please critique. two page limit is awful

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osubucknut
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:07 am

please critique. two page limit is awful

Postby osubucknut » Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:08 pm

"You don't belong here." I will always remember the moment that phrase was uttered to me by a thirteen-year-old middle school student. Since the moment I heard that phrase for the first time, it has always stuck with me.
In my junior year of college I was given the opportunity to volunteer at a Youngstown middle school as a classroom assistant. When my professor mentioned this opportunity to me for the first time I was very hesitant to act on it. I was fortunate enough to have grown up in a middle class town where crime was almost nonexistent, and the school district I attended was always given an excellent rating. The middle school the opportunity arose at was in a city that consistently ranks as one of America's top ten most dangerous cities. The unemployment rate is high and many residents live below the poverty level. The school district has constantly been under academic emergency, and stability is a term that can hardly be applied to most of the students' lives.
These were some of the many reasons I was hesitant to enter the middle school as a classroom assistant. After thinking it over for a few days I decided to fill the role of classroom assistant. I knew culture shock would be inevitable, but I wanted to try my best to inspire and help the struggling students and thought there would be no harm in at least trying.
My first day in the school began during lunchtime. I entered the building and walked to the cafeteria to meet the students for the first time. On the way to the cafeteria, I witnessed a student sucker punch another student in the head. The school's police officer quickly broke up the skirmish. I was out of my element and feeling afraid after only being in the school for five minutes. When I made it to the cafeteria I tried to sit down at a table with an empty spot. That's when the young boy said to me, "You can't sit here. You don't belong here." I got up from the table heartbroken and discouraged. I wanted to make a positive impact on the students' lives, and for the first time in my life I was the outsider. I felt there was no way I could connect with the students, and without connected with them and earning their trust I would have no chance at making even the smallest impact.
The students refused to talk to me during my first week in the classroom. They did not trust another white, middle class adult trying to enter their school and change their dynamic. When I tried helping with assignments they stared at me with a blank face. The next week, I walked up to the same lunch table and started asking them about their favorite video games. Their eyes lit up; they couldn’t believe someone in my position would talk with them about video games. From that point on we talked about games and sports every day at lunch. They began to welcome me to their table and a relationship formed.
In the classroom they went from ignoring me to flocking to me. I was able to use humor while working with them to motivate them to give more effort and work harder on their assignments. After a few weeks, their teacher commented that their grades and behavior had improved dramatically; she was in disbelief.
As my time at the school wound down, the students begged me to stay. We had both learned from each other, and made a significant impact on each other's lives. I learned more from those students than from any other class on education I had taken. They helped me develop as a leader and I helped them evolve as students. It was a very rewarding experience that I feel had a profound impact on my life.

osubucknut
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:07 am

Re: please critique. two page limit is awful

Postby osubucknut » Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:18 pm

wanted to talk about my development as a leader more and the other methods i used to form a relationship but i ran out of space. i think the topic i chose was good but my execution may be lacking. at this point i guess im just hoping the ps doesn't hurt me.

KatyMaddux
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:52 pm

Re: please critique. two page limit is awful

Postby KatyMaddux » Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:33 pm

Since the moment I heard that phrase for the first time, it has always stuck with me.

This is repetitive. Pick between "will always remember" and "it has always stuck with me"

When my professor mentioned this opportunity to me for the first time I was very hesitant to act on it.

Add a comma between time and I.

These were some of the many reasons I was hesitant to enter the middle school as a classroom assistant. After thinking it over for a few days I decided to fill the role of classroom assistant.

Cut the first sentence. it's clear that you were hesitant to take the position. Maybe expand the second sentence to show that you were reluctant but decisive about it.

[That's when the young boy said to me, "You can't sit here. You don't belong here." I got up from the table heartbroken and discouraged. I wanted to make a positive impact on the students' lives, and for the first time in my life I was the outsider. I felt there was no way I could connect with the students, and without connected with them and earning their trust I would have no chance at making even the smallest impact.

Good connection to your intro, but don't say that it was the "first time in your life," because that would suggest that the first time you heard those words, they didn't make you feel like an outsider. I would also cut a little bit of the more dramatic language, 'heartbroken' may be a little strong, as well as 'no chance' combined with 'smallest impact.'

We had both learned from each other,

I wouldn't use the word "both" unless you're talking about two people or two groups, not one person and a group of people. I would say "all" or something like that.

It was a very rewarding experience that I feel had a profound impact on my life.

Cut this ending sentence and replace with something stronger.

Overall-> I like the story, but I would cut a little bit of the detail out of your hesitation to take the position, and a little bit of the detail out of your initial bad impression of the school, in order to make more room for how you turned the situation around as well as to make a connection to why this would tie into law school (however brief that connection might be).

NoDayButToday
Posts: 1031
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:34 pm

Re: please critique. two page limit is awful

Postby NoDayButToday » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:01 pm

.
Last edited by NoDayButToday on Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mandyjay11
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:36 am

Re: please critique. two page limit is awful

Postby mandyjay11 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:26 pm

OP, this personal statement reads very choppy to me. I think you need to add some variation in your sentence structure because now it is very much like " I did xyz. Then I said xyz. Then I felt xyz." if you see what I am saying...

I think the story might have some potential but the way it is shaped right seems like a story a lot of people have had in the classroom. I think you should try and make it more personal, and like the other posters said, leave out some detail about your school vs their school.

I also don't feel like it has a strong enough conclusion because you just say you guys talked about video games and then all was well. You have to use this state to tell the AdComms a story that is unique to you and your life. While there might be a good story from your position as a Classroom Assistant, the way this one is written currently is a little dry.

Hope that helps!

osubucknut
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:07 am

Re: please critique. two page limit is awful

Postby osubucknut » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:31 pm

Thanks for your help guys.

NoDayButToday
Posts: 1031
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:34 pm

Re: please critique. two page limit is awful

Postby NoDayButToday » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:32 pm

.




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