PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

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

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:55 pm

grand inquisitor wrote: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.

You have got to be kidding me.....there are plenty of thin people who do not have healthy lifestyles. And in fact, considering that 70% of Americans are overweight, the vast majority of my peers have not been doing this.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:32 pm

Okay, now that I have gone back to writing about multiple events, it kinda seems too general. I understand that people don't like the weight loss story because it happened too long ago (or isn't anything to be proud of according to some posters....), but at least that was one cohesive story with an arc. I'm going to sit on this essay for a bit and see how I feel about it later, but I feel like there has to be something better than either of these options.

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby dabigchina » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:16 pm

grand inquisitor wrote: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.


fatties should just stay fat and admit that they are shit-tier subhumans amirite?

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jrvansant

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby jrvansant » Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:30 pm

grand inquisitor wrote: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.


http://imgur.com/iAD2YLW

checks out

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Jordan Catalano

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby Jordan Catalano » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:42 pm

cantyoloforever wrote: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....


Yeah, I don't like this either. Find something else to write about.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:25 pm

Jordan Catalano wrote:
cantyoloforever wrote: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....


Yeah, I don't like this either. Find something else to write about.

My most recent draft is the following

Intro - "We may not be born with a destiny, but we can build one." This is an attitude I've had to cultivate etc.
Paragraph 1 - High School Weight Loss
Paragraph 2 - Production of First Feature Length Play
Paragraph 3 $10,000 Fundraising Adventure for My Organization (this sounds like a bland vignette, but it is a legitimately good story that required a lot of hustle and has gotten me an internship and two jobs since it's happened)
Closing - How Law School fits into this attitude and what I see for myself

I like this essay because it talks about accomplishments of mine that aren't listed on my resume, and I think all three of those anecdotes reveal my character. With that said, it also makes for kind of a general essay. I think upon a rewrite I can make each vignette tie back more strongly to what I articulated in the intro, which will help a lot.

I kinda feel like I need to make this structure work, otherwise I'm SOL. To be honest, the life experiences that have shaped me the most (other than the dramatic weight loss) aren't as well-fitted for a law school personal statement (except maybe amateur bodybuilding, but I really don't want to subject an admission officer to that haha).

HonestAdvice

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby HonestAdvice » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:50 pm

Losing 100 pounds is a huge accomplishment. Saying it isn't is pretty ignorant. It's not as simple as mind over matter, because your mind is affected by the matter and your entire body is hardwired to preserve the status quo. Even something like changing your eating times is difficult, and while obese people burn more calories doing the same exercise as fit people, it's much harder to burn the same number of calories because their bodies aren't adapted to that impact. Losing 100 pounds requires building up pain tolerance most people don't have regardless of weight, and the kind of consistency that people who do well in law school have. It's definitely much harder than graduating college.

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Jordan Catalano

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby Jordan Catalano » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:55 pm

At a quick glance the re-write seems more promising!

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:08 pm

HonestAdvice wrote:Losing 100 pounds is a huge accomplishment. Saying it isn't is pretty ignorant. It's not as simple as mind over matter, because your mind is affected by the matter and your entire body is hardwired to preserve the status quo. Even something like changing your eating times is difficult, and while obese people burn more calories doing the same exercise as fit people, it's much harder to burn the same number of calories because their bodies aren't adapted to that impact. Losing 100 pounds requires building up pain tolerance most people don't have regardless of weight, and the kind of consistency that people who do well in law school have. It's definitely much harder than graduating college.

I agree with this 100% (but I'm obviously biased haha)

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:11 pm

Jordan Catalano wrote:At a quick glance the re-write seems more promising!

Thank you! But.....I'm thinking about going back to focusing on the weight loss. I know that people say I shouldn't focus on something from high school, but thematically it would make for a stronger essay. I would cut out the empathy crap, and focus more on the false starts and difficulties of losing weight, and how that is a testament to my adversity/building my own destiny. And I could still add in those other achievements towards the end of the essay.

