Updated... is it too sad?

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Daaltaraan

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Updated... is it too sad?

Postby Daaltaraan » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:02 pm

Scroll down for updated version.

From a young age, my parents taught me that life, above all else, should be meaningful. It wasn’t just a mantra that we heard from time-to-time. It was something that my parents whole-heartedly believed and embodied in their everyday lives. I’m a son of a pastor from a small town in Kansas, not altogether an interesting upbringing. However, when you’re one of seven children, people often stare at your family in public. This is especially true when three of your siblings were born on different continents.

With four children of their own, people often thought my parents were crazy when they first expressed a desire to adopt children. Even my own father found himself battling doubt when my mother felt called to adopt. After a little time, and a lot of prayer, my parents knew in their hearts that raising children would bring their lives both purpose and meaning that could never be matched. Over the next few years, we welcomed my youngest siblings, Hope, Victoria, and Jude. Hope and Victoria were both adopted from South Korea, and my youngest brother Jude is from Liberia. It turns out, my parents were right. Our lives wouldn’t be half as fun, crazy, or joyful without my youngest siblings. And while my parents taught me the importance of living a life with purpose, the greatest lesson I picked up along the way came from one of my six siblings.

My older brother Tyler taught me the lesson that has had the most lasting impact on my life. Tyler lived life behind a goofy, boyish grin and had the most positive outlook on life. When we were young, he was always the loudest voice singing at church on Sunday even though he was incredibly tone-deaf. Tyler soaked up the good in life and spread happiness and laughter and compassion to everyone around him. He didn’t take a moment for granted. The thing about Tyler is he had the biggest heart of anyone I know, even though his heart was his greatest burden in life. For the entirety of his short ten years with us, Tyler battled various congenital heart defects and underwent roughly half a dozen open-heart surgeries. At the age of eight, I lost my brother and one of my best friends. At the age of eight, I learned that life is too short.

One of the major themes in my life has been that I’m too young. I was too young to watch my parents bury my brother. I was too young to understand the finality of death. I was too young to feel that much pain. Ironically, some of the greatest, happiest moments in my life happened while I was still “too young”. I was too young when I proposed to my girlfriend at the age of 19. I was still too young when I married the love of my life last summer at the tender age of 21. I suppose that some people would even argue that I am too young to go to law school. While I recognize that, in general, law schools prefer to have students that have a few years of life experience under their belt, I whole-heartedly believe that my entire life has been preparing me for this next chapter.

People who know me well would tell you that I am a giant Lord of the Rings nerd. They would also tell you that I am a strong believer in individual liberty and limited government. I believe that a free citizenry in the best path to a prosperous and just society. I want to keep government accountable and provide justice for all. I have come to believe that this is my calling in life. The thing that, along with my wife and family, bring meaning and a purpose. And while some may perceive me as too young, I know that our time on Earth is far too short to hold off on pursuing your passion and purpose.

At the end of the day, I am still just a guy from a small town in Kansas. I am a son, a brother, a scholar, and a husband. While all of these things bring my life meaning, my list won’t be complete until I add one more item: law student.
Last edited by Daaltaraan on Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

2000andBeyond

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Re: Rip her to shreds

Postby 2000andBeyond » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:26 pm

This may not be very helpful, but I thought that I understood where your essay was going at the beginning but it definitely evolved into something else. While I thought it was touching and written in a very clear manner, it lacked flow to me. In between your adopted siblings, death of a biological brother, getting married young, coming from a religious background and interest in government restriction, I think it lacked that focus I really wanted it to have. My advice is to zero in on two or so of those ideas and develop a more focused essay that way. I definitely feel there's hope though! Good luck this cycle.

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Christinabruin

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Re: Rip her to shreds

Postby Christinabruin » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:09 pm

Overall, I agree that your essay is written clearly and your writing is easy to understand. (This is not a bad thing because I saw so many personal statements that looked like 50% was written with the help of a thesaurus!)

I also agree with Einass that you should try to focus on one single theme and develop that idea as opposed to cramming 4-5 ideas into one short PS. I feel like the first half of your PS focuses too much on your parents' beliefs and your siblings. I'm sure you can condense your background and everything into one paragraph.

You also say that your older brother Tyler taught you a lesson that had the "most lasting impact" on your life. I would stray away from using superlative, extreme words (most, best, etc.) especially because you say you were only 8 years old. Also because in the last half of your essay, you appeal to the fact that you were too young to do this, too young to do that. So reading this got me questioning some of the contradictions I feel in your essay.

Which brings me to my next point, I wouldn't appeal to the fact that you were too young for many of the things in your life. To me, it comes off as immature and certainly not a quality you want to appeal to in your PS for law schools. My suggestion is turning that point around and saying that despite getting married at a young age, despite losing your brother to a young age, etc. you have a sense of maturity and responsibility that surpasses the average person of your age.

Hope this helps! I see potential for a compelling essay.

Daaltaraan

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Re: Rip her to shreds

Postby Daaltaraan » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:24 pm

Thank you! I'm already working on condensing/altering the opening to make it more about me and get to the point quicker.

