Revised Personal Statement Draft - Input Appreciated

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Revised Personal Statement Draft - Input Appreciated

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:58 pm

Hey all, I've been working on this draft for awhile. I do not have some super exciting narrative to tell but I wanted to paint a clear picture of who I am and what motivates me. Looking for some input from this community of tough critics. All help appreciated :)

*Update- made some minor revisions/fixed some errors*
--------------------------------------------------------------

I was seven years old when I first learned what it meant to be uncomfortable. What was supposed to be a relaxing Saturday filled with video games on my Xbox became one of the most influential experiences of my life. My father woke me up at 6 a.m. and told me to find a tough pair of jeans, eat some breakfast, and meet him outside in half an hour. We spent that entire day cutting down dead trees. By dusk, my gloves had become a tattered mess. I was shell-shocked and angry at my father. He had stolen my time from me and made me hurt – but at that moment, in the light of the bonfire created from felled limbs and brush grass, I felt an unexpected sense of satisfaction. I was seeing the direct product of my hard work. My father sat next to me by the fire. With a firm voice he said, “’Name’, you are my only shot at leaving something good in this world. I know that you will do great things someday and help a lot of people. Work towards that by making yourself a better person every day - never be comfortable.”

Fast-forward to my college years. After a year and a half at a small regional State University, I transferred to a school in the Big Ten with one of the lowest rates of grade inflation in the country. I know what it means to feel insignificant in a very large and unfamiliar environment. I have direct experience with learning how to not only survive, but to thrive in a competitive academic culture. I knew that to succeed, I would need to differentiate myself by carrying a productive attitude: there is a right way to accomplish anything – the challenge lies in finding the optimal method. I knew that if I was comfortable, I would not improve. For me, learning should always be at least a little uncomfortable. Academic success required the understanding that my environment is what I make of it. There must be an element of accountability. Holding myself accountable for my outcomes taught me the value of not only hard work, but smart work – the optimal method. I am starting to feel the beginnings of comfort, and I know now that it is time to find new challenges in my ceaseless pursuit of self-improvement. I am prepared for this transition. My undergraduate studies in Corporate Communications and Political Theory have provided me with a solid foundation of demonstrable skills that yearn for real world applications. I have studied a wide range of curriculum that has improved my ability to think critically, use effective rhetoric, articulate, and research. Law has emerged as my best avenue to not only utilize these skills, but create positive change in the process.

I am young and idealistic – but at my core, I am a realist. From my perspective, the world exists in two states: the way that it should be and the way that it is. We should certainly strive to create the ideal world that we envision, but that meaningful change must occur within the systems we have designed. I know that as a lawyer I will most likely never be a savior of the disadvantaged and downtrodden, but I know that a law degree will give me an avenue to create meaningful change – even if it is in the form of a single brief that sets positive precedent. I would rather make tangible “real world” contributions than be an imaginary maverick.

I reached my decision to pursue legal practice through a process of deep reflection. I considered if it was the best way to utilize my aptitudes and pursue my interests. It was important to ask myself how I could leave a positive legacy in this world while maintaining a constant pursuit of self-improvement. For me, there are no professions that can accomplish those goals as effectively as one in the law. I feel that my education and upbringing have provided me with an excellent foundation from which I can learn to effectively approach the complex and multifaceted legal dilemmas encountered within our justice system every day. I am especially interested in serving as an Assistant United States Attorney. I want to devote my life to the pursuit of ever-ambiguous truth because I have no preconceived notion of what that truth is. Through this pursuit I might gain the ability to make my own positive contributions to the millions of people in this country. I have arrived at my decision to pursue a legal education not because of the pay or the lifestyle, but because I firmly believe that the legal industry provides me with an excellent avenue to ensure that I can leave something good in this world, help others, and of course, never get too comfortable.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Mr. Freeze

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Re: Revised Personal Statement Draft - Input Appreciated

