Personal Statement Samples

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ubuntu
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:01 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ubuntu » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:16 pm

edited
Last edited by ubuntu on Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

riccardo426
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:05 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby riccardo426 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:48 pm

While it seems to have worked for you, ubuntu, Montauk and Ivey's books say to never start with a quote. But I guess you kept it as a theme throughout. hmm.

I do the same kind of thing with the PS I'm currently crafting. Hope it works for me, too.

ubuntu
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:01 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ubuntu » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:35 pm

riccardo426 wrote:While it seems to have worked for you, ubuntu, Montauk and Ivey's books say to never start with a quote. But I guess you kept it as a theme throughout. hmm.

I do the same kind of thing with the PS I'm currently crafting. Hope it works for me, too.


oh definitely, i read all that advice and took it greatly to heart, but sometimes it just feels right. i knew i was taking a bit of a risk, but not necessarily a huge one. i wanted to give background to the word and just found i couldn't do a better job than desmond tutu did, hahaha, so i let him take it away...

you're right though, this is absolutely risky / won't work for everyone.

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badfish
Posts: 1160
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:53 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby badfish » Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:39 pm

ubuntu wrote:i'll go ahead and add this to the mix. hopefully it helps someone collect their thoughts in the future.

GPA: 3.75
LSAT: 162/172

Accepted: Boalt, Chicago ($$), UVA ($$), Georgetown ($$), UCLA ($$)
Waitlisted: Harvard, Penn, NYU
Rejected: Columbia, Stanford

Attending: UVA

“A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.” - Archbishop Desmond Tutu


We could hear the sound of music all the way from the bus. Slowly walking toward the community center, the sound grew louder. Children step-danced, clapping and banging on their rubber boots in intricate patterns, offering smiles and high-fives as we headed inside.
The community center was one of many I visited during a month-long trip to the Eastern Cape of South Africa last July. Cold, dirt floors, peeling paint, faded posters on the wall, yet bustling with life. Overcrowded, but not to the point of claustrophobia. Full of life, energy, commitment to each other. This, we were told, was the embodiment of ubuntu, a philosophy of southern Africa which means, in essence, that we are all in this life together. While each center was different in its own way, each shared these same basic characteristics. But bright eyes masked fear, vibrant smiles covered uncertainty, and warm hugs served as walls hiding pain.
Considered one of the epicenters of the HIV/AIDS epidemics in Africa, South Africa has a current infection rate of one in four. I'd learn later that about half the children in the yard were infected with the disease. So as I looked around the room of Xhosa people sitting in folding chairs, some with babies swaddled to their chest, I couldn't help but divide the room and think that statistically, at least 25 of them would likely be infected. Most appeared anxious, staring at a volunteer in the front of the room explaining the AIDS test and their options should their test come back positive. My wide eyes matched theirs.
I have no personal connection to the disease. I know no one infected, and I know my New England upbringing has kept me securely sheltered from the world's famines and epidemics. So one may find it unusual that as I have grown, I have become so drawn to public health, human rights, and international health policy.
Perhaps the source of my passion indirectly comes from my training as a journalist. As I progressed through college, my evolving reporting skills changed the way I digest situations. I notice color more closely, analyze sound in more detail, and note expressions and facial features more readily. The reporter's notebook in my mind is constantly filled, reflecting on every moment. Standing in that center in South Africa, I soaked in the details of my surroundings and was struck by a new feeling – not only the urge to write about what I was seeing, but to change it. Same were the details, and the sentences formed in my head as they normally would. But my perspective had changed. No longer did I want to write about the change makers – I wanted to be the one making change.
During my college years I sat as an editor of a dogged weekly student newspaper and freelanced for my city's daily broadsheet. I have interviewed Maya Angelou, covered riots in the streets of Boston, and tracked the story of a missing autistic student. I have exposed the failures of Boston's restaurant inspection system, a task that included the close reading and analyzation of more than 1500 pages of public documents. As the first member of my immediate family to earn my bachelor's degree, I have an intense desire to succeed, to learn as much as I can about everything, to soak it all in and be as appreciative as possible of the benefits I have received from education.
My young journalism career has been energetic and passionate, and my attention to detail and ability to analyze difficult facts and situations has allowed me to be successful in this field. Some may look at my drive to attend law school as an abandonment of journalism, but I see it as a commitment to an ideal true journalists hold close to their heart – the aim of informing the public of the hardships of the world and, through their words, inspiring social and political change.
Is this another personal statement from an idealistic 22-year-old who wants to change the world? Perhaps. But I'm not trying to be heroic – after seeing what I have seen, there can be no heroics - only doing what is right, what is necessary, what must be done – or not. You can either embrace the spirit of ubuntu by reaching out to help your fellow man – or not. I believe that there are significant failures in our country and countries abroad. Failures in public health, in civil rights, failures in our prisons and in adequately addressing poverty. I can observe, soak in the moments, the places, the feelings, and turn them into journalistic story after story, but I have come to realize in my heart that this is not enough for me.
And so I pursue an education in law so that I may return to Africa, return to the hundreds of NGOs that make a small but noticeable difference each and every day in the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases plaguing the continent. In some small way, I know I can make a difference.
I believe that I belong to a greater whole. I strive to make a difference. I strive to have ubuntu.


