Almost finished PS, would like some feedback

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:46 am

Almost finished PS, would like some feedback

Postby Bruingrad2014 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:59 pm

As the tears streamed down my brother’s face, the blue and white flashing lights seemed to bounce off the windows into eternity. I was about eight years old when my dad took my brother, cousin, and me out for a whale watch in Newport Beach. He had been drinking on the way there and once we arrived he topped off with two more tall cans of his classic Budweiser. Even at a young age I foresaw what was going to happen, my dad would soon be making a fool of himself and I would hide away in the cabin until it was all over. This time was even worse. He continued to drink on the boat and was even insulting a young elementary school teacher who had taken her students on a field trip. All I wanted was for the boat to return to harbor as quickly as possible, but, unfortunately, that failed to make anything better. My dad forced us to walk around the Balboa peninsula while he continued to further inebriate himself. Finally, he decided it was time to leave, but was still as drunk as he had been throughout afternoon. Luckily we were pulled over by highway patrol, and, as the years went by, I realized that if he did not stop my father, we might not have ever made it home. Riding in the back of that police car is an unforgettable experience that still haunts my memory; my brother sobbed the entire way and I did my best to assure him everything would be fine, but I truly had no idea. Many boys growing up admiring their father, hoping one day they will be just like him, but my experience was quite different.

This is definitely not the only memory I have of my alcoholic father, I could write pages about sitting idly by as he snorted lines of cocaine off a broken mirror to crying in my mother’s arms as he was chased out of a baseball stadium by the police. However, this is not about him, but how he I decided I would do everything in my power to never be anything like my father. About a year after that incident, my mom kicked him out of the house, and my brother and I were living off the sole support of her hard work. My mother was an inspiration; it is difficult to remember the times she was home, because there were countless nights I had to put my brother to bed while she finished up at the office. Growing up in a household with a single parent was difficult, but it forced me to learn responsibility sooner than most.

Just before my senior year of high school my mother was fired. This greatly changed my plans for the immediate future. Instead of applying to universities, I decided to attend community college in order to work and be self-sufficient. Balancing school and work was a difficult adjustment, but I was determined to be the first in my immediate family to graduate college. During the first semester of freshman year my grades suffered, but instead of being discouraged I was inspired to work harder and eventually transferred to UCLA. My father had always been happy with the bare minimum in life, but I would not settle. I had a desire to better myself and not fall into the alcoholism that consumed his life since before my birth. When graduation was approaching, the decision of whether or not to invite my father was problematic. I knew he was proud of me, but I was still resentful because the pain he had inflicted on my family. After much deliberation, I invited my father and that is something I’ll never regret. Ultimately he deserves recognition, but I doubt he will ever know my motivation for life is to never end up like him.

My entire life has been plagued with difficult challenges; however, I am thankful because they shaped me into the person I am today. Without those experiences I do not know where I would be today, but they are responsible for my passion for success and determination. Law school will just be another obstacle, but, instead of being nervous, I am excited for this new opportunity. My perseverance is valued above all else, and law school will be my next battle. I will not be my father, I will set a better example with my life, and hopefully my achievements will continue inspire those close to me.


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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:21 pm

Re: Almost finished PS, would like some feedback

Postby stew0610 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:00 pm

I like the concept on the whole. Take my advice for what its worth, but I think the last paragraph is too cliche and it might be worthwhile to say something about why you want to go to law school and/or lessons you learned that will be applicable to success in school.

I also think the last clause of the last sentence of the first paragraph could be made much stronger by moving your later statement that you have dedicated your life to not being like your father.


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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:13 pm

Re: Almost finished PS, would like some feedback

Postby jepper » Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:29 pm

The first part of this story is definitely interesting but once I got to you talking about you it went blahhh. I understand how all this shaped your life but you talked about others for 3/4 of it. Once it got to you I completely lost interest. There is definitely a more compelling story in there. I would suggest you rework it so YOU come out from the start of the essay.


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Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:50 pm

Re: Almost finished PS, would like some feedback

Postby cavalier2015 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:07 pm

you really have a STORY to tell. thats a rare feat for many PS on here. but i am a little concerned that this is too cliche and over the top. i had similar issues when I was working on my PS and i found it helpful to go through an delete any thing thats NOT YOU and then focus on 1 or 2 things and really develop that over 2 pages.

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