Postby Mr. Freeze » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey all, I've been working on this draft for awhile. I do not have some super exciting narrative to tell but I wanted to paint a clear picture of who I am and what motivates me. Looking for some input from this community of tough critics. All help appreciated :)
--------------------------------------------------------------

I was seven years old when I first learned what it meant to be uncomfortable. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I was looking forward to a day of Star Wars: Battlefront on my Xbox. There would be no such leisure.There would be no such leisure. My father woke me up at 6 A.M. and told me to find a tough pair of jeans, eat some breakfast, and meet him outside in half an hour. We spent that entire day cutting down dead trees. By dusk my gloves had become a tattered mess. I was shell-shocked and angry at my father. He had stolen my time from me and made me hurt - but at that moment in the light of the bonfire created from felled limbs and brush grass I felt an unexpected sense of satisfaction. I was seeing the direct product of my hard work. My father sat next to me by the fire. With a firm voice he said, “*name*, you are my only shot at leaving something good in this world. I know that you will do great things someday and help a lot of people. Work towards that by making yourself a better person every day - never be comfortable”.


You used this sentence twice. Im not sure if it was to make an emphasis that there would be no such leisure or if it was an accident.

SNightHighlights

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Re: Revised Personal Statement Draft - Input Appreciated

Postby SNightHighlights » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:01 am

Definitely an accident. I've revised it in the word doc. I've revised a couple lines actually, I'll post a fully revised version after I get some more input. Thanks!

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Revised Personal Statement Draft - Input Appreciated

Postby Mr. Archer » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am starting to feel the beginnings of comfort, and I know now that it is time to find new challenges in my ceaseless pursuit of self-improvement. I am prepared for this transition. My undergraduate studies in Corporate Communications and Political Theory have provided me with a solid foundation of demonstrable skills that yearn for real world applications. I have studied a wide range of curriculum that has improved my ability to think critically, use effective rhetoric, articulate, and research. Law has emerged as my best avenue to not only utilize these skills, but create positive change in the process.

I am young and idealistic – but at my core, I am a realist. From my perspective, the world exists in two states: the way that it should be and the way that it is. We should certainly strive to create the ideal world that we envision, but that meaningful change must occur within the systems we have designed. I know that as a lawyer I will most likely never be a savior of the disadvantaged and downtrodden, but I know that a law degree will give me an avenue to create meaningful change – even if it is in the form of a single brief that sets positive precedent. I would rather make tangible “real world” contributions than be an imaginary maverick.

I reached my decision to pursue legal practice through a process of deep reflection. I considered if it was the best way to utilize my aptitudes and pursue my interests. It was important to ask myself how I could leave a positive legacy in this world while maintaining a constant pursuit of self-improvement. For me, there are no professions that can accomplish those goals as effectively as one in the law. I feel that my education and upbringing have provided me with an excellent foundation from which I can learn to effectively approach the complex and multifaceted legal dilemmas encountered within our justice system every day. I am especially interested in serving as an Assistant United States Attorney. I want to devote my life to the pursuit of ever-ambiguous truth because I have no preconceived notion of what that truth is. Through this pursuit I might gain the ability to make my own positive contributions to the millions of people in this country. I have arrived at my decision to pursue a legal education not because of the pay or the lifestyle, but because I firmly believe that the legal industry provides me with an excellent avenue to ensure that I can leave something good in this world, help others, and of course, never get too comfortable.


I think you need to rework this part a good bit. Your initial discussion of why you're choosing law is odd to me. It's like you settled on law because you just don't want to be comfortable and the law was there and kind of fit your undergrad studies. The sentence about "demonstrable skills" is a little over-the-top for me. And, If those skills call for real world application, then I'm not sure why you want to spend three years in law school, which isn't the real world. The rest is a lot of telling without showing. It's a little rambling and hits some of the same ideas multiple times. Some of the statements are strange/naive. You try to bring things full circle with your concluding sentence, but I don't think it works. You quote your father as saying "never be comfortable". At the end, you're just saying you'll "never get too comfortable". Those phrases have different objective meanings, even if the meaning appears the same to you.

