Swapping personal statements

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby UCLAorbust » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:28 am

Kids- a new draft of my statement. PM me harsh critiques, and I will gladly look over yours as well.

Sitting in the urgent care waiting room, I resigned myself to reading a recent issue of Vogue due to the lack of availability of my preferred U.S. News and World Report. In an article on September Fashion Week, model Lily Donaldson was quoted saying, "In some ways, I feel as if I've been 21 for a few years now." Strange, I was just thinking the same thing, though for somewhat different reasons than Lily. That evening my father's fiance Anne had staggered into my room with blood coming out of her mouth, prompting me to take her to Lodi Memorial Hospital for the second time that week. She suffers from ulcers, scoliosis, panic disorder, and various acute allergies, the combination of which resulted in over 70 days of hospitalization in 2009 alone. Since my younger sister and I left our abusive mother's household years before, our father has been our sole guardian. Starting when I was 14, his diagnosis with bladder cancer forced him to take repeated medical leaves from his landscaping job. While my sister and I were able to temporarily make do off of the charity of a few local relatives, soon I decided to start looking for work. I was able to finagle some odd jobs when I was too young to attain a worker's permit, and eventually got into the habit of working at least a few hours a day after school to make sure my sister and I never went hungry. My father's eventual marriage to Anne, who is unemployed with four young kids, added to the need for me to provide for my home. I have had a job more or less continuously since my father's cancer diagnosis, which has allowed me to contribute extensively towards my his and Anne's medical fees, utility costs, clothing for my step-siblings, and much more. Rather than plant in me a streak of self-pity, my struggles at home forced me to become a problem solver and made me flexible to change. In addition to bearing much of the financial burden of my household, I often was the sole caretaker of my step-siblings due to our parents' frequent hospitalization, an experience that taught me how best to handle a variety of crises while keeping my cool. These added responsibilities did not make me any less invested in my education; contrarily, school became an outlet for me to pursue the subjects that would shape me into a competent adult. Since the days when I would hide in my closet poring over East Asian poetry, academia was a means of keeping my eyes on the goal of future prosperity. I became engrossed with Speech and Debate and Academic Decathlon in high school, eventually competing thrice nationally in debate and becoming state champion in the Decathlon's speech category. Increased effort in school and work was invariably met with improvements at home, as these and other accomplishments paved the way for grants and merit scholarships that lessened the financial burdens felt by my family. When student loans became insufficient to support me past my freshman year at American University, I enrolled at the local community college and was later admitted to UC Berkeley. My persistent pursuit of financial aid and multiple side jobs made me able to attend Cal and even be accepted to the EAP Singapore fall semester program for a minimal expense for myself, and none whatsoever for my family.
While my family continues to struggle with medical and financial burdens, I know that my continued efforts toward a career in law will help to bring us positive change while satisfying my intellectual appetites. I hope to attend the UCLA School of Law and participate in the Public Law and Policy Program before ultimately working in family law. My past has taught me that nothing will ever be handed to me, so I will continue to make things happen for myself and take none of it for granted.

Jane Austen
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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby Jane Austen » Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:54 pm

Last edited by Jane Austen on Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby GettingReady2010 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:24 pm

Jane Austen wrote:Please feel free to rip this a new one.