I have a hard time believing ad admissions person would read this, and their reaction would be "well, what have they done since high school?" My resume alone would answer that question considering it lists all of my accomplishments from college and my work experiences. But I'm definitely open to hear what others have to say.

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:17 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

I'd like to hear your response to the changes, as your comment has concerned me the most

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby HonestAdvice » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:57 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

I'd like to hear your response to the changes, as your comment has concerned me the most

It would be hilarious if you threw in a twist at the end about how started promoting healthy eating to obese children and started a charity, but without you knowing one of your constituents dropped a flash drive into your back pocket that the feds discovered pictures of naked children and now you're in a federal penitentiary and you would like to pursue a law career so you can get back to being around children and start your own sandwich company. You'd be demonstrating your ability to also plan towards your goals post-law school, which is important.

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby benwyatt » Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:36 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

I'd like to hear your response to the changes, as your comment has concerned me the most

It's hard to respond to the changes without a full PS (I wouldn't have time to read a full PS at the moment though, so I'll give you what I can)
cantyoloforever wrote:"We may not be born with a destiny, but we can build one."

Please don't actually say this because it doesn't make any sense considering the definition of destiny. I know this seems pedantic, but I'm covering my bases here.

As for the rest of the structure, it could work or it could be generic and boring, depends on how you write it. I can't comment further on a basic outline.

I do think have some questions about this though
cantyoloforever wrote:To be honest, the life experiences that have shaped me the most (other than the dramatic weight loss) aren't as well-fitted for a law school personal statement


why do you think they're not well-suited to this purpose? how are you constraining your topic? i wrote about something personal and traumatic that in no way connected to the law but i used it to demonstrate important qualities about myself that I thought were important to helping an admissions officer see me completely.

this doesn't necessarily have to be limited only to topics you think are appropriate dinner conversation.


I do think the structure you just laid out could work, it's just too little to definitely judge.

cantyoloforever wrote:I have a hard time believing ad admissions person would read this, and their reaction would be "well, what have they done since high school?" My resume alone would answer that question considering it lists all of my accomplishments from college and my work experiences.


I think you're wrong on this point. I'm not in admissions nor have I ever been, but your resume doesn't communicate the full complexities of your life since high school/college and the notion that you didn't experience a single thing worth writing about since high school is laughable to me.

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:58 pm

benwyatt wrote:Please don't actually say this because it doesn't make any sense considering the definition of destiny. I know this seems pedantic, but I'm covering my bases here.

As for the rest of the structure, it could work or it could be generic and boring, depends on how you write it. I can't comment further on a basic outline.


why do you think they're not well-suited to this purpose? how are you constraining your topic? i wrote about something personal and traumatic that in no way connected to the law but i used it to demonstrate important qualities about myself that I thought were important to helping an admissions officer see me completely.

this doesn't necessarily have to be limited only to topics you think are appropriate dinner conversation.


I do think the structure you just laid out could work, it's just too little to definitely judge.



I think you're wrong on this point. I'm not in admissions nor have I ever been, but your resume doesn't communicate the full complexities of your life since high school/college and the notion that you didn't experience a single thing worth writing about since high school is laughable to me.


Awesome, thanks for responding! Here are my thoughts:

1. It's probably just my ego, but I really enjoy that phrase. I had a friend look at my PS though, and they thought it was a weak thesis, so I'm considering removing it entirely.

2. Structure; as of right now, the essay isn't well connected. It reads as "here are 3x I've dealt with adversity." So, even if I stick with this format, I have my work cut out for me.

3. Since the weight loss, the moments that have defined me (or at least the ones I can immediately think of) are the dissolution of my fraternity because of the death of a close friend, studying in Paris for a semester (reeks of privilege to me), and lessons from my work experiences about what I want to do with my life (I guess). Honestly, studying for the LSAT for the past year has been a pretty big experience for me, and really made me grow up; having to balance that with work after having a relatively easy collegiate career did change me.

The reason why I like the weight loss story is because it explains how an attitude I use for my life initially developed. I never said that I have nothing to write about since high school, but it's an important story in my personal history that explain a lot about me.