SNightHighlights

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Re: Revised Personal Statement Draft - Input Appreciated

Postby SNightHighlights » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:20 am

Mr. Archer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am starting to feel the beginnings of comfort, and I know now that it is time to find new challenges in my ceaseless pursuit of self-improvement. I am prepared for this transition. My undergraduate studies in Corporate Communications and Political Theory have provided me with a solid foundation of demonstrable skills that yearn for real world applications. I have studied a wide range of curriculum that has improved my ability to think critically, use effective rhetoric, articulate, and research. Law has emerged as my best avenue to not only utilize these skills, but create positive change in the process.

I am young and idealistic – but at my core, I am a realist. From my perspective, the world exists in two states: the way that it should be and the way that it is. We should certainly strive to create the ideal world that we envision, but that meaningful change must occur within the systems we have designed. I know that as a lawyer I will most likely never be a savior of the disadvantaged and downtrodden, but I know that a law degree will give me an avenue to create meaningful change – even if it is in the form of a single brief that sets positive precedent. I would rather make tangible “real world” contributions than be an imaginary maverick.

I reached my decision to pursue legal practice through a process of deep reflection. I considered if it was the best way to utilize my aptitudes and pursue my interests. It was important to ask myself how I could leave a positive legacy in this world while maintaining a constant pursuit of self-improvement. For me, there are no professions that can accomplish those goals as effectively as one in the law. I feel that my education and upbringing have provided me with an excellent foundation from which I can learn to effectively approach the complex and multifaceted legal dilemmas encountered within our justice system every day. I am especially interested in serving as an Assistant United States Attorney. I want to devote my life to the pursuit of ever-ambiguous truth because I have no preconceived notion of what that truth is. Through this pursuit I might gain the ability to make my own positive contributions to the millions of people in this country. I have arrived at my decision to pursue a legal education not because of the pay or the lifestyle, but because I firmly believe that the legal industry provides me with an excellent avenue to ensure that I can leave something good in this world, help others, and of course, never get too comfortable.


I think you need to rework this part a good bit. Your initial discussion of why you're choosing law is odd to me. It's like you settled on law because you just don't want to be comfortable and the law was there and kind of fit your undergrad studies. The sentence about "demonstrable skills" is a little over-the-top for me. And, If those skills call for real world application, then I'm not sure why you want to spend three years in law school, which isn't the real world. The rest is a lot of telling without showing. It's a little rambling and hits some of the same ideas multiple times. Some of the statements are strange/naive. You try to bring things full circle with your concluding sentence, but I don't think it works. You quote your father as saying "never be comfortable". At the end, you're just saying you'll "never get too comfortable". Those phrases have different objective meanings, even if the meaning appears the same to you.


Thanks for the input. I'm reworking some of the statement because I do agree that some of those statements are a bit cheesy. As far as why law school, I do answer that question - utilize my skills, positive change, real world contributions. That's my genuine reasons - I decided on law school about 8 years ago so I don't have an epiphany story or anything. That's why I really don't want to focus too hard on why law school but rather why law school suits me, which I could do a better job of illustrating. It's tough to avoid telling without showing because of the two page limit I'll be adhering to. I changed that sentence from "yearn for real world application" to "well suited for real world legal applications". As far as law school not being the real world, it's not. But it is the prerequisite for real world legal work. I'll try to make the last two paragraphs less vague and keep it easy to follow. Again, thanks for your input. Very much appreciated.

