Can someone take a quick look? In a hurry to apply

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rtota65

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Can someone take a quick look? In a hurry to apply

Postby rtota65 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:55 am

When I was 8 years old, my greatest enemy at the time was the written word. I’m not sure how it happened, maybe I was sick the day they taught it in kindergarten, but I could not for the life of me get a grasp on reading. I didn’t understand it, and as it often happens when someone doesn’t understand something, they grow to hate it. This bitterness towards reading grew in me until I reached a breaking point on my 8th birthday. My older sister, only 9 at the time, had handed me the gift she had meticulously picked out under the supervision of my parents, and I excitedly tore into it as an 8-year-old boy would. You would think she had just given me a snake, the way I recoiled and dropped it. She had given me a book. I felt betrayed, and humiliated. Didn’t she know I hated to read? The night ended with tears, and with the foresight of caring parents, I was enrolled in summer school the following summer.
I don’t know exactly what happened that summer right before the third grade, I was only 8 at the time and my memory of that summer is hazy, but I do know that it revolutionized my life. On my 8th birthday I had broken down at the sight of a book, by my 9th I was a machine. I had two books in my mind at all times, one for school and one for home. My appetite for books was voracious, and I attribute much of my success later in life to these early years of reading. The most important lesson I learned from conquering the written word however, was that it showed me what I was capable of. Before, I was resigned to just being the kid that wasn’t good at reading. This self-doubt was shattered by my literary enlightenment, and from then on I never let myself take the easy way out. This attitude has stayed with me my entire life, and every decision I make is imbued by it.
When I was a senior in high school, many of my peers knew where they were going to school, and had signed up for the easy classes, embracing their free year of high school when they could just coast. I too knew where I wanted to go to school, and I knew that with my grades I was safe in my spot at the University of , but I just couldn’t stomach the thought of being complicit in my education. So senior year of high school I signed up for my most difficult class schedule yet, and endured 7 AP classes while my friends had half days off school from the dual credit community college they opted for.
When my friends and family had heard that I had scored perfectly on the English and reading sections of the ACT, and had scored comparatively dismal on the math and science sections, I was told how good of an English major or history major I would be in college. So my freshman year of college I signed up to be an Economics major in the business college, and I am now on course to graduate with a degree in Economics with specializations in Applied Microeconomics and Econometrics, one of the more math intensive fields in economics.
Due to my commitment in high school to my AP classes, I had enough hours built up to take a semester off of school and travel. I enrolled in a university in New Zealand and flew across the globe to undertake one of my greatest challenges yet, a 5 month semester in a country without knowing a soul when I landed. It is from New Zealand that I write this, and it is from here that I ask you to let me challenge myself. I haven’t known a limit since I was 8 years old, and while I may not be the smartest guy in the room, it is not in my nature to back down from a challenge.

smile0751

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Re: Can someone take a quick look? In a hurry to apply

Postby smile0751 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:46 am

rtota65 wrote:When I was 8 years old, my greatest enemy at the time was the written word. I’m not sure how it happened, maybe I was sick the day they taught it in kindergarten, but I could not for the life of me get a grasp on reading. I didn’t understand it, and as it often happens when someone doesn’t understand something, they grow to hate it. This bitterness towards reading grew in me until I reached a breaking point on my 8th birthday. My older sister, only 9 at the time, had handed me the gift she had meticulously picked out under the supervision of my parents, and I excitedly tore into it as an 8-year-old boy would. You would think she had just given me a snake, the way I recoiled and dropped it. She had given me a book. I felt betrayed, and humiliated. Didn’t she know I hated to read? The night ended with tears, and with the foresight of caring parents, I was enrolled in summer school the following summer.
I don’t know exactly what happened that summer right before the third grade, I was only 8 at the time and my memory of that summer is hazy, but I do know that it revolutionized my life. On my 8th birthday I had broken down at the sight of a book, by my 9th I was a machine. I had two books in my mind at all times, one for school and one for home. My appetite for books was voracious, and I attribute much of my success later in life to these early years of reading. The most important lesson I learned from conquering the written word however, was that it showed me what I was capable of. Before, I was resigned to just being the kid that wasn’t good at reading. This self-doubt was shattered by my literary enlightenment, and from then on I never let myself take the easy way out. This attitude has stayed with me my entire life, and every decision I make is imbued by it.