I dumped Jesus on his head on the morning of my fourth Christmas shortly after I was met with the disturbing phenomenon of my father hidden behind a red velvety Santa suit. Although I recognized the existence of both Santa and my father, I also knew that they were not one and the same, and I called attention to this curious circumstance. Upon inquiring, with bluntness that only a toddler can possess, as to why Daddy was wearing a beard, my mom struggled to maintain a hold on the situation, fumbling with a host of possible explanations before finally admitting defeat and informing me that Santa Claus was not, in fact, real. And, while I would like to paint a dramatic scene, assuring you that my eyes welled with tears and the pink blanket that was my constant childhood companion fell from my hand, I don’t remember either of these things. What I do remember is the shock that came from asking a simple, well-placed question. I had not expected this issue to spiral out of control like it had, nor to learn that the magical individual my dad was impersonating was no more than a figment of my imagination. My four year-old reality then took on the traits of my favorite cherry Jell-o, performing exactly the same way when put in hot water: it dissolved, and a sticky situation resulted. My beliefs became opaque and gelatinous – stuck in limbo, forever suspended in the gunk of real life. With determined finality, I dismissed all of the imaginary pillars of my childhood – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and Jesus among them – and became a nonbeliever, an anomaly in my Bible Belt home of Sunbury, Ohio.
Atheism carried me into middle school where, although convinced that my rational beliefs were true, I struggled to understand the unwavering devotion possessed by so many of my friends and neighbors. The feeling of rejecting god is remarkably similar to unmasking the truth behind Santa Claus; though ignorance was not a state to which I wished to return, there was no denying that a bit of life’s magic exited the room with my faith. I began to search for a means by which to organize my beliefs and define my values in a way that religion did for the rest of my community, and I found a more tangible answer during 7th grade U.S. history class in the form of the United States legal system. While I could not believe in faceless deities nor comprehend an irrational conviction in ancient scriptures, I accepted whole-heartedly in the inalienable rights of the individual and the due process provided by the Constitution. These truths buoyed me through school, staying with me as I packed up and headed to college with a lifetime of Abercrombie clothes and a confidence in legal impartiality tucked away in my trunk. Arriving at Flagler College on the cusp of my 18th birthday, I enrolled in every pre-law class I could.
It was here that I was first faced with the inherent fallibility of the United States legal system. As we submerged ourselves in the history of American jurisprudence, one characterized by codified injustices, the irrationalities of capital punishment, and blatant cases of judicial bias, I found my faith once again crumbling around me. I became disturbingly aware of racial discrepancies in conviction rates through years spent volunteering at H.I.R.E. House, a shelter for recently-paroled men, where African Americans constitute nearly 70% of the resident population. I was appalled by the ability of my wealthy, white, law-breaking Flagler peers to avoid punishment for the same acts that were landing residents of Lincolnville, St. Augustine’s infamous “ghetto,” in prison. Interning with criminal attorney Thomas Cushman, whose desk is largely filled with indigent cases of generationally-impoverished defendants, dispelled the last of the unwaveringly confident notions I had about the American court system; I had seen too much injustice to feel otherwise. I felt as though I was on the cusp of losing faith – again.
Fortunately, the law cannot be lumped into a class with Jesus and my father in a red Santa suit; its foundation in rational thought assures me of this and perpetuates my conviction in the institution. While my education has rid me of the blind faith that I once had in the legal system, it has also illustrated the undeniable capability of the American law to progress. We do not exist under a static institution that takes hold in ancient scriptures; our legal system is a flexible construct, one that in inherently hopeful and built upon evolving standards of decency. The movement toward a more just union can be seen through the history of our nation’s courts and legal battles, and it is this aspect of the law that brings me the faith that people who align themselves with religion seem to have. While it has yet to do this fully, the search for truth has fostered a belief in both myself and in the legal world, a truth in striving for knowledge and growing from experience. I cannot find faith in the spiritual world, but I am learning to find faith in this world, in my world, through seeking. Bolstered by faith in a 221-year old Constitution and the legal prophets who preach its word, I can start to see the appeal of religion after all.

If you're sending this to any Jesuit institution, you're going to offend them by describing Jesus as an imaginary pillar of your childhood and comparing him to Santa and the Easter Bunny. Saying you don't follow a certain religion is one thing, but to describe a religion like this might turn an adcomm off. It's a risk.

I've always thought that you should stay away from religion entirely while writing your PS. I could see if you were persecuted because of your religion, it would make sense to talk about it, but it's really unnecessary to write about how you like or dislike religion.

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:27 pm

@JaneAusten: I find the feelings and thoughts you ascribe to your 4 year old self very hard to believe.

