PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

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

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PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:06 pm

I'm kind of at a loss as to what to write about for a personal statement that would make me stand out as unique. I initially was writing about forging your own destiny and all that crap, using life examples (like losing over 100 lbs.) to support that ethos, but I realize that it is way too generic. I also think writing about my career aspirations will also come across as generic to admissions counselors.

But for some reason my mind keeps going back to how I lost that weight....it's not something I think about daily by any means, but I do believe this is a topic that would stick out in the minds of admissions counselors. I'm not sure how to frame it though.

dabigchina

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby dabigchina » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:14 pm

As someone who also lost a shitload of weight, congrats.

If you did, I would tie it to your work ethic and positive attitude.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:15 pm

dabigchina wrote:As someone who also lost a shitload of weight, congrats.

If you did, I would tie it to your work ethic and positive attitude.

Congrats to you as well!

That's what I was doing, but it feels so....flat. I imagine law schools get lots of work ethic essays.

dabigchina

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby dabigchina » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:17 pm

cantyoloforever wrote:
dabigchina wrote:As someone who also lost a shitload of weight, congrats.

If you did, I would tie it to your work ethic and positive attitude.

Congrats to you as well!

That's what I was doing, but it feels so....flat. I imagine law schools get lots of work ethic essays.

They get a lot of every type of essay. 100% uniqueness is going to be almost impossible.
IMO the name of the game is to tie positive traits about yourself to something concrete and memorable. This fits the bill nicely.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:18 pm

dabigchina wrote:
cantyoloforever wrote:
dabigchina wrote:As someone who also lost a shitload of weight, congrats.

If you did, I would tie it to your work ethic and positive attitude.

Congrats to you as well!

That's what I was doing, but it feels so....flat. I imagine law schools get lots of work ethic essays.

They get a lot of every type of essay. 100% uniqueness is going to be almost impossible.
IMO the name of the game is to tie positive traits about yourself to something concrete and memorable. This fits the bill nicely.

Dope; sounds like I don't have to restart my essay then haha.

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34iplaw

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby 34iplaw » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:23 pm

Yeah - I think it's more important how you write it. What motivated you to do it? How do you feel before and after? etc.

For instance, I recently lost something like 60 or so pounds, but I lost it because I had maxillofacial surgery. I don't know if I lost weight from eating panera turkey chili and meal replacement soups with zero effort other than a bland diet would count.

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mukol

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby mukol » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:48 pm

dabigchina wrote:As someone who also lost a shitload of weight, congrats.

If you did, I would tie it to your work ethic and positive attitude.



Dropped 65lb or so myself. Mad props bruh.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:11 pm

34iplaw wrote:Yeah - I think it's more important how you write it. What motivated you to do it? How do you feel before and after? etc.

For instance, I recently lost something like 60 or so pounds, but I lost it because I had maxillofacial surgery. I don't know if I lost weight from eating panera turkey chili and meal replacement soups with zero effort other than a bland diet would count.

Do you think it matters that I was 16 when I did it?

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34iplaw

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby 34iplaw » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:15 pm

cantyoloforever wrote:
34iplaw wrote:Yeah - I think it's more important how you write it. What motivated you to do it? How do you feel before and after? etc.

For instance, I recently lost something like 60 or so pounds, but I lost it because I had maxillofacial surgery. I don't know if I lost weight from eating panera turkey chili and meal replacement soups with zero effort other than a bland diet would count.

Do you think it matters that I was 16 when I did it?


How old are you now? I would think, at this point, you should intertwine other stuff with it if you use it.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:41 pm

34iplaw wrote:
cantyoloforever wrote:
34iplaw wrote:Yeah - I think it's more important how you write it. What motivated you to do it? How do you feel before and after? etc.

For instance, I recently lost something like 60 or so pounds, but I lost it because I had maxillofacial surgery. I don't know if I lost weight from eating panera turkey chili and meal replacement soups with zero effort other than a bland diet would count.

Do you think it matters that I was 16 when I did it?


How old are you now? I would think, at this point, you should intertwine other stuff with it if you use it.

I'm 24 haha, which is why I started thinking that maybe it was too long ago. The essay is structured as this (currently):

Intro - we build our own destiny
p1 - the time I lost over 100 lbs. exemplifies this/motivation for why I did it
p2 - before I lost the weight I was an insecure teenage boy, after I lost the weight I still was; needed to develop self-awareness to become the person who I am today
p3 - why I'm grateful I was fat (made me an empathetic person, allows me to understand the importance of perspective)
Conclusion - "handling adversity" is a cliche topic for good reason, because these are the moments which make us human etc.

Just typing out that map makes me want to barf....

kcdc1

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby kcdc1 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:54 pm

I don't think it's necessary to try to "stand out as unique" in your PS. Just write something that makes you seem likable and mature.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:57 pm

Maybe something I could do is add in a related smaller story to each of those paragraphs; for example, for the one about empathy I could talk about the play I wrote and produced in college (theme was about understanding diverse perspectives)?

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:01 pm

kcdc1 wrote:I don't think it's necessary to try to "stand out as unique" in your PS. Just write something that makes you seem likable and mature.

