Personal Statement Samples

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
shiloh26
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:19 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby shiloh26 » Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:44 pm

I'm not really sure what you're trying to get across in that PS... if you're trying to showcase your storytelling/creative writing skills, it's not working here, it's very disconnected, and you're descriptions sound forced and hyperbolic. Short, clipped sentences have a place, but like what was already said, they are far too common.

I'm not sure what you're goal is with the tone either... I've read PS's where the writer is angry about something, but its usually about some personal or social injustice, not about working hard or having parents whose view don't mesh with theirs. If you want to exude frustration and anger, give some specific, compelling examples. If you are angry about getting up early and working then you will certainly find a narrowly receptive audience. It honestly just sounds like you are complaining.

And to anyone reading, I'd appreciate any advice on my PS on page 15 of this thread, I didn't really get any yet and it needs work to say the least.
Last edited by shiloh26 on Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Pharmacist
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:20 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Pharmacist » Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:03 pm

Hello all. This is my 1st draft so I understand there will be lots of problems with diction and/or grammar.
Thus, rather than focusing on grammar/diction, it will be greatly appreciated if anybody can advise me if I'm headed toward the right direction with the personal statement.

I was working at a well-known retail pharmacy and one of the pharmacy technicians came up to me with a nervous look on her face and asked me to check a patient profile for her. When I went to her station to look at the patient profile, she silently pointed at the screen where it indicated that the patient in front of us with a narcotic prescription is actually a deceased patient. As soon as I realized that this man might be a fraud, I contacted the prescriber that was on the prescription to verify and confirmed that prescription presented to me was a forged prescription. Based on my professional judgment and the upper-management’s approval, I contacted the local drug diversion division to report the case. The detective gave me a clear direction to fill the prescription since they had to arrest him at the point of sale. I’ve done exactly as I was told to do so by the authorities while instructing my technicians not to sell out the prescription until I gave them the approval. Eventually, the person who forged the prescription was arrested by the local authorities in timely manner. I once again completed my side job of “local narcotic police” as a pharmacist and I was proud that I helped in reducing the potential diversion of controlled substances in my town.

Few months after that incident, I learned from a continuing education (C.E.) event that one of the pharmacists went through a similar situation. Only difference was that he lost his license due to the incident. The New Jersey Board of Pharmacy claimed that the pharmacist knowingly filled an invalid prescription for a controlled substance. According to the speaker of the C.E. event, when the pharmacist argued that he just followed what the local authorities told him so, but Board of Pharmacy countered by asking if he would throw away a bottle of morphine on the streets if the authorities told him so. Eventually, the pharmacist got his license back but at that point my interest in legal studies began to sparkle. The speaker discussed more scenarios where pharmacists and other healthcare professionals were legally penalized during that event and I was drawn into these cases with fascination. Ever since that event I paid more attention to legal issues in healthcare profession and learned that if I become a lawyer, I will be able to help not only the healthcare professionals in legal dispute but many patients who are either victims of malpractice or just simply not receiving the best treatment that current system allows.

My goal of receiving legal education is not just confined to domestic matters, however. As a Korean-American, I’m following the news regarding the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Korea and USA closely. Once both countries reach a formal agreement, one aspect of this deal will make it possible for healthcare professionals of both countries to reciprocate their license in either country more easily than as of now. I believe a legal professional with a healthcare background can make this process much smoother. Also, the presence of a lawyer who understands cultures of both countries and fluent in both languages can benefit both countries in many other areas of the FTA.

Working as a pharmacist has been always enjoyable since I get an opportunity to help many people on every day basis. Empathizing with patients and providing pharmaceutical care by aiding them resolve pharmacotherapy related issues have made my pharmacy career truly rewarding. I believe that legal education will enhance my ability to help more people in different ways.

treehuggingdirtworshiper
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:30 am

Re:

Postby treehuggingdirtworshiper » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:27 am

I love the part "but daniel, that's a sunday"! It's the perfect amount of comedy without being overdone. Great PS.


drs9p wrote:Hey y'all. I posted this a while back on my blog, but I'll put it here for the benefit of new TLSers or anyone who missed it.

