Thoughts on my revised statement?

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Thoughts on my revised statement?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:29 am

Personal Statement
I was three years old when my father handed me my first golf club. I stood barefoot in the front yard, doing my best to stretch infant hands around the worn rubber grip. It was a moment that seemed innocuous enough at the time, but one that ultimately shaped the course of my life. Golf eventually became my life’s first passion; time and again, I decided to follow this passion when it might have been easier to forge a new path—and I am better now as a result.

Every summer growing up, the country club for which my father was the Grounds Superintendent hosted the [XYZ] Open, a stop on the PGA Tour for 51 years. I was mesmerized watching the seemingly divine talents of the game’s greatest professionals. Even the lesser-known players were impressive: their techniques efficient, their strategies infallible, their successes rooted in a steely drive for excellence. Around the age of ten, I modified a golf ‘pull cart’ so that I could tow my clubs behind my bicycle. Liberated to make it to the local public course even if my parents were unable, I played nearly every day of the week. I fell in love with every aspect of the game, especially its quirks. To be great at golf requires both the artist’s imagination and the engineer’s exacting precision. It’s a game governed by a lengthy code of hard-and-fast rules, but lacks umpires or referees. A great golfer continually pursues nothing short of perfection, but also must accept his most recent failure. My love for this game drove me to want to compete at its highest levels, so I prepared incessantly to gain an edge on my competition.

My work ethic and performance throughout high school were enough to warrant a golf scholarship offer from [COLLEGE] University, which I eventually decided to accept. This was a more difficult decision than it may seem: I had already been admitted to my first-choice college, a large public institution with likely the best academic reputation in the state, but one that also had a golf program that attracted the best players from across the country. If I attended this university, I knew I would have to give up my dream of playing college golf—I simply was not talented enough to compete at that level. Among other factors, my passion for golf led me to [COLLEGE].

One can learn the value of perseverance in a multitude of ways, but I learned it from those challenging years playing golf for [COLLEGE]. Although we didn’t have the most competitive team, we all were the best or second-best players on our respective high school teams—which meant that I was a big fish who suddenly found himself in a much bigger pond. Of the dozen or so players on the team, only five traveled to most tournaments, according to their performance during pre-tournament qualification rounds. Intangible strengths and attributes were largely ignored; if a golfer didn’t produce in qualification, he didn’t compete. This meant that just to compete with my team, I first had to successfully compete against my team.

Experiences like these can humble even the most resolved competitor. Off the course, my teammates were the best friends I ever had—we were roommates, confidantes, brothers. Once we lined up on the first tee for qualification however, we forced ourselves to ignore (if not entirely sever) the bonds we had worked so hard to cultivate. I had my fair share of struggles adjusting to this environment, qualifying for only a few tournaments during the fall season of my freshman year.

To this day, I have never felt so frustrated and disenchanted with myself than I did then; I reached a point toward the end of my freshman fall semester when I seriously considered giving up golf altogether and transferring to another university. After all, I chose [COLLEGE] University over the other colleges to which I had been admitted in large part to follow my passion for golf. That I wasn’t performing to the best of my abilities represented an existential crisis unlike anything else I had ever experienced.

I didn’t transfer though; I decided to continue to pursue golf. Golf has taught me that the concerted pursuit of a passion inevitably results in countless indirect and unintended benefits, even if passion-driven goals aren’t fully realized. I didn’t remain at [COLLEGE] for its nurturing community, but I quickly learned the value of attending a tight-knit, liberal arts institution. I didn’t remain at [COLLEGE] to grow in my faith, but that was undoubtedly a life-altering byproduct of my decision to stay and play golf. I certainly didn’t remain at [COLLEGE] to learn lessons in humility, integrity, and perseverance, but those too will pay lifelong dividends. I remained at [COLLEGE] to play competitive golf, and though I fell short of my expectations, I’m better off now because I decided to persevere through the setbacks and frustrations I experienced pursuing this game.

It would’ve been easy to abandon golf and [COLLEGE], but it likely would have been a poor decision; I would have deprived myself of innumerable growth opportunities in favor of a more comfortable, but likely much less fulfilling, college experience. Likewise, it would be very easy to not pursue law school and instead continue to advance in my current career—just as I’ve done for nearly the last three years. The blessing of hindsight enables me to conclude that this too would likely be a poor decision. If I forego law school, I would be valuing comfort over intellectual challenge and growth. I would be sacrificing my long-held career interests on the altar of short-term financial security. I would be allowing the tempting desire to advance within a quickly-growing startup organization (while really only advancing as a ‘generalist’) to preclude the pursuit of my life’s true calling. Golf is not my only passion in life, but I certainly can apply the same principles I learned pursuing this game to my other, more career-oriented passions. As was the case pursuing golf, my pursuit of a legal career may not be easy, but I am nonetheless confident that it’s the right decision.

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Re: Thoughts on my revised statement?

Postby sethnoorzad » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:09 pm

I think it's good and you write well. I think that there is a lot of information about your golf journey in here, and some of it could be trimmed. For example: you passing up the offer at your top choice college --- I see why you put that in there because it leads to you talking about how your golf team wasn't the cream of the crop in terms of college golf teams. But I think it's just unnecessary detail.

Another example: you talk about getting into golf at such an early age. Your image of transforming your bicycle into a golf cart is... I mean it makes sense and as an opening it reads fine... but I think it's a little cliche. ---Sort of reminds me of a child prodigy image ---- like a little kid playing a violin really well.

I think you could easily improve this statement by focusing more narrowly on the aspects of golf that improved your character. In one paragraph you talk about how your faith, your mindset, your work ethic, your character traits were positively affected by golf. To me that is really the meaning of your essay. And right now it's only one paragraph. I would make that the bulk of what you talk about.

I think overall this statement is good. My suggestion is to think more about the main thrust of your statement. What is it that is giving this statement emotional meaning? To me the most meaningful part was how your character changed through golf. Bring that out more and trim some of the other parts.


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