I really enjoyed your PS. Where did you do your undergrad, if you don't mind me asking? I just finished up at **** and have similar numbers to yours.
Last edited by badfish on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

B5A2D1
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:34 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby B5A2D1 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:59 pm

PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE BE NICE...but constructive...

I just took the LSAT on Monday and I've decided to focus my energy on the next step in the law school process as I wait for my scores...

My stats:
3.1 (Top 20 private school) hoping to raise it to at least a 3.2
last Kaplan practice test before real LSAT: 157

First draft of a personal statement written in about an hour:
wondering if its a good topic to give insight on my personality, what needs to be added, changed, whatever... probably has typos/errors

As I stood in the unfamiliar airport with my two overweight bags looking around, tears rushed to my eyes. For the first time in my life, I felt completely alone. I stood still for five minutes praying that someone would recognize the confusion and come to my rescue. However, my waiting and praying continued on unanswered. It was time for me to get it together, fast. I struggled with my bags and headed to the information desk, trying to remember what I needed to ask and translate it in my head at the same time. “Ou est l’autobus pour Aix-en-Provence?” I repeated this it seems 20 times as I waited in line. “Ou est l’autobus pour Aix-en-Provence?” Finally, it was my turn. BLANK. Six years of French simultaneously escaped my mind. I can only imagine how I looked to the woman behind the desk. I still to this day remember how I felt. My hands were sweaty and aching from the death grip I had on my suitcases. I had been long forewarned about con artists who preyed on unsuspecting tourists. Everywhere I went I was constantly looking over my shoulder paranoid. My heart was racing triple time from anxiety. For the first time in my life, I was thousands of miles away from home. My cell phone was vastly out of its range leaving no outlet to phone home and hear my mother’s assuring voice telling me I could do this. My mind was working in overdrive. The loudness of the airport, the rushing people, and the foreign language all combined to give me the biggest headache of my life. As I stepped to the counter and gathered my thoughts, I realized I was no longer in Memphis. I had stepped out into the great unknown all alone. I still could not remember my rehearsed phrase, but luckily for me the French woman at the desk spoke English. Upon hearing her welcoming “Hello” spoken with a thick French accent, I knew I could do this.
The semester I spent in Aix-en-Provence may very well be the most rewarding experience of my life. While studying French and Political Science in France for three months, I was awarded a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel throughout Europe. Most people in my family have never traveled outside of Tennessee let alone outside of the States. I knew I had to make the most of this time, seeing and learning as much as I could. Though I got to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Royal Palace in Madrid, Buckingham Palace in London, and even the souqs of Morocco, none of these trips or experiences were my greatest. My greatest experiences in Europe took place in the small town of Aix-en-Provence, every day. The 100 days I spent living in this town taught me more about myself than my 20 years on Earth. I often say that going to Vanderbilt took me out of my environment, but truthfully Vanderbilt feels just like home compared to Aix. Everyday was a learning experience whether I was going to the boulangerie (bakery) or attempting to get a French library card. I learned that I could survive in an unfamiliar place even with a language barrier. I also learned to enjoy my time alone. In the US, I was constantly with friends and family, the computer, my cell phone, and the television. In France, I had ample alone time to reflect what I wanted to do with my life. I have always had a plan. Graduate with Honors at the top of my class at Craigmont High School. Check. Vanderbilt. Check. Law School. Law Firm. United Nations. Retirement. It was in these moments alone in France walking down the cobblestone streets or just staring out of my fourth floor apartment window that I truly decided that law school was really what I wanted. I always said I wanted to go to law school, but had begun to question my dedication to achieving the goal. I had become stagnant, satisfied for the first time in my life with being a B student, lacking motivation to improve, accepting the excuse that I went to Vanderbilt and that’s why my grades were lower, and unworried about getting into law school, relying on my seemingly good luck to get me where I wanted to be. It was in France that I rededicated myself to my law school dream. I focused myself with a newfound strength stemming from the knowledge that I can do whatever I set my mind towards doing. The fall semester of my junior year at Vanderbilt, I set out to conquer a foreign country arming myself with an intermediate knowledge of the language and culture and a willingness to adapt to change.
As I walked away from the information desk, with directions to the bus stop in my hand, I still felt the immense weight of anxiety. I bought my ticket to Aix-en-Provence, briefly stumbling with the funny new currency. As I placed my bags under the bus, it was if a small weight was lifted from shoulders. As I sat on the bus, by the window, I stared out into the country. For the first time since I had arrived in France, I felt excited about the adventures that awaited me. As the bus began the journey from the Marseilles airport to Aix-en-Provence, I began my own personal journey towards self-discovery.