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby akak179 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:19 pm

hey everyone, I must admit I am not the best when it comes to peer review, but I would really like it if anyone could take a look at my PS. If anyone would like to send it to me, I will of course be glad to take a look as well, I just dont feel confident in my abilities to judge anyone elses writing. Thanks!

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby GettingReady2010 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:12 pm

Ready to swap. PM me yours and I'll send you mind.

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby KylieMorrison » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:10 am

If anyone would like to critique my rough draft I would greatly appreciate it. I will PM it to whomever wants to help!

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby mrwarre85 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:08 pm

Last edited by mrwarre85 on Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby Articfuze » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:41 pm

I am willing to trade statements. Please PM me if you are interested.

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby NeighborGuy » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:52 pm

Throwing my hat into the ring. I need some people to critique the impact of my content, not necessarily the grammar and spelling. Although if a grammar/spell check is what you need, I'll be glad to edit yours for such. PM me for a swap.

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Snoring Meatball
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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby Snoring Meatball » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:51 pm

If anyone is willing to look over my finalish version for content and technical edits, please PM me. I'm happy to look over yours.

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby silly101 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:27 pm

done with lsat
have a new draft of PS
ready to swap!
PM me :)

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby Boogaloo » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:56 pm

Hey! I'd love to have someone read my PS and evaluate it for overall effect. Is it cohesive and engaging? Does the content make sense? I'm looking for a holistic analysis.

I would be glad to do the same for anyone else. My strength lies in identifying overall themes. I'm pretty good at evaluating how well an essay is organized. I can tell you what "I got" from your PS. Message me if you are interested.

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby noahzak » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:58 pm

My email is Sistersay3@gmail.com if anyone is interested in swapping. I'd like a harsh critique of my diversity statement...

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby smscat » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:30 pm

I'm very good at editing grammar and phrasing etc...PM me if you want me to look at your PS. I tutored for the SATS at one point so I can back up my assertions lol. I have 3 statements going if anyone would do me a favor and look at all 3 - more for content than grammar, because I have that down. I need someone who is willing to harshly critique for what law schools really want. PM me if interested.

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby noahzak » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:46 pm

Please feel free to criticize this majorly!

