new personal statement, completely different

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new personal statement, completely different

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:33 am

This is a different statement I just finished drafting. It says nothing about why I want to law school, but it also says a lot more about me personally.

I want to know if if would fly or not. Please don't give comments on proofreading/grammar/syntax, etc. I wait to do that until the final draft, mostly because I don't know how much the thing is going to change.

In late September of last year I returned to my high school to bury a friend. []died alone in Manhattan on his twentieth birthday. I always remembered [] as a joyful kid who had kind words for everyone he met. He was also monumentally bright and was studying politics at NYU at the time of his death. The entire community was devastated. As I met with my former classmates before the funeral, I asked another friend if he knew how [] had died. He was blunt: it was suicide. [] had battled severe depression for years. He never told anyone.

I was first diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome in seventh grade. Although nowhere near as serious as depression, the stigma associated with the condition isolated me. I remembered how kids at my middle school treated “retards.” They watched videos online of people spewing streams of profanity in public and would show envy. They cornered a student with Asperger’s in the locker room showers and pelted him with soap. Although mental illness is widespread and various, everyone I knew categorized it as a hopeless problem.

My family kept me on a solid regimen of medicinal and alternative therapy, trying to shock the tics out of me. I cut all the carbs out of my diet and one time loaded up on nicotine patches. I took no fewer than two medications at a time, at maximum dose. These medications made me gain weight and fall asleep in class; on top of that, they did nothing to mitigate the tics. The only way I could really control myself were when I was on a stage. Presenting myself in front of people somehow calmed my nerves enough to keep me still. I took every opportunity I could, in chorus, band, musicals, and dance class to take advantage of this.

In college, the medication started to take a severe toll on my academic and personal life. I slept through classes so often that the professors threatened to kick me out. I also met [], who immediately became my best friend. She had dealt with Trichotillomania, a compulsive hair-pulling disorder, since seventh grade. We began to use each other as catharsis for our disorders, and still do to this day. I soon decided to wean off the medication permanently.

At the same time, I started to work in the dining halls in my school through a work study program. I soon learned that the dining halls used subcontracted workers as dishwashers and that most of them were patients at the local mental hospital. Many students I worked with were concerned that they had to work with the dishroom people, saying they looked like prison inmates or were “dangerous.” In the meantime, I befriended a number of them.

In my class work, I used journalism as a replacement for theater, going out into the field to interview people, reciting news live over the radio, and filming live shots. I became enamored with the stories of those who are often silenced or do not speak. While interning with [], I covered multiple stories involving sex trafficking in New York City, where laws still make it difficult for enslaved prostitutes to see justice. I continue to research this topic.

However, I still see mental issues being silenced every day. When several students took their own lives out of anxiety and depression in my community, their deaths became the butt of jokes; they committed suicide because “their school sucks.” Classmates treat Adderall as a party drug, and students who actually need the medication to focus in class are called “lucky.” People fail to see how widespread and various mental illness can be, and as a result those who battle ADHD, Tourette’s, Trich, Depression, or worse, are forced into the shadows.

As I sat at []’s funeral, amongst other classmates battling tears, I felt nothing but confusion. Had he opened up to me, we could have been closer. Maybe that connection with a classmate who was also hiding his shame could have been the link that saved his life. I could never blame him, though. We were both taught to hide ourselves. I could only fathom how many other people sitting with me that day were struggling with the same problems. But we remain quiet.

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Re: new personal statement, completely different

Postby patfeeney » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:10 pm

I posted this anonymously, but I realize now that if someone who's read one of my previous drafts were to read this, I'd want them to see the connection and compare the two.

My main two problems with it are that, first of all, it doesn't discuss my abilities or law school at all, and two, that it comes off as a pity piece, rather than a statement about how I've learned to identify with something much larger than myself and identify the struggles of others.

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