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JustDude
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:07 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:21 pm

B5A2D1 wrote:PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE BE NICE...but constructive...

I just took the LSAT on Monday and I've decided to focus my energy on the next step in the law school process as I wait for my scores...

My stats:
3.1 (Top 20 private school) hoping to raise it to at least a 3.2
last Kaplan practice test before real LSAT: 157

First draft of a personal statement written in about an hour:
wondering if its a good topic to give insight on my personality, what needs to be added, changed, whatever... probably has typos/errors

As I stood in the unfamiliar airport with my two overweight bags looking around, tears rushed to my eyes. For the first time in my life, I felt completely alone. I stood still for five minutes praying that someone would recognize the confusion and come to my rescue. However, my waiting and praying continued on unanswered. It was time for me to get it together, fast. I struggled with my bags and headed to the information desk, trying to remember what I needed to ask and translate it in my head at the same time. “Ou est l’autobus pour Aix-en-Provence?” I repeated this it seems 20 times as I waited in line. “Ou est l’autobus pour Aix-en-Provence?” Finally, it was my turn. BLANK. Six years of French simultaneously escaped my mind. I can only imagine how I looked to the woman behind the desk. I still to this day remember how I felt. My hands were sweaty and aching from the death grip I had on my suitcases. I had been long forewarned about con artists who preyed on unsuspecting tourists. Everywhere I went I was constantly looking over my shoulder paranoid. My heart was racing triple time from anxiety. For the first time in my life, I was thousands of miles away from home. My cell phone was vastly out of its range leaving no outlet to phone home and hear my mother’s assuring voice telling me I could do this. My mind was working in overdrive. The loudness of the airport, the rushing people, and the foreign language all combined to give me the biggest headache of my life. As I stepped to the counter and gathered my thoughts, I realized I was no longer in Memphis. I had stepped out into the great unknown all alone. I still could not remember my rehearsed phrase, but luckily for me the French woman at the desk spoke English. Upon hearing her welcoming “Hello” spoken with a thick French accent, I knew I could do this.
The semester I spent in Aix-en-Provence may very well be the most rewarding experience of my life. While studying French and Political Science in France for three months, I was awarded a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel throughout Europe. Most people in my family have never traveled outside of Tennessee let alone outside of the States. I knew I had to make the most of this time, seeing and learning as much as I could. Though I got to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Royal Palace in Madrid, Buckingham Palace in London, and even the souqs of Morocco, none of these trips or experiences were my greatest. My greatest experiences in Europe took place in the small town of Aix-en-Provence, every day. The 100 days I spent living in this town taught me more about myself than my 20 years on Earth. I often say that going to Vanderbilt took me out of my environment, but truthfully Vanderbilt feels just like home compared to Aix. Everyday was a learning experience whether I was going to the boulangerie (bakery) or attempting to get a French library card. I learned that I could survive in an unfamiliar place even with a language barrier. I also learned to enjoy my time alone. In the US, I was constantly with friends and family, the computer, my cell phone, and the television. In France, I had ample alone time to reflect what I wanted to do with my life. I have always had a plan. Graduate with Honors at the top of my class at Craigmont High School. Check. Vanderbilt. Check. Law School. Law Firm. United Nations. Retirement. It was in these moments alone in France walking down the cobblestone streets or just staring out of my fourth floor apartment window that I truly decided that law school was really what I wanted. I always said I wanted to go to law school, but had begun to question my dedication to achieving the goal. I had become stagnant, satisfied for the first time in my life with being a B student, lacking motivation to improve, accepting the excuse that I went to Vanderbilt and that’s why my grades were lower, and unworried about getting into law school, relying on my seemingly good luck to get me where I wanted to be. It was in France that I rededicated myself to my law school dream. I focused myself with a newfound strength stemming from the knowledge that I can do whatever I set my mind towards doing. The fall semester of my junior year at Vanderbilt, I set out to conquer a foreign country arming myself with an intermediate knowledge of the language and culture and a willingness to adapt to change.
As I walked away from the information desk, with directions to the bus stop in my hand, I still felt the immense weight of anxiety. I bought my ticket to Aix-en-Provence, briefly stumbling with the funny new currency. As I placed my bags under the bus, it was if a small weight was lifted from shoulders. As I sat on the bus, by the window, I stared out into the country. For the first time since I had arrived in France, I felt excited about the adventures that awaited me. As the bus began the journey from the Marseilles airport to Aix-en-Provence, I began my own personal journey towards self-discovery.