3.46, 171

In: Georgetown, Boalt, George Washington, USD($), Cardozo($), Colorado-Boulder, UC Davis, U of Washington

Waitlist: Northwestern, UCLA

Still waiting on: USC, NYU, UVA

People of faith are often told to “be in the world, but not of the world.” Unfortunately, no one ever specifies which world. For me, there have always been two. The Mormon world and the world outside seem ever in conflict, and I’ve lived caught between them. My fight to inhabit both worlds without being defined by either has made me who I am today and set me on the path to law school.
My struggle with the Mormon world began on my first Friday in kindergarten with five words from a particularly reverent six-year-old named Matt Hansen. My dad was finally taking me to the zoo’s new shark exhibit that weekend, and I just couldn’t hold in the news. “I’m going to the see the sharks,” I practically shouted as my class gathered in a circle for large group. My teacher asked when I’d be going, and I enthusiastically replied, “The day after tomorrow!” Enter Matt Hansen, sitting cross-legged at the opposite end of a circle that included nearly every acquaintance I’d made in my short life. As a now familiar look of dismay played slowly across his face, he offered his five-word condemnation: “But Daniel, that’s a Sunday.”
So began my alienation from and struggle with the Mormon world. I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in name but not necessarily in spirit. My mother raised me in the church, while my agnostic but supportive father encouraged me to form my own beliefs. My beliefs did not prohibit me from visiting the zoo with him on the Sabbath, while my classmates’ fathers--both heavenly and earthly--forbade it.
My actions clashed with those of more devout Utahns many more times in my childhood. Sometimes these clashes were humorous, as when I found myself defending Darwin’s theory of evolution against widespread ridicule from a lunch table full of high school classmates who subscribed only to the six-day theory. More often, they were tragic.
The most harrowing experience I’ve ever endured was explaining to my ecclesiastical leader who was also my Grandfather that I would not be serving a mission for his church (as all 19 year-old Mormon males are expected to do), but would instead be continuing my education at the University of Virginia. After years of struggling against a culture that desperately wanted me to share its beliefs, I had finally decided to take my father’s advice and seek out my own. Knowing I couldn’t do this in Bountiful (yes, it’s really called “Bountiful”) under constant pressure to fully convert, I disappointed my friends, my congregation, my grandfather/bishop, and half of my family by forgoing a mission and leaving Utah in search of what we used to call the “real” world.
I came face to face with that world on my first Friday of college as I watched my particularly irreverent roommate named Robert Gregory Kingston III pour three beers down his throat through a funnel. An impressive feat, to be sure, but not one I hoped to emulate. I had left Utah in search of a place where one’s faith need not define him and where differences are embraced. As I became ever more immersed in college’s culture of celebrated cretinism, I realized that such places don’t really exist.
I was as much at odds with the “real world” as I had been with the Mormon world. I didn’t drink or smoke, I thought it was a good idea to stave off sex until marriage, and my idea of a “party” was viewing all three Back to the Future movies in a row while a rousing game of Scrabble raged on in another room. Though the University preached a message of understanding and acceptance, my personal mores were as much under fire there as my doctrinal edicts had been in Bountiful. Making the difficult daily decisions to forgo alcohol and resist the hook-up culture, I once again found myself estranged from the world I inhabited.
This Friday, as I sit in my Charlottesville law office, overlooking the colonial outpost’s historic downtown, I realize that it’s only thanks to my struggles against those two worlds that I am now able to live in my own. The obviousness of my differing values forced me to maintain them without apology. Others eventually came to respect that, and, while I never truly felt a part of either culture, I learned to thrive in both. I graduated Bountiful High School as a popular student body vice president with good friends who had stopped trying to convert me. I finished college (after just three years of identity crises!) with good grades, a strong sense of self, and a core group of friends who understand and respect my beliefs. Though difficult at times, my perpetual isolation from a cultural identity forced me to form my own and taught me to stay true to it.
It also made me fall in love with law for the most visceral of reasons. In law, my problems do not exist. There are no Mormons and no agnostics in law. There is no culture and no doctrine. Law concerns itself only with blind justice and the maintenance of a fair system. As someone who had always been defined by his faith or lack thereof, I’ve longed to work in a field where it is not an issue. More importantly, my social alienation has taught me what it’s like to be the one against many. I know how it feels to defend a harmless zoo trip to a room full of hostile kindergartners, to espouse Darwin against fundamentalist teenagers, and to be the only guy holding a root beer at a frat party. I know what it’s like to stand alone against an unfriendly system, and I find it truly inspiring that Americans are never forced to do so. Instead, the accused faces the system with an advocate legally bound to be as infinitely trustworthy as he is loyal. I can think of nothing nobler or for which my life has better prepared me than to spend my career as that advocate, against whatever world my client and I face next.