When I was in kindergarten, the school principal told my mother I’d have a wonderful career as a translator. She had overheard me talking to my grandmother and a friend’s father, arranging a playdate for myself. My grandmother, who was born in Afghanistan and didn’t speak English, often relied on me for her everyday tasks, from grocery shopping to deciphering the evening news. From a young age, I’ve understood the power of words and how an otherwise intelligent person can be diminished due to their inability to grasp a particular language. Ultimately, my exposure to this phenomenon as a child shaped my future.
After I graduated from college with a degree in journalism and international relations, I worked as a magazine editor, a freelance newspaper writer, a social media expert and a copy editor, applying my degree into developing the career I thought I wanted. It was working for my father, however, that showed me my true talent, and what I need to do with it.
For the past nine years, my father, an Afghan-American businessman, has been taking frequent trips to Afghanistan. In between these journeys, he communicates with officials via email, in English. Despite the fact that he has lived in the United States for almost 25 years, however, my father has elementary knowledge of the language. So, when I moved back home after college with a writing degree, I became his unofficial secretary.
As the oldest of my parents’ five children, I had become their ambassador to all things American early on. In high school, we learned what the SAT was together and later, as the first member of my family to enter college, it was my job to convince my parents it was appropriate for an Afghan girl to move across the country for her education. When my younger sisters entered middle school, I started picking their classes with them. Later, working with my father, I created a hybrid job description for myself and discovered new strengths: I became a translator, writer, editor, and champion for causes I didn’t even know I cared about.
In the summer of 2010, my father traveled to Afghanistan and hours later, my mother received a call from him during a layover in Atlanta. As we listened to my father, whose anger I’d experienced many times but his embarrassment I’d never encountered, I tried to fight the wave of pity that engulfed me.
Despite the fact that my father had reserved seats near the front of the plane, the airline had inexplicably moved him to the very last row of seats. When he asked why, he was met by unexplainable hostility: From mocking mispronunciations of his name to threats of removal from the plane, the airline had done everything they could to humiliate my father, going so far as to warn him: “Sir, if you ask one more question, you will be thrown off this flight.”
As I fumed on the other end of the phone, my father asked me to call the airline the next day to find out what had happened.
“We need you to call because you don’t have an accent and they will take you seriously,” he said.
Nineteen years after kindergarten, I was relearning the power of words. I called the airline the next day expecting resistance. Over the next two hours, however, I was personally apologized to by three heads of the airline. Ultimately, while I was ecstatic that they were sorry, I couldn’t help but wonder how often an experience that I take for granted, like uncomplicatedly boarding a flight, turns into a gross mistreatment.
I won’t lie and say this is the moment I considered becoming a lawyer. As someone who has always excelled in reading and writing and grew up on the Afghan fringes of American society, I’ve always entertained the idea of working as an advocate. Although my current career as a journalist has offered me the ability to learn more about people than I’d ever imagined, I’d like to do more with words. As a human rights advocate, I want to change circumstances through the law on behalf of the mis- and under-represented in society.
As an international lawyer, my work in human rights will draw on my own experiences as both an Afghan and an American. From my American side, I’ve learned organization, but from my Afghan side, I’ve learned perseverance. I’m American in my belief that anyone can succeed, but I’m Afghan in my stubbornness to prove my personal success. I’m American in my ability to sympathize with all types of people, but I’m Afghan in my deeper understanding of what it feels like to be sympathized with.
I know what it is like to work with people who are disadvantaged, whether that disadvantage manifests itself through social misunderstanding, a language discrepancy, or economic or political differences. While my interest in the laws that govern nations reaches back to my international relations studies in college, I am more interested in these laws as they relate to individuals. I am fluent in three languages (English, Farsi and Spanish) and I think this, with the addition of a law degree, will ultimately head me in the direction of Amnesty International, or similar movements.
Many years ago, my dad told an exterminator that we were having trouble with lagoons in our attic. A few puzzling conversations later, he removed a family of raccoons from our home. In my life, I’ve witnessed an uncountable number of situations get jumbled because of cross-language miscommunication. Justice, I’ve come to realize, doesn’t have to be lost in translation.

Thank you all :)

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby SupraVln180 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:55 pm

PM me and I'm willing to swap.

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby hawaii » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:39 pm

Is someone willing to swap personal statements with me? I feel I have a fairly good rough draft but I need someone who doesn't know anything about me to tell me if my statement comes across the way I want it too. I would be more than willing to read yours and provide feedback as well. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby coolgreen42 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:56 am

Please PM me to swap personal statements! I really want to be applied by the end of the week!

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby maroonzoon » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:32 pm

PM me for a swap

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby n_gal » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:19 pm

Anyone online want to swap PS? I have a very very rough first draft so I am just looking to see if the content is interesting/what law schools are looking for, I'll return the favor, although I've never done this before so I'm not sure how helpful I'll be! :)

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby sarahlawg » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:03 pm

I have a work in progress, but need someone to look at it to see if I should continue with it. Anyone want to swap?
PM me!

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby Chris_cpb » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:44 pm

I'm looking to exchange with someone at a mid or late stage in the process. I've already had 3 drafts before this one. I would also prefer if the person is shooting for at least top 35 in terms of schools. PM or respond here, thanks.

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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby noahzak » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:22 pm

Please PM me if you are interested in swapping- I am on a FINAL draft and would like to swap with someone in a similar stage...I would like to be "done" with my PS by early next week so anyone who wants to edit within the next few days, please contact me!

nucky thompson
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Re: Swapping personal statements

Postby nucky thompson » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:16 pm

I have just begun shaping my personal statement and I would like some comments concerning structure and topic thus far

I do not feel confident critiquing others so I will not be able to exchange, but if you can help out send me a PM

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