Wow... Tommorow, I will come to work, grab some coffee, grab a snack. Sit here in confort of the office and tear this PS apart into little pieces. May be not so. But tempting

riccardo426
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:05 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby riccardo426 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:13 am

B5A2D1 wrote:PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE BE NICE...but constructive...

I just took the LSAT on Monday and I've decided to focus my energy on the next step in the law school process as I wait for my scores...

My stats:
3.1 (Top 20 private school) hoping to raise it to at least a 3.2
last Kaplan practice test before real LSAT: 157

First draft of a personal statement written in about an hour:
wondering if its a good topic to give insight on my personality, what needs to be added, changed, whatever... probably has typos/errors

As I stood in the unfamiliar airport with my two overweight bags looking around, tears rushed to my eyes. For the first time in my life, I felt completely alone. I stood still for five minutes praying that someone would recognize the confusion and come to my rescue. However, my waiting and praying continued on unanswered. It was time for me to get it together, fast. I struggled with my bags and headed to the information desk, trying to remember what I needed to ask and translate it in my head at the same time. “Ou est l’autobus pour Aix-en-Provence?” I repeated this it seems 20 times as I waited in line. “Ou est l’autobus pour Aix-en-Provence?” Finally, it was my turn. BLANK. Six years of French simultaneously escaped my mind. I can only imagine how I looked to the woman behind the desk. I still to this day remember how I felt. My hands were sweaty and aching from the death grip I had on my suitcases. I had been long forewarned about con artists who preyed on unsuspecting tourists. Everywhere I went I was constantly looking over my shoulder paranoid. My heart was racing triple time from anxiety. For the first time in my life, I was thousands of miles away from home. My cell phone was vastly out of its range leaving no outlet to phone home and hear my mother’s assuring voice telling me I could do this. My mind was working in overdrive. The loudness of the airport, the rushing people, and the foreign language all combined to give me the biggest headache of my life. As I stepped to the counter and gathered my thoughts, I realized I was no longer in Memphis. I had stepped out into the great unknown all alone. I still could not remember my rehearsed phrase, but luckily for me the French woman at the desk spoke English. Upon hearing her welcoming “Hello” spoken with a thick French accent, I knew I could do this.
The semester I spent in Aix-en-Provence may very well be the most rewarding experience of my life. While studying French and Political Science in France for three months, I was awarded a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel throughout Europe. Most people in my family have never traveled outside of Tennessee let alone outside of the States. I knew I had to make the most of this time, seeing and learning as much as I could. Though I got to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Royal Palace in Madrid, Buckingham Palace in London, and even the souqs of Morocco, none of these trips or experiences were my greatest. My greatest experiences in Europe took place in the small town of Aix-en-Provence, every day. The 100 days I spent living in this town taught me more about myself than my 20 years on Earth. I often say that going to Vanderbilt took me out of my environment, but truthfully Vanderbilt feels just like home compared to Aix. Everyday was a learning experience whether I was going to the boulangerie (bakery) or attempting to get a French library card. I learned that I could survive in an unfamiliar place even with a language barrier. I also learned to enjoy my time alone. In the US, I was constantly with friends and family, the computer, my cell phone, and the television. In France, I had ample alone time to reflect what I wanted to do with my life. I have always had a plan. Graduate with Honors at the top of my class at Craigmont High School. Check. Vanderbilt. Check. Law School. Law Firm. United Nations. Retirement. It was in these moments alone in France walking down the cobblestone streets or just staring out of my fourth floor apartment window that I truly decided that law school was really what I wanted. I always said I wanted to go to law school, but had begun to question my dedication to achieving the goal. I had become stagnant, satisfied for the first time in my life with being a B student, lacking motivation to improve, accepting the excuse that I went to Vanderbilt and that’s why my grades were lower, and unworried about getting into law school, relying on my seemingly good luck to get me where I wanted to be. It was in France that I rededicated myself to my law school dream. I focused myself with a newfound strength stemming from the knowledge that I can do whatever I set my mind towards doing. The fall semester of my junior year at Vanderbilt, I set out to conquer a foreign country arming myself with an intermediate knowledge of the language and culture and a willingness to adapt to change.
As I walked away from the information desk, with directions to the bus stop in my hand, I still felt the immense weight of anxiety. I bought my ticket to Aix-en-Provence, briefly stumbling with the funny new currency. As I placed my bags under the bus, it was if a small weight was lifted from shoulders. As I sat on the bus, by the window, I stared out into the country. For the first time since I had arrived in France, I felt excited about the adventures that awaited me. As the bus began the journey from the Marseilles airport to Aix-en-Provence, I began my own personal journey towards self-discovery.


It's certainly well-written, but wouldn't you agree that an admissions dean has read this same essay a countless amount of times?

Did anything specific to you happen there? How was the adjustment coming home?

