personal statement draft...help!

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

personal statement draft...help!

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:23 pm

I can still remember timidly walking down the aisles with my mother of our local beauty supply store passing the bags of foam perm rods and plastic rollers as a child once a month, looking for a box of, what the African-American community has jokingly called it for decades, ‘creamy crack.’ The at-home permanent relaxer, a chemistry set of sorts, was my mother’s answer to taming my sister and I’s thick, and often tangled, tresses. The seething pain of the treatment on my scalp and a freshly coifed style memorialized my childhood Sundays.

For years, I would be familiar with getting my hair permed well into high school, until I was old enough to take on the responsibility of continuing to straighten and style it myself with varying degrees of methods and success. It was second nature to me that this process was a part of my personal routine as a teenager. My mother and sister did it, my counsins, and so did many of my friends, all of whom looked like me with their bronzed skin and ebony hair. Not only did altering my hair, and therefore my appearance, feel comfortable, it’s what I had been educated to do.

It wasn’t until I was spending a summer in New York in 2014, that I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the reflection of the young woman who I thought was. Like a moth to a flame, my hands took to the scissors in the bathroom drawer and sheared the thick black hair on my head to its roots; and before the last piece of hair fell to the floor, tears began to swell in the corners of eyes that transitioned from wonder to fear.

Unruly, unprofessional, a distraction, and even ‘too ethnic.’ Three years later, my crown as tightly coiled as vines warped towards the sun, and these are all words that are somewhat too familiar as friends and strangers have force-fed their notions on how I should present myself. I would smile with restrain and feign thank you’s for their suggestions and inquisitions, just as I did my career counselor after a mock interview my senior year. What I assumed to be the end of a great practice run, we wrapped up with a review of my goals and aspirations when the counselor lingered in a breathless pause, before she leaned in and slipped, ‘...So what are you going to do with your hair? I would hope something more appropriate.’ My stomach lurched and the room fell silent. To be quite honest, I had no plans to change any part of it, but in that moment, I was afraid of what would happen if I didn’t. Would my community service and study abroad not exist; would the numbers on my transcript be written in invisible ink?

I knew I shouldn’t have viewed her inquiry as pure disapproval, but I lacked understanding then. Like many women, my hair was more than just a symbolic blanket that hid my insecurities, it was a part of my identity. I knew that if I chose to conform to a society’s standard of who I should be, that I would be depriving myself of my own authenticity – something that I had only recently come to acknowledge. Growing up in the south in schools where I am the most diverse person in a classroom, peers asking ‘Why do you talk white?’ and constant pressure to fit it into a certain category when I was never sure there was one, being divergent was not unknown territory. While fear of embracing who I was led me to be comfortable for so many years, I learned that comfortable is not where I am supposed to grow and develop from.

For so long I was unaware that my authentic self was hidden under what was palatable to others and how that insecurity bound me to someone who I wasn’t. Throughout my journey, I realized that there are people of all backgrounds who are fearful of their identity because of harassment, persecution or other attack on their character. I am ready to use my experience to support and advocate on behalf of individuals and groups who embrace their authenticity, and create a space for others who want to do the same. I want to join a law school community that can not only give me the tools and knowledge to help victims of discrimination, but one that allows its students the opportunity to be true to themselves and to discover their passions in law. While law school is not an easy course, I know it will help me achieve my goal of helping others to appreciate their own individuality.

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zkyggi
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:14 am

Re: personal statement draft...help!

Postby zkyggi » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I can still remember timidly walking down the aisles with my mother of our local beauty supply store passing the bags of foam perm rods and plastic rollers as a child once a month, looking for a box of, what the African-American community has jokingly called it for decades, ‘creamy crack.’ The at-home permanent relaxer, a chemistry set of sorts, was my mother’s answer to taming my sister and I’s thick, and often tangled, tresses. The seething pain of the treatment on my scalp and a freshly coifed style memorialized my childhood Sundays.


I'm AA and the bolded rubbed me the wrong way. It seemed like you were trying to shoe-horn in that you were AA since it was not particularly relevant. I would generally say to avoid speaking for a community of ~40 million people.

Anonymous User wrote:For so long I was unaware that my authentic self was hidden under what was palatable to others and how that insecurity bound me to someone who I wasn’t. Throughout my journey, I realized that there are people of all backgrounds who are fearful of their identity because of harassment, persecution or other attack on their character. I am ready to use my experience to support and advocate on behalf of individuals and groups who embrace their authenticity, and create a space for others who want to do the same. I want to join a law school community that can not only give me the tools and knowledge to help victims of discrimination, but one that allows its students the opportunity to be true to themselves and to discover their passions in law. While law school is not an easy course, I know it will help me achieve my goal of helping others to appreciate their own individuality.


Overall, I think your conclusion comes across as disingenuous, and I think it is because you don't show a strong commitment to fighting discrimination in the rest of your PS. While I am not a fan of the topic, it can work, but you will need to improve the focus, structure, and writing for it to do so.

Anonymous User
Posts: 298265
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: personal statement draft...help!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:52 pm

zkyggi wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I can still remember timidly walking down the aisles with my mother of our local beauty supply store passing the bags of foam perm rods and plastic rollers as a child once a month, looking for a box of, what the African-American community has jokingly called it for decades, ‘creamy crack.’ The at-home permanent relaxer, a chemistry set of sorts, was my mother’s answer to taming my sister and I’s thick, and often tangled, tresses. The seething pain of the treatment on my scalp and a freshly coifed style memorialized my childhood Sundays.


I'm AA and the bolded rubbed me the wrong way. It seemed like you were trying to shoe-horn in that you were AA since it was not particularly relevant. I would generally say to avoid speaking for a community of ~40 million people.

Anonymous User wrote:For so long I was unaware that my authentic self was hidden under what was palatable to others and how that insecurity bound me to someone who I wasn’t. Throughout my journey, I realized that there are people of all backgrounds who are fearful of their identity because of harassment, persecution or other attack on their character. I am ready to use my experience to support and advocate on behalf of individuals and groups who embrace their authenticity, and create a space for others who want to do the same. I want to join a law school community that can not only give me the tools and knowledge to help victims of discrimination, but one that allows its students the opportunity to be true to themselves and to discover their passions in law. While law school is not an easy course, I know it will help me achieve my goal of helping others to appreciate their own individuality.


Overall, I think your conclusion comes across as disingenuous, and I think it is because you don't show a strong commitment to fighting discrimination in the rest of your PS. While I am not a fan of the topic, it can work, but you will need to improve the focus, structure, and writing for it to do so.



Thanks for your critique, I appreciate the help - could you be a little more specific about narrowing the focus and structure...?




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