Fuser
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:41 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Fuser » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:25 pm

.
Last edited by Fuser on Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hamiddlepair
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:21 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby hamiddlepair » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:35 am

Maybe a stupid question, but are personal statements to be 2 pages single or double spaced?

User avatar
fluffy
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:01 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby fluffy » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:49 pm

dbt wrote:I'm not sure if I will use this (at all) or whether I will use it for a personal statement or diversity statement...I may add to it as well. Can anyone give me opinons?


A bead of sweat trickles... “Why did I come back?” but I am no longer at a loss for words.


I think the tone is soothing and "sweet." Essays focused on the mundane, as long as they're well-written, can become more interesting than those that aren't and blab on about some pseudo-epic journey or the glory of the law. I think some of the seemingly irrelevant details do paint a sweet picture and tribute to your family, but it needs to be strengthened overall to sound less like a free-write. Within the body, you might try to make more connections, because it doesn't seem to come together until the end.

mine, too, has already taken on like 10 forms, and I've still got a ways to go.

rnelson5
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:50 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby rnelson5 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:55 pm

Hey, I'm obviously really new to this site. Although I have been reading the stuff here for 3 months or so. Anyways, I have 2 very different personal statements, and I was hoping someone could throw some criticism at them as well as tell me which one they like more. Ok here goes....

#1

I grew up believing that only individuals lacking in determination and intelligence found themselves starring down the barrel of poverty. Indeed, that was the rational I used to explain why my own father had buried my family in debt while remaining a nonexistent figure in my life. We all make choices, and his were to drive a truck across the nation, live beyond his means, and attempt to keep a marriage and family together by phone calls. As much could be said for my mother, who instead of continuing her career as a waitress, remained contently unemployed throughout much of our financial ordeal. Thus, every summer that I abandoned academia to take my place digging trenches, all I could ask myself was, “Had I lost my determination, or was I simply not smart enough to make it out of this world?”
Before that first summer, I had stood as a pillar in my own mind. I had graduated valedictorian of my high school class, earned myself a Presidential Scholarship to my favorite state school, and I had turned the socioeconomic failures of my parents in my favor with the help of scholastic grants. Everything about me redefined the status quo of success, and despite any mistakes I made along the way, I refused to allow them to hold me back. Nevertheless, it was I who was digging in that one-hundred and five degree heat; bathed in sweat, grease, and dirt. Even so, I could answer my question that first summer. I knew I was working to better my situation. In so doing, I could finally attend a year of college without the plague of poverty to steal my meals, restrict my clothing, and preclude me from the activities of my peers.
My forethought however, was incurably flawed, and my three month stint of financial elation was short lived. By stepping outside the confines of poverty, I had unknowingly stepped outside the boundaries of financial aid as well. The declaration starring back at me that evening was, in my mind, a sentencing back to my beginnings. My application for financial aid had been denied. Every grant I had so thankfully received would be terminated at the beginning of my senior year. Consequently, my final year of undergraduate education would come with an addition $10,000 price tag; which was on my shoulders to earn.
I futilely endeavored to stave off anxiety by immersing myself in rigorous study throughout the remainder of that year, but as summer approached, I knew I had to find a way to finance the approaching costs of education. Fortuitously, the building industry of Central Oregon was utterly booming, and with my experience and adeptness for learning I knew I could find a means to my end. Even so, that end came as a doubled edged sword. Before summer even began I had procured a position building state prisons in a town two hours away. The daily drive was excruciating, but the pay compensated. In only three months I amassed the $10,000 in full. Six days a week I would be on the road by 4:45 a.m. and home by 8:00 p.m. I lived work by the full definition of the word. Every aspect of that job enveloped my life. The turns of the highway North and South each day, the searing high desert heat, and the twenty foot barricades of chain link and razor wire all became extensions of myself. Yet in so doing, every dollar seemed to compromise a piece of myself. My gracious company was employed by drug addicts and criminals, and each day of work carried with it glances over my shoulder and hazards of which to be mindful. Yet there was no job that could pay me even half of what I was earning there. When I had finally saved all that I needed for my last year of education, I unhesitatingly bowed out of that business, and enjoyed the solemn week break between work and my senior year.
That summer I redefined my definition of determination, and applied it to my education. I carried a cumulative GPA of 4.07 my senior year to surpass the 4.01 I had established the year before. What’s more, I took a position conducting biological research to heighten my collegiate experience before I placed those years in the past. The tenacity that has pushed me to shatter any obstacle in my path is the same force I bring with me to law school. Through my extensive study and involvement with the physical sciences I have honed my analytical and communication skills to a point that demands utilization. Nevertheless, I recognize my potential to learn more, and to further mature as a student and as a man. The opportunity to attend law school will allow me to realize this potential, and I look forward to the experience. For me, it is no longer a question of “if I can do it?” but rather “how will I get it done?”