User avatar
JustDude
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:07 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:28 pm

It's certainly well-written, but wouldn't you agree that an admissions dean has read this same essay a countless amount of times?

Did anything specific to you happen there? How was the adjustment coming home?



No man. This essay is quite unique. I am thinking of tearing it apart...

User avatar
badfish
Posts: 1160
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:53 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby badfish » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:37 pm

JustDude wrote:
B5A2D1 wrote:PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE BE NICE...but constructive...

I just took the LSAT on Monday and I've decided to focus my energy on the next step in the law school process as I wait for my scores...

My stats:
3.1 (Top 20 private school) hoping to raise it to at least a 3.2
last Kaplan practice test before real LSAT: 157

First draft of a personal statement written in about an hour:
wondering if its a good topic to give insight on my personality, what needs to be added, changed, whatever... probably has typos/errors

As I stood in the unfamiliar airport with my two overweight bags looking around, tears rushed to my eyes. For the first time in my life, I
felt completely alone. I stood still for five minutes praying that someone would recognize the confusion and come to my rescue. However, my waiting and praying continued on unanswered. It was time for me to get it together, fast. I struggled with my bags and headed to the information desk, trying to remember what I needed to ask and translate it in my head at the same time. “Ou est l’autobus pour Aix-en-Provence?” I repeated this it seems 20 times as I waited in line. “Ou est l’autobus pour Aix-en-Provence?” Finally, it was my turn. BLANK. Six years of French simultaneously escaped my mind. I can only imagine how I looked to the woman behind the desk. I still to this day remember how I felt. My hands were sweaty and aching from the death grip I had on my suitcases. I had been long forewarned about con artists who preyed on unsuspecting tourists. Everywhere I went I was constantly looking over my shoulder paranoid. My heart was racing triple time from anxiety. For the first time in my life, I was thousands of miles away from home. My cell phone was vastly out of its range leaving no outlet to phone home and hear my mother’s assuring voice telling me I could do this. My mind was working in overdrive. The loudness of the airport, the rushing people, and the foreign language all combined to give me the biggest headache of my life. As I stepped to the counter and gathered my thoughts, I realized I was no longer in Memphis. I had stepped out into the great unknown all alone. I still could not remember my rehearsed phrase, but luckily for me the French woman at the desk spoke English. Upon hearing her welcoming “Hello” spoken with a thick French accent, I knew I could do this.
The semester I spent in Aix-en-Provence may very well be the most rewarding experience of my life. While studying French and Political Science in France for three months, I was awarded a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel throughout Europe. Most people in my family have never traveled outside of Tennessee let alone outside of the States. I knew I had to make the most of this time, seeing and learning as much as I could. Though I got to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Royal Palace in Madrid, Buckingham Palace in London, and even the souqs of Morocco, none of these trips or experiences were my greatest. My greatest experiences in Europe took place in the small town of Aix-en-Provence, every day. The 100 days I spent living in this town taught me more about myself than my 20 years on Earth. I often say that going to Vanderbilt took me out of my environment, but truthfully Vanderbilt feels just like home compared to Aix. Everyday was a learning experience whether I was going to the boulangerie (bakery) or attempting to get a French library card. I learned that I could survive in an unfamiliar place even with a language barrier. I also learned to enjoy my time alone. In the US, I was constantly with friends and family, the computer, my cell phone, and the television. In France, I had ample alone time to reflect what I wanted to do with my life. I have always had a plan. Graduate with Honors at the top of my class at Craigmont High School. Check. Vanderbilt. Check. Law School. Law Firm. United Nations. Retirement. It was in these moments alone in France walking down the cobblestone streets or just staring out of my fourth floor apartment window that I truly decided that law school was really what I wanted. I always said I wanted to go to law school, but had begun to question my dedication to achieving the goal. I had become stagnant, satisfied for the first time in my life with being a B student, lacking motivation to improve, accepting the excuse that I went to Vanderbilt and that’s why my grades were lower, and unworried about getting into law school, relying on my seemingly good luck to get me where I wanted to be. It was in France that I rededicated myself to my law school dream. I focused myself with a newfound strength stemming from the knowledge that I can do whatever I set my mind towards doing. The fall semester of my junior year at Vanderbilt, I set out to conquer a foreign country arming myself with an intermediate knowledge of the language and culture and a willingness to adapt to change.
As I walked away from the information desk, with directions to the bus stop in my hand, I still felt the immense weight of anxiety. I bought my ticket to Aix-en-Provence, briefly stumbling with the funny new currency. As I placed my bags under the bus, it was if a small weight was lifted from shoulders. As I sat on the bus, by the window, I stared out into the country. For the first time since I had arrived in France, I felt excited about the adventures that awaited me. As the bus began the journey from the Marseilles airport to Aix-en-Provence, I began my own personal journey towards self-discovery.