Edit - I'm also an amateur bodybuilder....perhaps I can tie the weight loss in with that, and write about setting goals, etc.?
Last edited by cantyoloforever on Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:01 pm

HonestAdvice 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

I'd like to hear your response to the changes, as your comment has concerned me the most

It would be hilarious if you threw in a twist at the end about how started promoting healthy eating to obese children and started a charity, but without you knowing one of your constituents dropped a flash drive into your back pocket that the feds discovered pictures of naked children and now you're in a federal penitentiary and you would like to pursue a law career so you can get back to being around children and start your own sandwich company. You'd be demonstrating your ability to also plan towards your goals post-law school, which is important.


If this was for an M.F.A. creative writing program, I would definitely do that haha. That's a great idea

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:35 pm

After sitting on this for a while, I feel more confident about focusing on the weight loss, but having it tie into other stuff I've done; thematically it makes a stronger, more concise essay. So it would be structured as:

Intro - dealing with adversity/building destiny (if I can make it stronger/make more sense)
Talk about weight loss; who I was before, motives for doing it, what I learned from it, etc.
Then for a quarter of a page or so discuss how the attitude/mindset I developed from this early experience has helped me in other endeavors
Then explain how I'm going to use this mindset to achieve in law school/why I want to go

I had two friends (one of which is earning his PhD from Princeton and had to go through a similar admissions process, the other one who is an extremely strong writer) both think the essay would be more memorable and tighter if I wrote more about the weight loss, as they felt it was the heart of the personal statement.

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:40 pm

Last time I'll bump this, but I'd love some feedback on the above post. Sounds cheesy as hell, but my heart is telling me to do the above, but my anxiety is telling me otherwise :oops:

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby Ifoundnemo » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:19 pm

Personally, I think losing over 100lbs is quite impressive, especially if you've been able to maintain it over eight years. You can talk about setting goals, facing challenges and perseverance; all good law student strengths. Creating your own destiny is another theme you can weave in if that's what you feel strongly about. Anyone who has ever struggled with weight issues can attest that losing weight - and keeping it off - is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. You can give up other vices by going cold turkey, but food consumption is something that can't simply be avoided. Maybe not the most original theme, but if it's well written and personal - that's what it's all about! I think/hope that it isn't necessarily the topic that the adcomms are judging us on, but rather the way we present it. Not every essay will appeal to every person, so you've got to go with what you think you can write with conviction and hope that reader it will find something redeeming in it. Just write it well. I'm just a first-time applicant myself, so I hope that I'm not steering your wrong, but this is the advice I was given. Congrats on your achievement, btw!

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:22 am

Ifoundnemo wrote:Personally, I think losing over 100lbs is quite impressive, especially if you've been able to maintain it over eight years. You can talk about setting goals, facing challenges and perseverance; all good law student strengths. Creating your own destiny is another theme you can weave in if that's what you feel strongly about. Anyone who has ever struggled with weight issues can attest that losing weight - and keeping it off - is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. You can give up other vices by going cold turkey, but food consumption is something that can't simply be avoided. Maybe not the most original theme, but if it's well written and personal - that's what it's all about! I think/hope that it isn't necessarily the topic that the adcomms are judging us on, but rather the way we present it. Not every essay will appeal to every person, so you've got to go with what you think you can write with conviction and hope that reader it will find something redeeming in it. Just write it well. I'm just a first-time applicant myself, so I hope that I'm not steering your wrong, but this is the advice I was given. Congrats on your achievement, btw!

Thank you! This is pretty much exactly how I feel, so I feel somewhat confident in moving towards that direction.

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circle.the.wagons

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby circle.the.wagons » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:02 pm

Just want to piggy back on this topic for a second if you all don't mind...

I'm planning on writing a PS on pretty much the same topic, as losing a large amount of weight was one of the most physically and emotionally difficult goals that I've had to achieve in my life (thankfully. I know many, many people face much worse adversity than this). I completed my weight loss when I was a senior in HS, and for the most part I've kept the weight off for 7 years or so, but I admit I still have a pretty unhealthy relationship with food. I just read a sentence in TLS's personal statement guide that you shouldn't write about your pre-college self. Does this hold here? If I don't write about this I'm kind of at a loss as to what I should write about. Thanks.

cantyoloforever

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:36 pm

circle.the.wagons wrote:Just want to piggy back on this topic for a second if you all don't mind...

