Please Help

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
rowdesefer
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:56 pm

Please Help

Postby rowdesefer » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:44 pm

I wrote this for the last cycle and have since edited it. I had someone read it today and they told me it was awful so I am looking for some more help. I would love to have your opinion and hopefully some edits.
==
It was cold like I never experienced…and wet. My feet swam in icy water that sloshed and bubbled through my cleats. My sweaty, long hair met the wind and froze. Fighting through both rain and a hail of boos from ill-intentioned hecklers, my team and I headed into the locker room. Being down 16-0 at halftime on the road in a college football playoff game was not how I wanted my time as a Polar Bear to end. After taking the program from a 4-6 record as freshman to a playoff berth as seniors, the legacy of my class hung in the balance. I will be the first to assert that football is a team sport. No one man is ever solely responsible for a win or a loss. But it is also a mental game, and it is within the power of one man to catalyze a contagious mindset that manifests itself on the field. As captain, that was my charge. I stayed calm and confident, reassuring my teammates if only by eye contact. Coach gave the word, and we lined up for the second half. The locker room door was thrown open, we charged outside, and we found ourselves in the midst of a white out. We were playing away. We were losing big. Now, we were caught in a furious, snowy downpour. It was...perfect.

A broken vertebrae in my back kept me on the sidelines during my junior year of high school, and, though I returned as a starter my senior year, I felt robbed of a chance to reach my athletic potential in high school. I understood that giving up sports is something every athlete has to do, but I simply did not feel that it was my time. It meant leaving the show before the curtain and that I would be going back on the commitment I had made to the sport. I felt that I had more to give. Thus, I was intrinsically driven to play college football. I felt strongly that I could both earn a high quality education and continue to play, so I went for it.
Standing in line, clad in my newly issued team shirt and shorts, the weight of my decision came down hard. After months of speaking in hypotheticals and anxiously gazing into the distant, foggy unknown, I was signing in for my first college football camp. I got my wits about me and took notice of the hulking, mountain of a man behind me. I felt I had nothing to lose, so I asked him what year he was. Expecting to hear that he was a fully developed twenty three year old senior, my jaw dropped when he told me that he was also an incoming freshman. I was quite sure at that point that I was out of my depth. Despite the anxiety and fear I felt in that moment, I desperately needed to be there, and I was willing to do anything to get on the field.

Away from home and all things familiar, every day was a rigorous physical challenge and a test of my mental fortitude. Our head coach told us that playing time was earned by commitment to the Polar Bear culture, not merely by physical talent. He believed that being a Polar Bear meant having discipline, a great work ethic, an unshakeable competitive drive, indomitable mental toughness, and a positive mind set. We were taught that enthusiasm bred energy, that energy bred effort, and that effort bred excellence. I was conditioned in this way, and I came to personify those characteristics.

Body and soul, I gave myself to the team over the next four years. The ideals I adopted as a freshman eventually took root in my play. I began to love what we called, “the suck” of practice. Energy drained, drenched in sweat, blood running into my eyes, pain permeating my body, I was home. Discomfort and vanity did not matter on the field. Instead, I put my focus into perfecting my stance, moving into position with precision, and making violent contact with my opponent on every single rep. I earned a starting spot before my second year, and eventually became an all-conference player. Off the field, I relished the opportunity to bond with my football family. Black or white, rich or poor, good athlete or bad, it did not matter to me. I felt it was my job to connect people to the team, to the culture that had taught me so much. In fact, more than any conference honors, MVP awards, or being voted captain; I was most proud of being voted Teammate of the Year 2015 because it meant a job well done. It was not because I gave great speeches or because I was a world beater on the field (I did not and was not). It was because I cared and my teammates knew it.
The excitement welling up inside kept me warm walking into that blizzard for the second half. I knew something great was about to happen. I reveled in the challenge before us. I led my team back onto the snow covered field, and we began to claw back. The deficit turned into an advantage and ultimately, victory was ours. I can’t look back on that moment without being thankful for all that college football taught me. I learned that working through discomfort leads to personal growth. I learned that empathy and sacrifice are the building blocks of a successful bond. I learned that a positive attitude can be one’s only weapon when faced with circumstances beyond their control.

I believe the lessons that I learned over my four years as an athlete and student at Ohio Northern University will serve as the foundation for further growth in law school. I can’t truly know what challenges I will face. In fact, the only certainty is that law school will indeed challenge me. Like I did as an eighteen year old considering college football, I feel I have more to offer. I see a major in political science as a commitment helping society and I see a legal career as a way to honor that commitment. I will learn. I will adapt. Given the opportunity, I will see it through.

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chili_davis
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:27 pm

Re: Please Help

Postby chili_davis » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:10 pm

Bruh, I want to applaud your courage for sharing your personal statement on an open forum. But this MUST be thrown in the nearest garbage and set on fire. Take those Polar Bear paws out and start hitting delete as fast as your Polar Bear paws can manage!