Wow... Tommorow, I will come to work, grab some coffee, grab a snack. Sit here in confort of the office and tear this PS apart into little pieces. May be not so. But tempting



I think you mean "tomorrow" and "comfort".

As in, it's comforting to me that tomorrow I'll wake up and I won't be as bitter as you.

Don't be an asshole. People put their stuff up here because they want help. Stop tearing them down.

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JustDude
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:07 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:15 pm

I think you mean "tomorrow" and "comfort".

As in, it's comforting to me that tomorrow I'll wake up and I won't be as bitter as you.

Don't be an asshole. People put their stuff up here because they want help. Stop tearing them down.



But if the stuff is bad, I have to tell it!!

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badfish
Posts: 1160
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:53 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby badfish » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:56 pm

Fair enough.

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olympia1000
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:34 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby olympia1000 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:27 am

Hey JustDude, care to post your personal statement?

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JustDude
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:07 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:44 am

olympia1000 wrote:Hey JustDude, care to post your personal statement?


Its pretty simple. Here it goes.


The early morning light flooded the street as I nervously tried to start the engine of my car. I gave up after twentieth attempt. Device in question is corolla wagon 1984 - arguably the ugliest car made since 1970. I feel a sadistic pleasure every time it breaks down - it causes pain to me, so, in return, I like to see it in pain. My life is somewhat similar to this thing (I don't like to call it "a car"). So, I have decided to go to law school. See you all this fall.

ubuntu
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:01 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ubuntu » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:48 am

JustDude wrote:
I think you mean "tomorrow" and "comfort".

As in, it's comforting to me that tomorrow I'll wake up and I won't be as bitter as you.

Don't be an asshole. People put their stuff up here because they want help. Stop tearing them down.



But if the stuff is bad, I have to tell it!!


JustDude, I know it's really easy to just sit there and say "Oh I think this is bad" and "Oh I can tear it apart." But why don't you actually offer some constructive criticism instead of just making snide comments about the quality of the essay? If you have something to say that could help the poster with their essay, then do it. Just saying "Oh man this sucks" does nothing but make you look like an asshole.

User avatar
JustDude
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:07 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:49 am

ubuntu wrote:
JustDude wrote:
I think you mean "tomorrow" and "comfort".

As in, it's comforting to me that tomorrow I'll wake up and I won't be as bitter as you.

Don't be an asshole. People put their stuff up here because they want help. Stop tearing them down.



But if the stuff is bad, I have to tell it!!


JustDude, I know it's really easy to just sit there and say "Oh I think this is bad" and "Oh I can tear it apart." But why don't you actually offer some constructive criticism instead of just making snide comments about the quality of the essay? If you have something to say that could help the poster with their essay, then do it. Just saying "Oh man this sucks" does nothing but make you look like an asshole.



OK I will do it!!!.. But then you will say I am the bigger asshole!!!

ubuntu
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ubuntu » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:52 am

JustDude wrote:
ubuntu wrote:
JustDude wrote:
I think you mean "tomorrow" and "comfort".

As in, it's comforting to me that tomorrow I'll wake up and I won't be as bitter as you.

Don't be an asshole. People put their stuff up here because they want help. Stop tearing them down.



But if the stuff is bad, I have to tell it!!


JustDude, I know it's really easy to just sit there and say "Oh I think this is bad" and "Oh I can tear it apart." But why don't you actually offer some constructive criticism instead of just making snide comments about the quality of the essay? If you have something to say that could help the poster with their essay, then do it. Just saying "Oh man this sucks" does nothing but make you look like an asshole.



OK I will do it!!!.. But then you will say I am the bigger asshole!!!


Only if you go about it in the sarcastic, condescending way you've been addressing people this entire time. There's a thing called tact, and how to approach a situation, and how to address criticism constructively instead of making the other person feel bad. This is a forum for help with personal statements - not a forum so you can put other people's writing down to feel better about yourself.

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JustDude
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:25 am

By popular demand:


As I stood in the unfamiliar airport with my two overweight bags looking around, tears rushed to my eyes. For the first time in my life, I felt completely alone. I stood still for five minutes praying that someone would recognize the confusion and come to my rescue. However, my waiting and praying continued on unanswered.


Your bags were looking around?

So basically, in a nut-shell, unfamiliar airport casued such a disstress. What kind of message this paragraph will send to the adcomm???.. It probably will say something about your future performance in the court room. I mean, if you , a 22 year old student, cannot handle an airport. The very fact that you were waiting and praying that someone will rescue you is somewhat disstressing and tells a lot about how independent you are. You know that you will be competeing with people that went to Africa on their own and visited half of malaria infected south east asia (for their own selfish reasons, but still).

It was time for me to get it together, fast.

This ",fast" is done for emphasis?

