PS help

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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PS help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:34 pm

So I posted this a while ago, got some great feedback, and improved it a bit. I'd really appreciate people's thoughts on this second draft.

Thanks!

I was a different person when, at fifteen, I left my parents and brother behind and moved to the U.S. to live with my aunt and grandmother. Like most teenagers, I was all-knowing, and very sure – sure of my faith, of my political views, of what was right and wrong. Most of all, I was sure the U.S. would not change me. Naturally, I was extremely wrong.

Moving to the U.S. made me question everything I believed in. I grew up in an environment where everyone I knew was the same. In Mexico, it seemed that everyone was Catholic, and the dogmas we believed were not only religious but also political. Because everyone around me was socially conservative, I never met anyone who would admit to supporting abortion, to believing that sex before marriage was normal, or to supporting same-sex relationships. And the sameness extended beyond politics – everyone was Mexican, and most of my private school friends (myself being the notable exception) were exceedingly wealthy, coming from old money. I knew one Black person before I came to the U.S. I had never met anyone of Asian heritage, or anyone who (openly) identified as LGBT+.

Coming to the U.S. was a revelation. For the first time, people were different from me – their views often radically different. Sometimes, they were even right. Soon after my arrival, I began the gradual process of learning about politics in an environment where people had opposing views and there was genuine debate. For the first time, I was forced to defend my beliefs. Some remained and took root, but many crumbled under the pressure. As I read about abortion, mass incarceration, and same-sex marriage in the U.S., I was unaware that I was beginning to discover one of the enduring passions of my life: research. I took deep joy in weighing opposing arguments against each other to reach my own conclusions, in looking at evidence I could base my beliefs off of, rather than dogma.

I did not realize how much I had changed – how much my mind and worldview had broadened – until I returned to Mexico. Because my mother is Cuban, I was able to apply to become a permanent resident as a Cuban citizen, a process that required that I spend a year without leaving the U.S. My parents and brother had visited, but my grandparents, friends, the food – all had been deeply missed. And yet, going back home only made me feel out of place. Hearing my friends talk about politics and religion, repeating the views our school had always sponsored, I often had to bite my tongue. I was not so sure I agreed with them anymore.

Like my Mexican and Cuban heritages, my conservative religious upbringing will be with me always. But, today, I can see that the experience of leaving my country and facing an immensely different culture forced me to become a more mature, open-minded, and ultimately more thoughtful person than I would have been had I chosen to stay in a society where my beliefs would have gone unchallenged. By placing myself in an environment where I was uncomfortable, I forced myself to grow. I expect going to law school will be a somewhat similar experience – that it will challenge my beliefs, broaden my worldview, and ultimately push me to become a more informed person. I look forward to it.

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ek5dn

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Re: PS help

Postby ek5dn » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I posted this a while ago, got some great feedback, and improved it a bit. I'd really appreciate people's thoughts on this second draft.

Thanks!

I was a different person when, at fifteen, I left my parents and brother behind and moved to the U.S. to live with my aunt and grandmother. Like most teenagers, I was all-knowing, and very sure – sure of my faith, of my political views, of what was right and wrong. Most of all, I was sure the U.S. would not change me. Naturally, I was extremely wrong.

Moving to the U.S. made me question everything I believed in. I grew up in an environment where everyone I knew was the same. In Mexico, it seemed that everyone was Catholic, and the dogmas we believed were not only religious but also political. Because everyone around me was socially conservative, I never met anyone who would admit to supporting abortion, to believing that sex before marriage was normal, or to supporting same-sex relationships. And the sameness extended beyond politics – everyone was Mexican, and most of my private school friends (myself being the notable exception) were exceedingly wealthy, coming from old money. I knew one Black person before I came to the U.S. I had never met anyone of Asian heritage, or anyone who (openly) identified as LGBT+.

Coming to the U.S. was a revelation. For the first time, people were different from me – their views often radically different. Sometimes, they were even right. Soon after my arrival, I began the gradual process of learning about politics in an environment where people had opposing views and there was genuine debate. For the first time, I was forced to defend my beliefs. Some remained and took root, but many crumbled under the pressure. As I read about abortion, mass incarceration, and same-sex marriage in the U.S., I was unaware that I was beginning to discover one of the enduring passions of my life: research. I took deep joy in weighing opposing arguments against each other to reach my own conclusions, in looking at evidence I could base my beliefs off of, rather than dogma.