This is a lot of time to spend on something that happened when you were so young [8 is probably 3rd grade, right?]. If you learned to read at like 15 years old, then maybe this would be a stronger story. But as written, I dont think it comes off as you intend. It seems like you were just a little behind the curve learning how to read. While I may be wrong, I dont think they teach reading in one day in Kindergarten. Also, if there was a story it would probably be about how you learned how to read, but you admit that you were too young to remember how it happened.

Be careful with your comma usage. For example, "I felt betrayed, and humiliated." shouldnt have a comma.

When I was a senior in high school, many of my peers knew where they were going to school, and had signed up for the easy classes, embracing their free year of high school when they could just coast. I too knew where I wanted to go to school, and I knew that with my grades I was safe in my spot at the University of , but I just couldn’t stomach the thought of being complicit in my education. So senior year of high school I signed up for my most difficult class schedule yet, and endured 7 AP classes while my friends had half days off school from the dual credit community college they opted for.


This comes off a bit tacky. I wouldnt criticize others in your essay. It is also making a lot of generalizations and most of the people top admissions committees are seeing probably took a lot of AP classes in high school and their senior year.

When my friends and family had heard that I had scored perfectly on the English and reading sections of the ACT, and had scored comparatively dismal on the math and science sections, I was told how good of an English major or history major I would be in college. So my freshman year of college I signed up to be an Economics major in the business college, and I am now on course to graduate with a degree in Economics with specializations in Applied Microeconomics and Econometrics, one of the more math intensive fields in economics.


Is this really why you studied economics? Kind of seems like a lame reason (i.e. to prove others wrong)?

Due to my commitment in high school to my AP classes, I had enough hours built up to take a semester off of school and travel. I enrolled in a university in New Zealand and flew across the globe to undertake one of my greatest challenges yet, a 5 month semester in a country without knowing a soul when I landed. It is from New Zealand that I write this, and it is from here that I ask you to let me challenge myself. I haven’t known a limit since I was 8 years old, and while I may not be the smartest guy in the room, it is not in my nature to back down from a challenge.


This also seems a bit.... normal?

Surely you've known a limit since you were 8 years old-- if not you've had a very privileged life. May be you mean you havent let a limit stop you, which I view as a different sentiment.

Overall, I know I am very critical above, but I feel like you arent including very interesting or unique stories. And the stuff you include mostly occurred before college. While pre-college experiences are certainly sources for interesting personal statements, the stories have to be interesting and these to me just seemed common (learning how to read, taking AP classes, going abroad). Surely, something that happened in New Zealand expanded your world views? Or were you involved in any organizations in undergrad that were especially important to you? Or even if not, when telling these stories give me more insight into HOW you overcame these difficulties. Pick one and dive more deeply into how it has shaped you.

rtota65

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Re: Can someone take a quick look? In a hurry to apply

Postby rtota65 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:00 pm

Yeah you basically hit on all my reservations about it, reading back through it after sleeping on it I'll probably take it in a different direction.

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floatie

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Re: Can someone take a quick look? In a hurry to apply

Postby floatie » Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:25 pm

First off: do NOT be in a hurry to apply. You are nowhere near being considered a late applicant. Heck, if you apply before Thanksgiving (in almost 3 months) you'll still be considered an early applicant. You're much better off taking your time, applying in Oct/Nov with a solid PS (and solid application as a whole) than submitting a half-baked application in September.

A couple of things:
-I'm assuming by now you've had at least 3 years of college under your belt - why are you focusing so much on high school and pre-high school things?
-What does being good at reading/liking to read have to do with your ability to be a good lawyer?
-What does taking a bunch of AP classes in high school have to do with being a good lawyer? Also, hate to break it to you, but 7 AP classes isn't impressive. Not taking it easy your senior year is nothing noteworthy. It just shows that you're not lazy, which is probably true of the majority of top applicants.
-Your reason for taking up an Econ major comes across as immature. It begs the question "did this person really spent 3-4 years and thousands of dollars on a degree to prove random kids from high school wrong?"

At the end of the day, your personal statement should answer the question "what about this candidate would make them a good law student and eventually a good lawyer?" Yours doesn't do that.
Last edited by floatie on Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bmathers

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Re: Can someone take a quick look? In a hurry to apply

Postby bmathers » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:10 pm

I would stay away from talking in-depth about high school (let alone elementary school) or putting any possible negative tone toward any group of people) in a personal statement for law school. I could be wrong, but that's my $.02.

Also, you have PLENTY of time - there is no need to rush or be in a hurry in September.



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