Final draft, all comments are greatly appreciated

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Final draft, all comments are greatly appreciated

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:36 am

My eyes fixated on my mother as I peered through her bedroom door. The blue glow of the computer screen accentuated her face as she nodded off and on. She had not always been like this. Once upon a time she belted “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison throughout the house, crooning while tapping a wooden spoon against the kitchen countertop as if she were part of the live band. She was happy then, and our beautiful home on Grand Summit was a lively place often packed with family and friends.

In 2005, my mother began abusing the pain medication the doctor prescribed her for her infrequent migraine headaches. Terribly worried about her, I approached my dad about the situation. Angrily, he replied, “Nothing is wrong with your mother,” effectively silencing me. Countless times my extended family reached out to intervene, but the three-way phone conversation between her, her dad, and siblings routinely concluded with her abruptly hanging up without a “goodbye.” According to her, the slurred speech and off-topic rambling were a result of her exhaustion.

Coming out as a lesbian coincided with the beginning of her addiction. I convinced myself that it was my fault. If I were the daughter she had always hoped for, the daughter who preferred men to women and shopping to sports, then my mother would still be blasting “Brown Eyed Girl.” At each milestone in my life, whether a competitive soccer tournament or graduation, my eyes anxiously scanned the audience full of proud parents in search of my mother, hoping that this time she would be there cheering me on, but she never was. Her absence made me feel that my accomplishments were insignificant, frivolous “achievements.” Thus, I adopted the attitude of indifference in all aspects of my life. I dwelled on my mother’s addiction, and my desperate attempts to encourage her to get help only pushed my parents further away. My concentration waned, and my grades were not indicative of the student I once was. I started my freshman year at Virginia Commonwealth University uncertain of who I was.

My self-confidence and my perspective on my life and future transformed during my junior year of college when I committed to volunteer weekly with the I Have a Dream Foundation. It was not until I tutored Erik, a ten-year-old, energetic Hispanic immigrant, that I rediscovered the untapped reserve of my potential. The odds were stacked against him. His dad worked 80-hour weeks. His mom lived thousands of miles away in Guatemala, yet he was ready for any challenge and ready to overcome any obstacle to fulfill his dreams. His self-confidence, emanating through his smile, reminded me of a part of myself- the me who believed, the me who knew the sky was the limit. For the remainder of the school year, I volunteered with the Foundation. Both my grades and my outlook on life improved. Despite the upheaval in my familial relationships and the suffering I endured watching my mother as a victim of addiction, I found purpose in working with those less fortunate. While my mother’s support would have been welcomed at any point, and oftentimes desired, it was not and is not a necessary component to my happiness nor success. The notion that within me existed all I need to accomplish my dreams empowered me. This belief enabled me to accept what I could not change and to move forward with my life. My self-confidence blossomed, and I grew eager to chase my aspirations.

With each volunteer opportunity, internship or job, my path towards what I wanted to pursue became increasingly more defined. The responsibilities I have had thus far have guided me towards, and eventually into, a career in law. Now I work as a paralegal in an immigration law firm. I have a significant role in helping families reunite for the first time in years and to assist children fleeing gangs in El Salvador to seek asylum. This gives tremendous meaning to my life and is my passion. The most rewarding part of my job is when the Immigration Judge grants asylum to a young boy, markedly similar to Erik. A child with a huge bright smile can now rest easy, far away from the constant gunfire of his ‘barrio’ or neighborhood and study hard to become the doctor or lawyer he dreams of becoming. The system is not perfect. There are families who are not reunited, and there are children who are denied asylum. However, cases that do not have an ideal ending only challenge me to work harder to draft a more compelling brief. I know that what I am doing now is not the end of the road for me—I want to practice law, and I will not rest easy until I can argue cases in front of a Judge. Unlike the previous “me” who put dreams on the back burner, consumed with trying to change the things and people I could not, I understand now that what I do control is myself and the path to achieve my dreams. I eagerly welcome law school to achieve those dreams.

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Final draft, all comments are greatly appreciated

Postby Danteshek » Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:57 am

I could only read the first sentence and assumed it was an erotic novel

MUCH too long

thisone2014
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:03 pm

Re: Final draft, all comments are greatly appreciated

Postby thisone2014 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:22 am

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Last edited by thisone2014 on Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Final draft, all comments are greatly appreciated

Postby Danteshek » Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:35 am

Improving your writing is much more important than the content of your personal statement. Good writing shows that at least you have the raw skills to become a decent lawyer. SHOW, do not TELL. Say MORE with LESS.




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