#2

I am driven beyond words, yet I use words to convey my drive. I am the son of a waitress and a truck driver, but I am at home immersed in science and law. I am a realistic individual; still I cannot help but dream. I am deeply spiritual, yet feel spirituality resides within my self. I am committed to achievement, but my greatest achievement will be the lives I leave behind. I am a fitness aficionado; still I endeavor to find balance between mind, body, and soul. I am reserved around unfamiliarity, yet familiarize myself quite readily. I am a perfectionist by nature, but know nothing in this life is perfect. I am a whirlwind of emotion; still I refuse to allow my emotions to cloud my thoughts. I am a man of rural beginnings, yet will not finish how I began.

I believe we may only get to experience today, yet I plan to see all of my tomorrows. I believe in karma, fate, and destiny, but will never leave my future in their hands. I believe in respecting those around you; still I regard respect as something to be earned. I believe in living without regret, yet regret opportunities that I missed. I believe that two are always better than one, but recognize that strong chains have no weakest link. I believe that all of humanity is beautiful; still I see the ugliness of humanity’s wrongdoing. I believe the world is black and white, yet see life in shades of grey. I believe our struggles help define us, but I’m much more than the events I have overcome.

I have a wealth of life experience, yet no wealth to be heard of. I have given everything I have to lay the foundation for my future, but feel that I can never give enough. I have faith in myself alone; still I trust my loved ones to always remain faithful. I have carried my own weight throughout this life, yet I wouldn’t have succeeded without support along the way. I have stood by my convictions, but empathize with those who disagree. I have built homes, offices, and prisons; still I consider myself a scientist. I have asked myself why I have never given up, yet know it is because that is not who I am.

I know where I have come from, yet focus on where I am going. I know that there is so much more to life than material possessions, but I can not ask my family to do without. I know the man that I am; still I do not know the man that I will become. I know that the sun will rise tomorrow, yet not what tomorrow will bring. I know the heavens of Oregon in the spring time, but I have never flown through such a sky. I know to take days as they come; still I learn from each day past. I know the epigenetics of inheritance, yet I haven not forgotten how to change my oil. I know the inevitability of mistakes, but I value every lesson learned as a result.

