Please Critique

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

Please Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:19 pm

Hey guys,

I posted a few weeks ago and never got any response. Anyway here's a revised personal statement. Please critique:


August 17th, 2011. That is the day that my life and my world perspective changed, and marks the point in time when I began my metamorphosis from a carefree youth to a thoughtful more responsible person. That morning I was startled out of a deep sleep by the sound of my cell phone ringing incessantly. It was my mother asking me to check on my step-father, who had been released from the hospital the previous afternoon. I dragged myself out of bed and walked down the hall to their bedroom to see how my stepfather was doing. As I entered the room, right away I noticed that his skin color was not right. He appeared paler than usual. “Wake up” I said, as I attempted to roust him from his slumber, however he did not respond. I began to panic and started shaking him more vigorously yelling at him to wake up, but he was not responding. I flipped him over on his back to open an airway, called 911 and began to administer CPR until help arrived. My stepfather was pronounced dead shortly after the paramedics arrived on the scene.

My step-father had been a part of my life since I was 5 years old. He was a committed family man who, upon reflection, provided me with an example of the man that I wanted to emulate. He was active in the Shriners for longer than I had been alive and was a well-known parent volunteer at my younger sister’s school. His death in 2011 has forever changed the way I approach everyday life. Suddenly I was the man of the house and felt responsible for the well-being of my mother and 2 sisters. Up until then, I had been a responsible but still a carefree young man, not taking life too seriously and going through the motions in school at Cal Poly Pomona. I had yet to figure out yet what career path I wanted to pursue. Now it was time to start looking at things differently. I took on more responsibility and began working more hours to help support my family. I became the fatherly figure for my younger sister Carley and began helping her with her homework and her softball skills. I knew how important my step father had been to Carley and I wanted to try my hardest to fill the void in her life. My biggest reward is the smile on Carley’s face when I agree to catch for her as she practices her pitching. I love the fact that I have become her go to person, a role that my step father prepared me for by the example he set for me through his actions.

My step father’s passing isn’t the first significant loss that I have experienced but it was the most significant. As I reflected on his life, I began to weigh my priorities. After a brief grieving period, I began to focus more on my studies. I am the first person in my family to attend college, and suddenly graduating became my top priority. I began to pay better attention to detail and raised my grades. Drawing on my stepfather’s spirit of volunteerism and community, I started to involve myself with campus activities and other programs. I joined the Cal Poly Society of Accountants and started to engage in fundraisers and community service programs like The Volunteer Income Tax Association, The Huntington Beach clean-up and The Secret Santa for underprivileged children. In the two years since my step-father’s passing. I have grown into a mature adult, deeply committed to bettering myself and those around me. I find that I am more fulfilled when I sacrifice my time and energy helping people in need and have new appreciation for stepfather’s willingness to involve himself in similar activities.

I feel that pursuing a career as a lawyer will better enable me to continue my growth as a human being, and will allow me to live up to the standards and ideals that my stepfather instilled in me from the time I was a little boy. I know that law school will require commitment, sacrifice and dedication on my part. Perhaps more than I have ever expended in the past. Yet, I am ready to face this challenge, because I want to make my step father proud of the man I have become in the past two years. I wish that he could be here to witness that the amount of time and energy he expended on me has made me a person worthy of being called his son.

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Ramius
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: Please Critique

Postby Ramius » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:30 pm

I had to think for awhile about whether I liked this statement or not. In reading it initially, I felt like you were hitting on things you needed to hit on, but there was still something missing for me. I really had no idea what it was missing though. Even now my opinion would be tenuous at best because the statement does have a lot of quality aspects to it, but I'm going to give it a shot just so you know that something else might be read between the lines of this statement. Essentially, the problem I ran into in reading this was a subtle undertone to your overall PS. You speak at great length about how influential your step father was throughout and how his passing caused this fundamental shift in you, which is a great way to show how you got to be a better and more mature person. No reasonable person would ever doubt that a life event like this could have that type of impact. But then I started thinking about some of your phrasing, and I started to think it sounded like these revelations had never occurred to you before. What was amiss for me was that I felt a lot of the things you seemed to take from his death were things you should have possessed to begin with and not something completely new and foreign to you. Like I said, it's completely understandable that these qualities he evinced took on a whole new meaning for you when he died, but I think you could do a slightly better job at describing this more as an evolution for you rather than a complete shift in the way you see the world.

This really did have some quality aspects to it and I think you're on the right track, but that issue with tone did nag at me just a little bit. Who knows, I could be the only person on here who read it that way and could be completely off base here.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:37 pm

Thank you for your response. Now that you mention it I can see the part about it being a complete shift in characteristics instead of a gradual one. I will have to revise that.

Anyone else have anything to say? I'd like to get a few opinions on this before I start cutting and editing.




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