JazzyMac

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Re: Revised Personal Statement Draft - Input Appreciated

Postby JazzyMac » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hey all, I've been working on this draft for awhile. I do not have some super exciting narrative to tell but I wanted to paint a clear picture of who I am and what motivates me. Looking for some input from this community of tough critics. All help appreciated :)

*Update- made some minor revisions/fixed some errors*
--------------------------------------------------------------

I was seven years old when I first learned what it meant to be uncomfortable. What was supposed to be a relaxing Saturday filled with video games on my Xbox became one of the most influential experiences of my life. My father woke me up at 6 a.m. and told me to find a tough pair of jeans, eat some breakfast, and meet him outside in half an hour. We spent that entire day cutting down dead trees. By dusk, my gloves had become a tattered mess. I was shell-shocked and angry at my father. He had stolen my time from me and made me hurt – but at that moment, in the light of the bonfire created from felled limbs and brush grass, I felt an unexpected sense of satisfaction. I was seeing the direct product of my hard work. My father sat next to me by the fire. With a firm voice he said, “’Name’, you are my only shot at leaving something good in this world. I know that you will do great things someday and help a lot of people. Work towards that by making yourself a better person every day - never be comfortable.”

Fast-forward to my college years. After a year and a half at a small regional State University, I transferred to a school in the Big Ten with one of the lowest rates of grade inflation in the country. I know what it means to feel insignificant in a very large and unfamiliar environment. I have direct experience with learning how to not only survive, but to thrive in a competitive academic culture. I knew that to succeed, I would need to differentiate myself by carrying a productive attitude: there is a right way to accomplish anything – the challenge lies in finding the optimal method. I knew that if I was comfortable, I would not improve. For me, learning should always be at least a little uncomfortable. Academic success required the understanding that my environment is what I make of it. There must be an element of accountability. Holding myself accountable for my outcomes taught me the value of not only hard work, but smart work – the optimal method. I am starting to feel the beginnings of comfort, and I know now that it is time to find new challenges in my ceaseless pursuit of self-improvement. I am prepared for this transition. My undergraduate studies in Corporate Communications and Political Theory have provided me with a solid foundation of demonstrable skills that yearn for real world applications. I have studied a wide range of curriculum that has improved my ability to think critically, use effective rhetoric, articulate, and research. Law has emerged as my best avenue to not only utilize these skills, but create positive change in the process.

I am young and idealistic – but at my core, I am a realist. From my perspective, the world exists in two states: the way that it should be and the way that it is. We should certainly strive to create the ideal world that we envision, but that meaningful change must occur within the systems we have designed. I know that as a lawyer I will most likely never be a savior of the disadvantaged and downtrodden, but I know that a law degree will give me an avenue to create meaningful change – even if it is in the form of a single brief that sets positive precedent. I would rather make tangible “real world” contributions than be an imaginary maverick.

I reached my decision to pursue legal practice through a process of deep reflection. I considered if it was the best way to utilize my aptitudes and pursue my interests. It was important to ask myself how I could leave a positive legacy in this world while maintaining a constant pursuit of self-improvement. For me, there are no professions that can accomplish those goals as effectively as one in the law. I feel that my education and upbringing have provided me with an excellent foundation from which I can learn to effectively approach the complex and multifaceted legal dilemmas encountered within our justice system every day. I am especially interested in serving as an Assistant United States Attorney. I want to devote my life to the pursuit of ever-ambiguous truth because I have no preconceived notion of what that truth is. Through this pursuit I [color=#008000]might [/color]gain the ability to make my own positive contributions to the millions of people in this country. I have arrived at my decision to pursue a legal education not because of the pay or the lifestyle, but because I firmly believe that the legal industry provides me with an excellent avenue to ensure that I can leave something good in this world, help others, and of course, never get too comfortable.


Red..maybe delete
Blue...maybe expound upon--explain or season it up so it's not bland.
Green...work on grammar/sentence structure or **rewording**
Purple...LOVE THIS!

SNightHighlights

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Re: Revised Personal Statement Draft - Input Appreciated

Postby SNightHighlights » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:41 am

Thanks for the input! We had a similar perspective because I have a lot of those sections highlighted in my word doc haha. I've started reworking it. I'll update the draft when I make all my corrections.



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