Personal Statement halp [first very rough draft]

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Anonymous User
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Personal Statement halp [first very rough draft]

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:17 am

Hello all, I would appreciate some feedback! I am concerned with the content -- this is a rough draft and it's 1AM. It is a tad long and needs to be trimmed somewhere...

UPenn is my top choice.

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The horizon was dark as we stood in silence along the remaining bulkheads. Warm breath struck the cold November air as we held tall cups of coffee – the heat slipping through the plastic lids. The lights were out across the bay. The bayside beach, playground, gazebo, dock, and boardwalk were destroyed. Houses were boarded-up; some were lopsided after having been thrown from their foundations or pilings, others were battered beyond recognition, but the hardest hit were no longer standing – swept to the sea. I could hardly imagine what was happening on the other side of the water, where the National Guard and clean-up crews were on non-stop patrols. Flood lines scarred the surviving structures, as not everything was broken, but it was certainly bruised. The hum of distant generators and the rhythmic hush of water lapping against the bulkheads grew louder on that solemn night as the eerie scene bore a permanent place in our memories. The town was in shambles, the neighboring towns were in shambles, and our Jersey Shore was devastated in the wake of Super Storm Sandy.

During the preceding week I had watched news coverage from my college dorm. I have never felt so helpless before, as my home and the county I grew to love were in the direct path with another “storm of the century.” Irene came the year earlier, with much pomp but very little destruction. Unfortunately, Sandy had stronger intentions. I went home on Thursday night to see it all for myself and help in any way possible. I found that my hometown had fared relatively well, but the destruction was obvious. Few had power, stop lights were out, and police checkpoints were scattered throughout Ocean County to prevent people from entering the devastated water-front neighborhoods.

I volunteered with a local church that was set-up as an impromptu shelter. It sent volunteer groups with supplies throughout the township and neighboring communities to assist in clean-up efforts. As a student majoring in political science with intentions of becoming a lawyer, hurricane clean-up was not something I had ever envisioned being a fixture on my resume, but knew I could exercise an air of calm energy, patience, and objectivity to situations that had left many people in most dire situations. My group, including my girlfriend, sister, and one of my best friends, was sent to X,Y, and Z, where we cleaned out muck out of homes, removed debris and stripped houses of nearly everything but their wooden structures. Piles of wet sheet rock, debris, and memories grew into mountains, some at least two stories tall, as many homeowners listlessly moved forward. We did our best to raise spirits, offering help, water, doughnuts, and ears to listen.

I was happy to help but I wanted to do so much more. The skills that I knew would be beneficial in law school could only get me so far. My patience, objectivity, and a calm disposition could not help when I was in another state. As I returned to college following the clean-up weekend, I considered the next step. My undergraduate institution too pride in the ardent service and leadership of its students, imploring the student body to work hard, bring change to the world, and embody the community-oriented focus of the university. It was my time to “ignite” change and help those who were affected by the storm by means other than physical labor.

My course notebooks were soon strewn with ideas but none were better than a doodle. I made use of my artistic talent, and drew up an apparel design, featuring the phrase “Restore the Shore!” accompanied by the Barnegat Lighthouse, affectionately called “Ol’ Barney” by the locals, beaming on the phrase. I created a computer rendering of the design and t-shirt and sweatshirt mock-ups simply to see if anyone would be interested in purchase either. I created a Facebook page and posted the design, hoping to gain support from interested buyers and clothing companies alike. Within a few days, it had garnered the support of thousands and tens of thousands requests for shirts. Unfortunately, despite the sudden popularity, major clothing companies were not interested or had already began apparel fundraisers. I did not waiver and continued pressing for support.

Fortunately, my page caught the attention of a local business leader, who then brought it to the attention his fellow business leaders. Within a week, my project had the support of Rotary International through the Rotary Club. Together, Rotary and I collaborated to create t-shirts and sweatshirts featuring my designs. Throughout the project, I remained anonymous as its founder except to friends, family, and Rotary members. The apparel sold at local business and one hundred percent of the proceeds went toward helping people affected by Sandy, such as through purchasing furniture, appliances, and beds for families that had had lost nearly everything. All in all, my project raised over $10,000 for Sandy recovery and I am incredibly proud to have anonymously helped so many people.

About a month ago, I was with my friends again at the same bayside beach. The bulkheads were repaired and the scarred flood lines faded into memory. We sat, staring across the bay – but this time, the lights stared back. The sun peaked over the horizon, casting a bright glow over the Shore. In a breath, we are back to that cold, lonely November night and the unnerving darkness that reach across the bay and into our hearts. But In that same breath, we know that the Shore is recovering, and I know that I helped. I did not have to be a college graduate or a lawyer to help, but I now know that I will succeed in law school. Without my persistence and patience, the project may have never gained support from Rotary. Furthermore, without the passion and drive to help my community, there might be families still waiting for beds and furniture. My skill set is not the “black and white” skillset exclusively including logic and analysis – it includes patience, creativity, passion – and a touch of artwork. The Shore is recovering, and Ol’ Barney still beams brightly over the bay and across the ocean as the sun rises on a brighter future – as a law student, a lawyer, and even more so as a person.

lawschool2014hopeful
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Re: Personal Statement halp [first very rough draft]

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:46 am

Your narrative skills is very strong,

but the purpose of the statement is somewhat confusing at best

You write about an experience where you demonstrated persistence and initiative, to which you think it will guarantee success in law? I mean, that is a VERY VERY arrogant claim.

Also statements like this "I was happy to help but I wanted to do so much more. The skills that I knew would be beneficial in law school could only get me so far." -> How do you know what is beneficial for law school?

I think, you are writing with the implicit assumption you already knew what law school will entail, but the problem is, you really dont.

Furthermore, the jump from no help to luck is bit fast (was it just randomly that a local business dealer contacted you?)

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal Statement halp [first very rough draft]

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:16 pm

jimmierock wrote:Your narrative skills is very strong,

but the purpose of the statement is somewhat confusing at best

You write about an experience where you demonstrated persistence and initiative, to which you think it will guarantee success in law? I mean, that is a VERY VERY arrogant claim.

Also statements like this "I was happy to help but I wanted to do so much more. The skills that I knew would be beneficial in law school could only get me so far." -> How do you know what is beneficial for law school?

I think, you are writing with the implicit assumption you already knew what law school will entail, but the problem is, you really dont.

Furthermore, the jump from no help to luck is bit fast (was it just randomly that a local business dealer contacted you?)


Thank you. I had a feeling that it was an arrogant claim but I wanted to get some feedback. I wrote most of it before actually viewing the personal statement and am trying to mold it to fit . Originally I did not include anything about what I though would be "good" for law school, etc. and I felt it was much stronger. I will absolutely heed your advice and do my best to answer those questions in the next draft!




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