(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:58 pm

Hi. I wrote a first PS draft, and I would be deeply grateful if you could criticize it. Whether your criticism is on the tone, subject, structure, or etc. does not matter. I appreciate all your criticism. Thank you. And, in the end of your criticism, would you please rate the paper out of 10 so that I can better judge the quality of my draft?


I was born in South Korea, but I grew up in Ghana, Philippines, and Kuwait. Each relocation was a reset. It accompanied new schools, friends, and opportunities to redefine myself. Growing up, I liked how the transitions always relived me from the challenges I faced and distracted me from the tough questions I had on my identity.

When my family finally settled back in South Korea, I felt stranded for the first time. I dreaded to move abroad whenever I faced a challenge or struggled to answer who I am. Rather than confront the issues, I blamed my surroundings and the people around me. I told myself that I was a victim. Thus, when I discovered an opportunity to study in the United States at age fifteen, I took it without hesitation. I imagined that the new environment would fix everything.

I was wrong. The transition did reset my life once again as I absorbed the new culture. Yet, with no family to return to at night, I quickly realized that my sense of self depended on others and that it evaporated whenever I was alone. I also lacked the self-discipline to even take care of myself. The first few weeks in the United States highlighted my sense of entitlement. It taught me to take ownership of my circumstances and to take initiatives myself before anything else.

I began to ask myself what I wanted in life and pushed myself to make them happen. I started small. I first wanted to lose weight. I ran and watched my diet. I joined sports and became the captain of my high school’s wrestling team. I then wanted to be fluent in English, indistinguishable from the natives. I braved myself into conversations and carried a dictionary everywhere. What I wanted in life changed over time and I failed many attempts. However, I continued to ask that question and pursue the answers.

I started to enjoy each initiative as I observed myself grow. I was once obese, but now I ran half marathons. English was once unfamiliar, but now I assisted pitching stories to major publications. Each challenge tested my self-discipline. It pushed me to avoid the distractions and focus on things that mattered to me. And as I noted each progression, I recognized that I was shaping myself with each decision, no longer letting my surroundings dictate my identity.

I continue to make these choices today. Going forward, I will study law to better understand international transactions. I will guide and enable the decisions between emerging market countries and the United States. <Reasons why I like each school >.

At age fifteen, I mistreated an invaluable opportunity by deciding to study in the United States for the wrong reasons. I now hope to make amends. I want to learn as much as I can through my stay in the United States, and I wish I can do that in the University of <____>.


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Postby YOLANDAMT » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:31 pm

Oh, I just forgot to add "I dreaded no longer being able to move abroad" in the second paragraph.


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Postby achris1210 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:05 pm

From your essay, the overall theme seems to be ‘woe is me’ and ‘I can’t do anything by myself.’ Is this really the message you want to send to the admissions committee? You literally said your sense of self depended on others and evaporated when you were by yourself. You said you lacked the self-discipline to even take care of yourself. I don’t understand what you’re trying to tell them. You say you mistreated an opportunity to study in the US...wouldn’t it be better to show them how you used that opportunity to grow and change? You’re highlighting your perceived mistakes which I don’t think is a good strategy.

If I were you, I’d start with a new essay. You have to have an interesting story from your life that you could tell. Write an outline and make sure each paragraph is related to conveying your overall message.

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