Reading that in some of the articles popping up on Google. Makes me feel better....probably should spend less time writing and more time studying for my retake haha

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby kcdc1 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:27 pm

cantyoloforever wrote:Maybe something I could do is add in a related smaller story to each of those paragraphs; for example, for the one about empathy I could talk about the play I wrote and produced in college (theme was about understanding diverse perspectives)?

My advice is to be less ambitious in scope. It's fine to just talk about writing and producing a play, what went well, what didn't go so well, and what you learned. Maybe you learned something about diverse perspectives, but it could also be something more mundane like, "I learned how to manage team projects slightly better."

Law school admissions is a numbers game. Just write a well-organized PS about something that makes you seem like a pleasant enough person who is a reasonably safe bet to get a job. And yeah, your LSAT score is going to have a million times more impact than your PS topic selection.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:02 pm

kcdc1 wrote:
cantyoloforever wrote:Maybe something I could do is add in a related smaller story to each of those paragraphs; for example, for the one about empathy I could talk about the play I wrote and produced in college (theme was about understanding diverse perspectives)?

My advice is to be less ambitious in scope. It's fine to just talk about writing and producing a play, what went well, what didn't go so well, and what you learned. Maybe you learned something about diverse perspectives, but it could also be something more mundane like, "I learned how to manage team projects slightly better."

Law school admissions is a numbers game. Just write a well-organized PS about something that makes you seem like a pleasant enough person who is a reasonably safe bet to get a job. And yeah, your LSAT score is going to have a million times more impact than your PS topic selection.

Okay, sounds good. With that said, do you think it would make for a better topic to talk about the play since that was 3 years ago instead of the weight loss since that was 8 years ago?

HonestAdvice

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby HonestAdvice » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:12 pm

I think it's a great topic, and you don't have to expand it. It shows you're self-determined, capable of devising a plan and sticking with it for a prolonged period. If it was in a short time period, I'd be weary of coming across as mentally unstable/having an eating disorder both of which are red flags.

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benwyatt

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby benwyatt » Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:16 am

Please do not write this essay. I think you have achieved something great and it is something that you can and should be proud of, but if, of all your life experiences, you chose to write about losing weight 8 years ago, when I read your essay I'd have one question:


what have you done since?

also "being fat taught me empathy" seems like an odd thing to stress in your essay

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:57 pm

benwyatt wrote:Please do not write this essay. I think you have achieved something great and it is something that you can and should be proud of, but if, of all your life experiences, you chose to write about losing weight 8 years ago, when I read your essay I'd have one question:


what have you done since?

also "being fat taught me empathy" seems like an odd thing to stress in your essay

Perhaps I did a poor job articulating myself, but I would not necessarily stress that being fat made me empathetic as a main point, but it's one of the things I learned. With that said, you may find this essay interesting as you would see why it's not so odd to become more empathetic once you've literally lived different lives.

The things I have done since then that I am proud of/would consider writing about are - study abroad (reeks of privilege, not unique, not sure how I could make that related to law school), raised $10,000 for an event in college with literal blood, sweat, and tears (I will say this experience gave me a lot of professional skills (like find the phone numbers of literary agents and hounding them down) and is something I use in interviews that has helped me get jobs in the past), and I wrote and produced a feature length play. I've had jobs and internships, but I don't really feel inclined to write about them.

I like the weight loss story because as other posters said it shows determination and a willingness to stick to goals through the long haul, including these 8 years; weight doesn't just stay off magically once you lose it ;)

However, if it is a big red flag, I'll change it; just not sure what else to write about....

Edit - we attach our resumes to our applications, correct? So they would see what I've been doing with my time since then, right?

Also, isn't it somewhat common for people to write about their youth? I've read a few personal statement examples from MS9 Consulting that discussed how peoples' backgrounds made them interested/good fits for the legal field.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:25 pm

Bump because of anxiety lol

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ek5dn

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby ek5dn » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:37 pm

cantyoloforever wrote:
benwyatt wrote:Please do not write this essay. I think you have achieved something great and it is something that you can and should be proud of, but if, of all your life experiences, you chose to write about losing weight 8 years ago, when I read your essay I'd have one question:


what have you done since?

also "being fat taught me empathy" seems like an odd thing to stress in your essay

Perhaps I did a poor job articulating myself, but I would not necessarily stress that being fat made me empathetic as a main point, but it's one of the things I learned. With that said, you may find this essay interesting as you would see why it's not so odd to become more empathetic once you've literally lived different lives.

The things I have done since then that I am proud of/would consider writing about are - study abroad (reeks of privilege, not unique, not sure how I could make that related to law school), raised $10,000 for an event in college with literal blood, sweat, and tears (I will say this experience gave me a lot of professional skills (like find the phone numbers of literary agents and hounding them down) and is something I use in interviews that has helped me get jobs in the past), and I wrote and produced a feature length play. I've had jobs and internships, but I don't really feel inclined to write about them.