In all seriousness... I would highly recommend working with a consultant if you can afford it. There's simply too much wrong with this statement to salvage. If you don't have the financial means to afford a consultant, I would at least reconsider your PS topic and structure.

http://www.lawschoolexpert.com/

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sethnoorzad
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:28 pm

Re: Please Help

Postby sethnoorzad » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:03 pm

Yeah I have to disagree with the poster above. I think this that the first 80% of this is great. You are obviously passionate about your sport and that has allowed you to develop good qualities that will make you a good lawyer and a leader.

It was only when you got to the end of the essay and tied everything into being a lawyer. It seems very hastily done. It's like you have a great essay and then you get to the "why law school" section and it kind of breaks down. I would look over that section and find some strong arguments and reasons why law school is the logical next step for you.

I think the story about playing football in college is good.

rowdesefer
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:56 pm

Re: Please Help

Postby rowdesefer » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:11 pm

chili_davis wrote:Bruh, I want to applaud your courage for sharing your personal statement on an open forum. But this MUST be thrown in the nearest garbage and set on fire. Take those Polar Bear paws out and start hitting delete as fast as your Polar Bear paws can manage!

In all seriousness... I would highly recommend working with a consultant if you can afford it. There's simply too much wrong with this statement to salvage. If you don't have the financial means to afford a consultant, I would at least reconsider your PS topic and structure.

http://www.lawschoolexpert.com/


I sincerely appreciate the feedback man. The Polar Bear paws bit made me laugh. I will see what I can do.

rowdesefer
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:56 pm

Re: Please Help

Postby rowdesefer » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:13 pm

sethnoorzad wrote:Yeah I have to disagree with the poster above. I think this that the first 80% of this is great. You are obviously passionate about your sport and that has allowed you to develop good qualities that will make you a good lawyer and a leader.

It was only when you got to the end of the essay and tied everything into being a lawyer. It seems very hastily done. It's like you have a great essay and then you get to the "why law school" section and it kind of breaks down. I would look over that section and find some strong arguments and reasons why law school is the logical next step for you.

I think the story about playing football in college is good.


Thank you. I actually did just that. I gave it an ending so I could throw it on here really quick. I will definitely reconstruct the last part.

cavalier1138
Posts: 4295
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Please Help

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:19 pm

I don't think the topic is bad, but your word choice is... interesting... at some points. For example: "...and it is within the power of one man to catalyze a contagious mindset that manifests itself on the field." That clause looks like someone fed it through a thesaurus without actually finding out what the original words meant.

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chili_davis
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:27 pm

Re: Please Help

Postby chili_davis » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:23 pm

rowdesefer wrote:
chili_davis wrote:Bruh, I want to applaud your courage for sharing your personal statement on an open forum. But this MUST be thrown in the nearest garbage and set on fire. Take those Polar Bear paws out and start hitting delete as fast as your Polar Bear paws can manage!

In all seriousness... I would highly recommend working with a consultant if you can afford it. There's simply too much wrong with this statement to salvage. If you don't have the financial means to afford a consultant, I would at least reconsider your PS topic and structure.

http://www.lawschoolexpert.com/


I sincerely appreciate the feedback man. The Polar Bear paws bit made me laugh. I will see what I can do.


No worries, if you can't laugh at this whole process it tends to be hard to get through. I can't begin to tell you how many drafts I went through before finally reaching a finished product. It's truly subjective, and everyone will have a different opinion after reading a statement. I think you can highlight your college athletics better than this, and don't get overly concerned with trying to make it sound like Walt Whitman material. My first draft I worried way too much about the way I was writing, rather than the content and material. You need to be yourself and the rest will fall in line. Also, remember to try and highlight something about yourself that will stand out. Do you think you're the first college athlete to apply? Brainstorm, attack this polar bear from a different direction. Maybe why you began to set your sights on law? A locker room event that changed your trajectory in life? Getting to know different backgrounds and personalities through the sport, and overcoming adversity together?

Just clear your mind and start typing, you got this!

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mjb447
Posts: 1200
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:36 am

Re: Please Help

Postby mjb447 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:28 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:That clause looks like someone fed it through a thesaurus without actually finding out what the original words meant.


chili_davis wrote:I think you can highlight your college athletics better than this, and don't get overly concerned with trying to make it sound like Walt Whitman material.

Aside from the abrupt final "why law school" paragraph, this was my biggest problem here. I like the topic and I think it could support a good PS, but for me the language is unnecessarily grandiose.

rowdesefer
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:56 pm

Re: Please Help

Postby rowdesefer » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:47 pm

Thanks everybody! This really helps.

DrGlennRichie
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:22 pm

Re: Please Help

Postby DrGlennRichie » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:05 am

As it was said good topic, bad language. Salvageable. I dont see a need of consultant or change of topic. Go with it. Just try to make it more personal so to speak. If you are driving, put your phone on record and just tell the story like you would to somebody. Analyze the recording and I am sure you will get some good pieces. Try to show what you thoughts and what your feelings were.




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