I hope to change the world for the better, yet believe it will be through my children that I do. I hope to realize all the dreams I am dreaming, but know that I must earn them first. I hope to use the law to support scientific advancements; still I do not wish to impede advancements with legalities. I hope to lay a steadfast path before me, yet I will remain unwavering on the most uneven ground. I hope to be the man my father was not, but I know his shoes will be the hardest ones to fill. I hope to surpass all the goals I have set before me; still I shall celebrate each one that I attain. I hope to never stray from the direction that I have chosen, but I know I will always find my way home.

I will never second guess my chances of reaching beyond any limit set against me, yet I will remain grounded at all times. I will always be at home in jeans and a tee shirt, but I am confident in a suit and tie. I will overcome all of life’s adversity, but I understand it was adversity that pushed me to overcome. I will embody objective neutrality through legal discourse; still I will utilize my passion to elevate my case. I will never confine the ambition that I represent, yet I shall never disregard the statutes put in place. I will meet both triumph and disaster, but I will treat the two imposters just the same.

Even so, in spite of all the facets that define me, I have yet to be an attorney.



Thanks :D

nosex
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 4:53 pm

Re: Re:

Postby nosex » Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:54 pm

treehuggingdirtworshiper wrote:I love the part "but daniel, that's a sunday"! It's the perfect amount of comedy without being overdone. Great PS.


drs9p wrote:Hey y'all. I posted this a while back on my blog, but I'll put it here for the benefit of new TLSers or anyone who missed it.

3.46, 171

In: Georgetown, Boalt, George Washington, USD($), Cardozo($), Colorado-Boulder, UC Davis, U of Washington

Waitlist: Northwestern, UCLA

Still waiting on: USC, NYU, UVA

People of faith are often told to “be in the world, but not of the world.” Unfortunately, no one ever specifies which world. For me, there have always been two. The Mormon world and the world outside seem ever in conflict, and I’ve lived caught between them. My fight to inhabit both worlds without being defined by either has made me who I am today and set me on the path to law school.
My struggle with the Mormon world began on my first Friday in kindergarten with five words from a particularly reverent six-year-old named Matt Hansen. My dad was finally taking me to the zoo’s new shark exhibit that weekend, and I just couldn’t hold in the news. “I’m going to the see the sharks,” I practically shouted as my class gathered in a circle for large group. My teacher asked when I’d be going, and I enthusiastically replied, “The day after tomorrow!” Enter Matt Hansen, sitting cross-legged at the opposite end of a circle that included nearly every acquaintance I’d made in my short life. As a now familiar look of dismay played slowly across his face, he offered his five-word condemnation: “But Daniel, that’s a Sunday.”
So began my alienation from and struggle with the Mormon world. I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in name but not necessarily in spirit. My mother raised me in the church, while my agnostic but supportive father encouraged me to form my own beliefs. My beliefs did not prohibit me from visiting the zoo with him on the Sabbath, while my classmates’ fathers--both heavenly and earthly--forbade it.
My actions clashed with those of more devout Utahns many more times in my childhood. Sometimes these clashes were humorous, as when I found myself defending Darwin’s theory of evolution against widespread ridicule from a lunch table full of high school classmates who subscribed only to the six-day theory. More often, they were tragic.
The most harrowing experience I’ve ever endured was explaining to my ecclesiastical leader who was also my Grandfather that I would not be serving a mission for his church (as all 19 year-old Mormon males are expected to do), but would instead be continuing my education at the University of Virginia. After years of struggling against a culture that desperately wanted me to share its beliefs, I had finally decided to take my father’s advice and seek out my own. Knowing I couldn’t do this in Bountiful (yes, it’s really called “Bountiful”) under constant pressure to fully convert, I disappointed my friends, my congregation, my grandfather/bishop, and half of my family by forgoing a mission and leaving Utah in search of what we used to call the “real” world.
I came face to face with that world on my first Friday of college as I watched my particularly irreverent roommate named Robert Gregory Kingston III pour three beers down his throat through a funnel. An impressive feat, to be sure, but not one I hoped to emulate. I had left Utah in search of a place where one’s faith need not define him and where differences are embraced. As I became ever more immersed in college’s culture of celebrated cretinism, I realized that such places don’t really exist.
I was as much at odds with the “real world” as I had been with the Mormon world. I didn’t drink or smoke, I thought it was a good idea to stave off sex until marriage, and my idea of a “party” was viewing all three Back to the Future movies in a row while a rousing game of Scrabble raged on in another room. Though the University preached a message of understanding and acceptance, my personal mores were as much under fire there as my doctrinal edicts had been in Bountiful. Making the difficult daily decisions to forgo alcohol and resist the hook-up culture, I once again found myself estranged from the world I inhabited.
This Friday, as I sit in my Charlottesville law office, overlooking the colonial outpost’s historic downtown, I realize that it’s only thanks to my struggles against those two worlds that I am now able to live in my own. The obviousness of my differing values forced me to maintain them without apology. Others eventually came to respect that, and, while I never truly felt a part of either culture, I learned to thrive in both. I graduated Bountiful High School as a popular student body vice president with good friends who had stopped trying to convert me. I finished college (after just three years of identity crises!) with good grades, a strong sense of self, and a core group of friends who understand and respect my beliefs. Though difficult at times, my perpetual isolation from a cultural identity forced me to form my own and taught me to stay true to it.
It also made me fall in love with law for the most visceral of reasons. In law, my problems do not exist. There are no Mormons and no agnostics in law. There is no culture and no doctrine. Law concerns itself only with blind justice and the maintenance of a fair system. As someone who had always been defined by his faith or lack thereof, I’ve longed to work in a field where it is not an issue. More importantly, my social alienation has taught me what it’s like to be the one against many. I know how it feels to defend a harmless zoo trip to a room full of hostile kindergartners, to espouse Darwin against fundamentalist teenagers, and to be the only guy holding a root beer at a frat party. I know what it’s like to stand alone against an unfriendly system, and I find it truly inspiring that Americans are never forced to do so. Instead, the accused faces the system with an advocate legally bound to be as infinitely trustworthy as he is loyal. I can think of nothing nobler or for which my life has better prepared me than to spend my career as that advocate, against whatever world my client and I face next.