I did not realize how much I had changed – how much my mind and worldview had broadened – until I returned to Mexico. Because my mother is Cuban, I was able to apply to become a permanent resident as a Cuban citizen, a process that required that I spend a year without leaving the U.S. My parents and brother had visited, but my grandparents, friends, the food – all had been deeply missed. And yet, going back home only made me feel out of place. Hearing my friends talk about politics and religion, repeating the views our school had always sponsored, I often had to bite my tongue. I was not so sure I agreed with them anymore.

Like my Mexican and Cuban heritages, my conservative religious upbringing will be with me always. But, today, I can see that the experience of leaving my country and facing an immensely different culture forced me to become a more mature, open-minded, and ultimately more thoughtful person than I would have been had I chosen to stay in a society where my beliefs would have gone unchallenged. By placing myself in an environment where I was uncomfortable, I forced myself to grow. I expect going to law school will be a somewhat similar experience – that it will challenge my beliefs, broaden my worldview, and ultimately push me to become a more informed person. I look forward to it.


It's good! Tbh I skimmed, but I think your message comes through: you want to challenge your beliefs and become more open-minded. It's a little broad - maybe you can take out some generalities and stick in a specific example where you had to develop your skills at crafting a well-reasoned argument.

You use too many adverbs in some places and I would get rid of the last sentence, but that's just personal preference. I would also change the sentence structure of the first sentence in either the 2nd or 3rd paragraph, just so it sounds less repetitive (unless it was intentional).

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Blueprint Mithun

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Re: PS help

Postby Blueprint Mithun » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:So I posted this a while ago, got some great feedback, and improved it a bit. I'd really appreciate people's thoughts on this second draft.

Thanks!

I was a different person when, at fifteen, I left my parents and brother behind and moved to the U.S. to live with my aunt and grandmother. Like most teenagers, I was all-knowing, and very sure – sure of my faith, of my political views, of what was right and wrong. Most of all, I was sure the U.S. would not change me. Naturally, I was extremely wrong.

Moving to the U.S. made me question everything I believed in. I grew up in an environment where everyone I knew was the same. In Mexico, it seemed that everyone was Catholic, and the dogmas we believed were not only religious but also political. Because everyone around me was socially conservative, I never met anyone who would admit to supporting abortion, to believing that sex before marriage was normal, or to supporting same-sex relationships. And the sameness extended beyond politics – everyone was Mexican, and most of my private school friends (myself being the notable exception) were exceedingly wealthy, coming from old money. I knew one Black person before I came to the U.S. I had never met anyone of Asian heritage, or anyone who (openly) identified as LGBT+.

Coming to the U.S. was a revelation. For the first time, people were different from me – their views often radically different. Sometimes, they were even right. Soon after my arrival, I began the gradual process of learning about politics in an environment where people had opposing views and there was genuine debate. For the first time, I was forced to defend my beliefs. Some remained and took root, but many crumbled under the pressure. As I read about abortion, mass incarceration, and same-sex marriage in the U.S., I was unaware that I was beginning to discover one of the enduring passions of my life: research. I took deep joy in weighing opposing arguments against each other to reach my own conclusions, in looking at evidence I could base my beliefs off of, rather than dogma.

I did not realize how much I had changed – how much my mind and worldview had broadened – until I returned to Mexico. Because my mother is Cuban, I was able to apply to become a permanent resident as a Cuban citizen, a process that required that I spend a year without leaving the U.S. My parents and brother had visited, but my grandparents, friends, the food – all had been deeply missed. And yet, going back home only made me feel out of place. Hearing my friends talk about politics and religion, repeating the views our school had always sponsored, I often had to bite my tongue. I was not so sure I agreed with them anymore.

Like my Mexican and Cuban heritages, my conservative religious upbringing will be with me always. But, today, I can see that the experience of leaving my country and facing an immensely different culture forced me to become a more mature, open-minded, and ultimately more thoughtful person than I would have been had I chosen to stay in a society where my beliefs would have gone unchallenged. By placing myself in an environment where I was uncomfortable, I forced myself to grow. I expect going to law school will be a somewhat similar experience – that it will challenge my beliefs, broaden my worldview, and ultimately push me to become a more informed person. I look forward to it.


My main takeaways were:

- you want to go to law school to challenge yourself and open yourself up to new experiences; you went through such an experience when moving to the US, and despite the difficulties, you enjoyed the process and felt like you grew from it
- your predilection for research and debating makes law/law school a good fit
- your open-mindedness and ability to adapt are two more qualities that you can bring to law school.

Like the other poster said, I think you could benefit from a story about at least one specific instance. Maybe a specific time that your beliefs were challenged, or that shows when you realized you'd changed once you returned home.

My only real criticism is the fact that law school/law is only really brought up at the end of the essay. Why law school specifically, other than the fact that you enjoy research/logic? Maybe devote a little more space to explicitly discussing that.



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