Also, will focus more on one key idea rather than 4.

I agree with you Christina. I am a KJD and I was trying to make the point that what most people consider too young is actually normal to me and I've always possessed an advanced level of maturity for my age. However, I can see now how it can be seen as the exact opposite of that :shock:

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Christinabruin

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Re: Rip her to shreds

Postby Christinabruin » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:45 pm

Haha yeah I think it always helps to have someone else read your essay because there may be things that you think say one thing but others take the wrong way!

When you're revising, just make sure you add some concrete examples that show how you are more mature for your age and you'll already have a great PS from the diversity of your family background/personal history.

Daaltaraan

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Re: Rip her to shreds

Postby Daaltaraan » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:17 pm

Updated!

Armed with a rake that was too big for me, my eight year old self angrily flailed at every leaf in sight. In ten minutes I had cleared the backyard of each and every red and brown leaf. The crunch of wheels pulling into a driveway alerted me that someone had finally come home. Hoping to hear good news about my brother, I sprinted to the front yard. Unbeknownst to me, my life was about to change permanently. My dad, a pastor at a local church, stepped out of the car. His sagging shoulders and saddened demeanor warned me that the worst had happened. He slowly walked over to me and told me to set the rake down. I looked up at him and saw that his eyes had changed. They were dull and lifeless. "Son, Tyler is with Jesus now."
My childhood shattered that day. When my older brother died, he was only ten years old. Sadness, grief, anger ripped through me at various turns. No 8 year-old is prepared to watch their parents grieve. The hidden tears of my mother; the angry, sullen stare of my father; I grew up fast. While others watched Tom and Jerry cartoons, I pondered the fragility of life. Why did God allow this to happen? What is the purpose of life? What should I live for?
As I aged, I became hard. Not in an angry rebellious way, but rather I kept to myself. I was content living in my head. My thoughts were my companions. Having friends made one vulnerable to loss. I would not put myself in position where I could relive the loss of one I held dear to me. My peers nicknamed me ‘grandpa’ in middle school. Teachers and adults complimented me on my maturity. I just wanted to be left alone with my books.
By high school, things had changed to the better. For this, I can only thank my parents. Their grief at the loss of their son turned into a greater love. My family adopted two baby girls from Korea and a little boy from Liberia to go along with their other 3 children. I learned to open myself to the possibility of being hurt again. However, I have never stopped thinking except now my thoughts had matured and became more reasoned and complex.
Tyler’s life taught me about the dignity and value of the individual. He lived life to the full. He sang loudest (although tone-deaf), laughed the most, and smiled more than anyone I have ever known. His death was pre-mature, but it matured me. Life is short. Therefore, the only way I know to live life is to pursue my passions with a dogged persistence. Baseball, football, rugby, basketball, golf, soccer… sports were the passion of my childhood. Now, my passion is to seek justice for each and every individual. Originally, I tried to join the Army and help spread democracy worldwide. I applied to West Point and received the principle nominations from my US Senators Moran and Roberts. However, the Department of Defense thought my kidneys were possibly were suspect (although I don’t know why).
Rejected from this career, I entered college hoping to enter into the public realm. To me, political philosophy states that the duty of government is to preserve the rights of its citizens. However, governments are also the single greatest source of violations of human dignity throughout history. The United States has been blessed with a Constitution, though imperfect, that provides for the protection of individual rights and liberty that is found nowhere else in the world. Preserving this freedom is my passion. My brother taught me that the individual life has an inherent worth and dignity that cannot be ascribed in words. This inherent value of life demands that individuals are treated with dignity, possessing freedom and equality before the law.
As I finish college, I eagerly look forward to a career in law defending freedom and the dignity of the human life. I do this to preserve the future that my wife and I hope to share. I do this in remembrance of my brother who drives me. Whenever the temperature drops, whenever the leaves fall, whenever I rake those brown leaves into little piles, I remember my brother whose life demands that I live mine pursuing justice for the individual.

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Purple Post It Note

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Re: Updated... is it too sad?

Postby Purple Post It Note » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:40 pm

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Last edited by Purple Post It Note on Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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OhMyLaw

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Re: Rip her to shreds

Postby OhMyLaw » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:55 pm

Daaltaraan wrote:Updated!

Rejected from this career, I entered college hoping to enter into the public realm. To me, political philosophy states that the duty of government is to preserve the rights of its citizens. However, governments are also the single greatest source of violations of human dignity throughout history. The United States has been blessed with a Constitution, though imperfect, that provides for the protection of individual rights and liberty that is found nowhere else in the world. Preserving this freedom is my passion. My brother taught me that the individual life has an inherent worth and dignity that cannot be ascribed in words. This inherent value of life demands that individuals are treated with dignity, possessing freedom and equality before the law.
As I finish college, I eagerly look forward to a career in law defending freedom and the dignity of the human life. I do this to preserve the future that my wife and I hope to share. I do this in remembrance of my brother who drives me. Whenever the temperature drops, whenever the leaves fall, whenever I rake those brown leaves into little piles, I remember my brother whose life demands that I live mine pursuing justice for the individual.