I'm planning on writing a PS on pretty much the same topic, as losing a large amount of weight was one of the most physically and emotionally difficult goals that I've had to achieve in my life (thankfully. I know many, many people face much worse adversity than this). I completed my weight loss when I was a senior in HS, and for the most part I've kept the weight off for 7 years or so, but I admit I still have a pretty unhealthy relationship with food. I just read a sentence in TLS's personal statement guide that you shouldn't write about your pre-college self. Does this hold here? If I don't write about this I'm kind of at a loss as to what I should write about. Thanks.

I'm visiting a law school tomorrow, and I think I'm going to just ask them point blank about this

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circle.the.wagons

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby circle.the.wagons » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:36 pm

cantyoloforever wrote:
circle.the.wagons wrote:Just want to piggy back on this topic for a second if you all don't mind...

I'm planning on writing a PS on pretty much the same topic, as losing a large amount of weight was one of the most physically and emotionally difficult goals that I've had to achieve in my life (thankfully. I know many, many people face much worse adversity than this). I completed my weight loss when I was a senior in HS, and for the most part I've kept the weight off for 7 years or so, but I admit I still have a pretty unhealthy relationship with food. I just read a sentence in TLS's personal statement guide that you shouldn't write about your pre-college self. Does this hold here? If I don't write about this I'm kind of at a loss as to what I should write about. Thanks.

I'm visiting a law school tomorrow, and I think I'm going to just ask them point blank about this

Awesome keep me posted, please.

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby welcometothefamily » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:34 am

+1 here for this being a fantastic personal essay

I think the people here who are naysayers don't really "get" it. This is a personal statement that would definitely stand out to me if I were in admissions, and it shows a tenacity and strength of character. Losing 100 pounds is a huge goal and it is impressive that you kept it off. The kind of consistency and stamina needed for weight loss will translate very well for law school.

It also serves for an impressive story arc, and you can use it to show how you have blossomed and parlayed your newfound confidence into different avenues: the play, the fundraiser, etc. I think it's a great idea. Best of luck, OP!

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:03 pm

circle.the.wagons wrote:
cantyoloforever wrote:
circle.the.wagons wrote:Just want to piggy back on this topic for a second if you all don't mind...

I'm planning on writing a PS on pretty much the same topic, as losing a large amount of weight was one of the most physically and emotionally difficult goals that I've had to achieve in my life (thankfully. I know many, many people face much worse adversity than this). I completed my weight loss when I was a senior in HS, and for the most part I've kept the weight off for 7 years or so, but I admit I still have a pretty unhealthy relationship with food. I just read a sentence in TLS's personal statement guide that you shouldn't write about your pre-college self. Does this hold here? If I don't write about this I'm kind of at a loss as to what I should write about. Thanks.

I'm visiting a law school tomorrow, and I think I'm going to just ask them point blank about this

Awesome keep me posted, please.

They thought it would be a great essay. Go ahead and write about your weight loss without any worries 8)

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Re: PS About Losing Over 100 lbs.?

Postby cantyoloforever » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:04 pm

welcometothefamily wrote:+1 here for this being a fantastic personal essay

I think the people here who are naysayers don't really "get" it. This is a personal statement that would definitely stand out to me if I were in admissions, and it shows a tenacity and strength of character. Losing 100 pounds is a huge goal and it is impressive that you kept it off. The kind of consistency and stamina needed for weight loss will translate very well for law school.

It also serves for an impressive story arc, and you can use it to show how you have blossomed and parlayed your newfound confidence into different avenues: the play, the fundraiser, etc. I think it's a great idea. Best of luck, OP!

Thank you for your kind and insightful sentiment! The law school echoed those thoughts almost exactly today, so I feel a lot more comfortable focusing on that topic now.



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