I struggled with my bags and headed to the information desk, trying to remember what I needed to ask and translate it in my head at the same time. “Ou est l’autobus pour Aix-en-Provence?” I repeated this it seems 20 times as I waited in line. “Ou est l’autobus pour Aix-en-Provence?” Finally, it was my turn. BLANK. Six years of French simultaneously escaped my mind.


You will be competing against people that immigrated here when they were 16, lived in poverty, went to college at 18, and graduated. Those people mastered English language enough in 2 years to be able to go to college, and in 6 years they are presenting to AdComms absolutely stellar essays. And you, after 6 years of studying french, cannot ask a simple question as "where is the effing bus". I mean, people go to other countries as tourists without any knowledge of language and still can manage well.

Will something similar happen in court room after 3 years of studying law???

I can only imagine how I looked to the woman behind the desk. I still to this day remember how I felt. My hands were sweaty and aching from the death grip I had on my suitcases.


See my point above. Now you are writing as so that was truly axtraordinatry experience. I have huge concerns about you in the court room.

I had been long forewarned about con artists who preyed on unsuspecting tourists. Everywhere I went I was constantly looking over my shoulder paranoid. My heart was racing triple time from anxiety.


"triple time" doesnt sound correct.


Anyway, this behavior is excusable only if you were high on pot that gives you paranoia. You will be competeing against people that were in Iraq. They can look over their shoulder paranoid. You are in France for gods sake. Not in Iraq, Zimbabwe or tribal amazonia.

For the first time in my life, I was thousands of miles away from home. My cell phone was vastly out of its range leaving no outlet to phone home and hear my mother’s assuring voice telling me I could do this.


Will you hear your "mother’s assuring voice" in a courtroom?

My mind was working in overdrive. The loudness of the airport, the rushing people, and the foreign language all combined to give me the biggest headache of my life.


Your life was not ruich in experiences, was it?

As I stepped to the counter and gathered my thoughts, I realized I was no longer in Memphis.




I had stepped out into the great unknown all alone.


Bus counter is a "great unknown"??? And yet again "all alone". It's like signing a paper "I cannot do anything without my mommy".

I still could not remember my rehearsed phrase, but luckily for me the French woman at the desk spoke English. Upon hearing her welcoming “Hello” spoken with a thick French accent, I knew I could do this.


You could do what??? Aske her in English??? Wow...

The semester I spent in Aix-en-Provence may very well be the most rewarding experience of my life. While studying French and Political Science in France for three months, I was awarded a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel throughout Europe.


Once in a life time opportunity???.. Hmmmmm I mean trip to moon could qualify as a once in a lifetime opportumity.

Most people in my family have never traveled outside of Tennessee let alone outside of the States. I knew I had to make the most of this time, seeing and learning as much as I could. Though I got to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Royal Palace in Madrid, Buckingham Palace in London, and even the souqs of Morocco, none of these trips or experiences were my greatest.


None was the greatest.
Yeah, I probably should have told you in the beginning, but, according to one law book. Anna something I believe wrote it. Well, according to it, never write you PS about your travel experiences in Europe. Well, Now you are making it worse, by having this laundry list. It might impress somebode in rural Georgia, but adcomms are savvier then that.


My greatest experiences in Europe took place in the small town of Aix-en-Provence, every day. The 100 days I spent living in this town taught me more about myself than my 20 years on Earth.


Wow, thats just sad.

I often say that going to Vanderbilt took me out of my environment, but truthfully Vanderbilt feels just like home compared to Aix.


"truthfully" here is a dangling modifier.

Everyday was a learning experience whether I was going to the boulangerie (bakery)


Cheesy.

or attempting to get a French library card. I learned that I could survive in an unfamiliar place even with a language barrier.


For god's sake you were studing french for 6 (six) years.

I also learned to enjoy my time alone. In the US, I was constantly with friends and family, the computer, my cell phone, and the television.


the computer, my cell phone, and the television


Quite a nasty list. I would put something like a book.

In France, I had ample alone time to reflect what I wanted to do with my life.


Translation: "I am not that social".

I have always had a plan. Graduate with Honors at the top of my class at Craigmont High School. Check. Vanderbilt. Check. Law School. Law Firm. United Nations. Retirement.


No resumes please in PS. Especially bragging about A's from high school. No good. Plus "Law School. Law Firm. United Nations. Retirement"

I mean "Law firm"??? "United nations"???.. What the hell are you talking about. Seems like you have no idea about real wiorld.


It was in these moments alone in France walking down the cobblestone streets or just staring out of my fourth floor apartment window that I truly decided that law school was really what I wanted.


So, you decided to go to law out of boredom and loneliness. You will be competing with people that had stronger reasons.

I always said I wanted to go to law school, but had begun to question my dedication to achieving the goal. I had become stagnant, satisfied for the first time in my life with being a B student, lacking motivation to improve, accepting the excuse that I went to Vanderbilt and that’s why my grades were lower, and unworried about getting into law school, relying on my seemingly good luck to get me where I wanted to be.