Note: quoted a random portion of this so that you would be alerted and didn't want the post to be super long.

One of my biggest concerns with your PS is that it doesn't really tell me why you want to go to law school/want to become a lawyer. There is no clear thread that stands out throughout this entire essay. I understand that the death of your brother played a big role in your world view.. but how does this relate to law?

Additionally, this PS is very resume-y. In a PS, you want to tell the adcoms things that cannot be seen in your resume. Essentially, you want them to connect to you on a more human level.

Finally, admittedly, some of the things you say does come off as a little... off. I agree with the above poster about a lot of the statements he quoted.

That said, you're a great writer. And i'm sure that once you nail down something specific to focus on, you'll do well.

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Mr. Freeze

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Re: Rip her to shreds

Postby Mr. Freeze » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:37 am

OhMyLaw wrote:
Daaltaraan wrote:Updated!

Rejected from this career, I entered college hoping to enter into the public realm. To me, political philosophy states that the duty of government is to preserve the rights of its citizens. However, governments are also the single greatest source of violations of human dignity throughout history. The United States has been blessed with a Constitution, though imperfect, that provides for the protection of individual rights and liberty that is found nowhere else in the world. Preserving this freedom is my passion. My brother taught me that the individual life has an inherent worth and dignity that cannot be ascribed in words. This inherent value of life demands that individuals are treated with dignity, possessing freedom and equality before the law.
As I finish college, I eagerly look forward to a career in law defending freedom and the dignity of the human life. I do this to preserve the future that my wife and I hope to share. I do this in remembrance of my brother who drives me. Whenever the temperature drops, whenever the leaves fall, whenever I rake those brown leaves into little piles, I remember my brother whose life demands that I live mine pursuing justice for the individual.



Note: quoted a random portion of this so that you would be alerted and didn't want the post to be super long.

One of my biggest concerns with your PS is that it doesn't really tell me why you want to go to law school/want to become a lawyer. There is no clear thread that stands out throughout this entire essay. I understand that the death of your brother played a big role in your world view.. but how does this relate to law?


Additionally, this PS is very resume-y. In a PS, you want to tell the adcoms things that cannot be seen in your resume. Essentially, you want them to connect to you on a more human level.

Finally, admittedly, some of the things you say does come off as a little... off. I agree with the above poster about a lot of the statements he quoted.

That said, you're a great writer. And i'm sure that once you nail down something specific to focus on, you'll do well.


I'm not sure if this necessarily needs to be included. I have seen schools state that they just want to know more about the applicant and don't care why they are applying to law school since most people have the same handful of reasons.

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OhMyLaw

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Re: Rip her to shreds

Postby OhMyLaw » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:12 am

Mr. Freeze wrote:
OhMyLaw wrote:
Daaltaraan wrote:Updated!

Rejected from this career, I entered college hoping to enter into the public realm. To me, political philosophy states that the duty of government is to preserve the rights of its citizens. However, governments are also the single greatest source of violations of human dignity throughout history. The United States has been blessed with a Constitution, though imperfect, that provides for the protection of individual rights and liberty that is found nowhere else in the world. Preserving this freedom is my passion. My brother taught me that the individual life has an inherent worth and dignity that cannot be ascribed in words. This inherent value of life demands that individuals are treated with dignity, possessing freedom and equality before the law.
As I finish college, I eagerly look forward to a career in law defending freedom and the dignity of the human life. I do this to preserve the future that my wife and I hope to share. I do this in remembrance of my brother who drives me. Whenever the temperature drops, whenever the leaves fall, whenever I rake those brown leaves into little piles, I remember my brother whose life demands that I live mine pursuing justice for the individual.



Note: quoted a random portion of this so that you would be alerted and didn't want the post to be super long.

One of my biggest concerns with your PS is that it doesn't really tell me why you want to go to law school/want to become a lawyer. There is no clear thread that stands out throughout this entire essay. I understand that the death of your brother played a big role in your world view.. but how does this relate to law?


Additionally, this PS is very resume-y. In a PS, you want to tell the adcoms things that cannot be seen in your resume. Essentially, you want them to connect to you on a more human level.

Finally, admittedly, some of the things you say does come off as a little... off. I agree with the above poster about a lot of the statements he quoted.

That said, you're a great writer. And i'm sure that once you nail down something specific to focus on, you'll do well.


I'm not sure if this necessarily needs to be included. I have seen schools state that they just want to know more about the applicant and don't care why they are applying to law school since most people have the same handful of reasons.


Well take it as you will (to the OP as well). This was just advice given to me by my legal writing professor who graduated from one of HYS for law school. That said, I don't really think ppl's reasons for applying to law school are all as homogenous as you make them out to be. For example, a lot of people want to be lawyers bc they want to see justice done. Yet, that sense of righteousness could stem from a variety of things from being discriminated against to seeing someone you care about be hurt. And that's the kind of reason to apply to law school that i was referring to.



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