid reasons, but because it's ultimately that you just hadn't learned time management as well as you know it now, which is what they'll see and deduce when they see your upward grade trend. That's incredibly common in college students, regardless of circumstance. I don't think this would hurt you, but I sincerely doubt it will help any either. Let your 3.28 be what it is and leave it alone. When it comes to that GPA, you're below the 25th of most of the higher ranked institutions, and once you're below median, they will make a judgment call on you as an individual if they're willing to ignore that fact. A 3.28 GPA won't be thrown out at anywhere below probably T6 (and even those COULD potentially reach for the right package), and the more military friendly T14 will view your 3.28 the same way they view a GPA that is .01 below their median.

With all that in mind, do you think this does anything to enhance your application?

Not really I guess..




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