What you said in translation:

Your bad grades are due to the fact that Vanderbilt is too good for you. Vanderbuilt is a private school, so there is grade inflation. And it is not Stanford. So... This very sentence alone confined you to the tire 4 Law School.

Also, you are seeking axcuses for bad performance. Well, losers seek excuses, winners seek resources to fix the problem.

It was in France that I rededicated myself to my law school dream. I focused myself with a newfound strength stemming from the knowledge that I can do whatever I set my mind towards doing.


Delusion is the word you were looking for.

The fall semester of my junior year at Vanderbilt, I set out to conquer a foreign country arming myself with an intermediate knowledge of the language and culture and a willingness to adapt to change.


It was G.W. Bush, who set out to conquer a foreign country with substandard knowledge of language and culture. You were just an exchange student.

As I walked away from the information desk, with directions to the bus stop in my hand, I still felt the immense weight of anxiety. I bought my ticket to Aix-en-Provence, briefly stumbling with the funny new currency. As I placed my bags under the bus, it was if a small weight was lifted from shoulders. As I sat on the bus, by the window, I stared out into the country. For the first time since I had arrived in France, I felt excited about the adventures that awaited me. As the bus began the journey from the Marseilles airport to Aix-en-Provence, I began my own personal journey towards self-discovery.


Care to write about journe into self discovery. Wasn't much on that subject.

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JustDude
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:27 am

Only if you go about it in the sarcastic, condescending way you've been addressing people this entire time. There's a thing called tact, and how to approach a situation, and how to address criticism constructively instead of making the other person feel bad. This is a forum for help with personal statements - not a forum so you can put other people's writing down to feel better about yourself.


You were late.


Sorry I dont have tact... Its some sort of desease. People told me its due to some redness on my neck. Medical condition.

And I can assure you I never fell better about myself. I never even feel good about myself. And I am trying to help people.

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lbeezy
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby lbeezy » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:31 am

OMG. JustDude made a legitimate post? Was there actually grammar advice in there?

Is the sky falling?

matt
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby matt » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:40 am

lbeezy wrote:OMG. JustDude made a legitimate post? Was there actually grammar advice in there?

Is the sky falling?


his lounge cred is totally shot.

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olympia1000
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby olympia1000 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:47 am

JustDude wrote:
Only if you go about it in the sarcastic, condescending way you've been addressing people this entire time. There's a thing called tact, and how to approach a situation, and how to address criticism constructively instead of making the other person feel bad. This is a forum for help with personal statements - not a forum so you can put other people's writing down to feel better about yourself.


You were late.


Sorry I dont have tact... Its some sort of desease. People told me its due to some redness on my neck. Medical condition.

And I can assure you I never fell better about myself. I never even feel good about myself. And I am trying to help people.



Dude, I retract my earlier statements. You do know what you are doing. And I can see now that your generalization of my ps was correct. I have scrapped it. When I post my new one I hope that you will critique it as you did this one.

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lbeezy
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby lbeezy » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:48 am

matt wrote:
lbeezy wrote:OMG. JustDude made a legitimate post? Was there actually grammar advice in there?

Is the sky falling?


his lounge cred is totally shot.


Completely. He even forgot to spell every word wrong.

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gk101
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby gk101 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:51 am

JustDude wrote:By popular demand:


The fall semester of my junior year at Vanderbilt, I set out to conquer a foreign country arming myself with an intermediate knowledge of the language and culture and a willingness to adapt to change.


It was G.W. Bush, who set out to conquer a foreign country with substandard knowledge of language and culture. You were just an exchange student.


^^^ Priceless

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badfish
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby badfish » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:01 pm

gk101 wrote:
JustDude wrote:By popular demand:


The fall semester of my junior year at Vanderbilt, I set out to conquer a foreign country arming myself with an intermediate knowledge of the language and culture and a willingness to adapt to change.


It was G.W. Bush, who set out to conquer a foreign country with substandard knowledge of language and culture. You were just an exchange student.


^^^ Priceless



^^ TITCR

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badfish
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby badfish » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:23 pm

Excellent statement. The anecdote is both moving and highly relevant.

While the majority of the statement is beautifully written, I'm not sure if its entirely necessary to catalog how you started your travels. After all, the meat of your statement regarding why you want to go to law school seems to come into play in the final 2 paragraphs. In fact, I could have read the final 2 paragraphs on their own and gotten everything I needed out of the statement.

Space is incredibly valuable and (although you've already submitted and this isn't exactly relevant to you anymore), for anyone else who may be reading you should always keep in mind that every single word of every single sentence should be worth the amount of space it occupies in your statement.

Otherwise, very well done.
Last edited by badfish on Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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