I like the weight loss story because as other posters said it shows determination and a willingness to stick to goals through the long haul, including these 8 years; weight doesn't just stay off magically once you lose it ;)

However, if it is a big red flag, I'll change it; just not sure what else to write about....

Edit - we attach our resumes to our applications, correct? So they would see what I've been doing with my time since then, right?

Also, isn't it somewhat common for people to write about their youth? I've read a few personal statement examples from MS9 Consulting that discussed how peoples' backgrounds made them interested/good fits for the legal field.


First, congrats on the weight loss! And congrats on keeping it off, too :D I agree that it takes a ton of willpower to do either.

I'm going to have to agree w/ benwyatt, though and say that while your story is unique and has a good underlying message, I don't think it's the best idea to focus solely on your weight loss and its impact on you.

What you mentioned about raising $10,000 seems interesting, and so does writing a feature length play. Both of those things show determination and a willingness to stick to goals. Frankly, I would focus on one of those projects and then throw in the weight loss as an example of your determination. Maybe it can be a line or two that hooks the reader at the beginning.

Based on your posts, you're clearly articulate and you seem to write well, so I wouldn't stress too much. As you can probably tell from other tls posts, what's going to get you into law school is your GPA and LSAT score. Just make sure that your essay is well-written, free of any errors, and doesn't stick out in a bad way. If you do that, you'll be fine as long as you have the necessary stats.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:49 pm

ek5dn wrote:
cantyoloforever wrote:
benwyatt wrote:Please do not write this essay. I think you have achieved something great and it is something that you can and should be proud of, but if, of all your life experiences, you chose to write about losing weight 8 years ago, when I read your essay I'd have one question:


what have you done since?

also "being fat taught me empathy" seems like an odd thing to stress in your essay

Perhaps I did a poor job articulating myself, but I would not necessarily stress that being fat made me empathetic as a main point, but it's one of the things I learned. With that said, you may find this essay interesting as you would see why it's not so odd to become more empathetic once you've literally lived different lives.

The things I have done since then that I am proud of/would consider writing about are - study abroad (reeks of privilege, not unique, not sure how I could make that related to law school), raised $10,000 for an event in college with literal blood, sweat, and tears (I will say this experience gave me a lot of professional skills (like find the phone numbers of literary agents and hounding them down) and is something I use in interviews that has helped me get jobs in the past), and I wrote and produced a feature length play. I've had jobs and internships, but I don't really feel inclined to write about them.

I like the weight loss story because as other posters said it shows determination and a willingness to stick to goals through the long haul, including these 8 years; weight doesn't just stay off magically once you lose it ;)

However, if it is a big red flag, I'll change it; just not sure what else to write about....

Edit - we attach our resumes to our applications, correct? So they would see what I've been doing with my time since then, right?

Also, isn't it somewhat common for people to write about their youth? I've read a few personal statement examples from MS9 Consulting that discussed how peoples' backgrounds made them interested/good fits for the legal field.


First, congrats on the weight loss! And congrats on keeping it off, too :D I agree that it takes a ton of willpower to do either.

I'm going to have to agree w/ benwyatt, though and say that while your story is unique and has a good underlying message, I don't think it's the best idea to focus solely on your weight loss and its impact on you.

What you mentioned about raising $10,000 seems interesting, and so does writing a feature length play. Both of those things show determination and a willingness to stick to goals. Frankly, I would focus on one of those projects and then throw in the weight loss as an example of your determination. Maybe it can be a line or two that hooks the reader at the beginning.

Based on your posts, you're clearly articulate and you seem to write well, so I wouldn't stress too much. As you can probably tell from other tls posts, what's going to get you into law school is your GPA and LSAT score. Just make sure that your essay is well-written, free of any errors, and doesn't stick out in a bad way. If you do that, you'll be fine as long as you have the necessary stats.


Thanks for all of the compliments! I really appreciate it! Def. agree about the stats - I have a solid LSAT and GPA under my belt, but I'm still studying for a retake to squeeze out a couple more points.

As I think about it more and more, I'm considering making these "moments of triumph" little vignettes instead of making an essay focused on just one topic (I actually originally had it written this way). At the risk of giving away who I am (though I guess I have done that already with these specific examples), my original essay was:

Intro - people aren't born with a purpose; we build our own destiny. This is an attitude I had to cultivate over time etc.
Body 1 - weight loss
Body 2- play example
Body 3 - $10,000 fundraising
Conclusion - why this makes me a good fit for law school

Nebby

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby Nebby » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:56 pm

Write about something else.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:47 pm

So is it in agreement that the following approach would be best?

Intro - people aren't born with a purpose; we build our own destiny. This is an attitude I had to cultivate over time etc.
Body 1 - weight loss
Body 2- play example
Body 3 - $10,000 fundraising
Conclusion - why this makes me a good fit for law school

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:07 pm

Last bump; pretty sure I'm going to move into that new direction though

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grand inquisitor

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby grand inquisitor » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:12 pm

losing weight like that just shows that for a significant amount of your life you weren't adhering to a healthy lifestyle. only later did you adopt a fit lifestyle: something the vast majority of your peers have been doing day-in and day-out all their lives. find something better and non-fatist to write about.



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