I love that part too... I read a few from the beginning and this one stood out by far. I was so attracted to him after reading this, that I did some research :) (Im usually not like this, sidenote) but i think the guys going to Boalt.

nosex
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 4:53 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby nosex » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:09 pm

rnelson5 wrote:Hey, I'm obviously really new to this site. Although I have been reading the stuff here for 3 months or so. Anyways, I have 2 very different personal statements, and I was hoping someone could throw some criticism at them as well as tell me which one they like more. Ok here goes....

#1

I grew up believing that only individuals lacking in determination and intelligence found themselves starring down the barrel of poverty. Indeed, that was the rational I used to explain why my own father had buried my family in debt while remaining a nonexistent figure in my life. We all make choices, and his were to drive a truck across the nation, live beyond his means, and attempt to keep a marriage and family together by phone calls. As much could be said for my mother, who instead of continuing her career as a waitress, remained contently unemployed throughout much of our financial ordeal. Thus, every summer that I abandoned academia to take my place digging trenches, all I could ask myself was, “Had I lost my determination, or was I simply not smart enough to make it out of this world?”
Before that first summer, I had stood as a pillar in my own mind. I had graduated valedictorian of my high school class, earned myself a Presidential Scholarship to my favorite state school, and I had turned the socioeconomic failures of my parents in my favor with the help of scholastic grants. Everything about me redefined the status quo of success, and despite any mistakes I made along the way, I refused to allow them to hold me back. Nevertheless, it was I who was digging in that one-hundred and five degree heat; bathed in sweat, grease, and dirt. Even so, I could answer my question that first summer. I knew I was working to better my situation. In so doing, I could finally attend a year of college without the plague of poverty to steal my meals, restrict my clothing, and preclude me from the activities of my peers.
My forethought however, was incurably flawed, and my three month stint of financial elation was short lived. By stepping outside the confines of poverty, I had unknowingly stepped outside the boundaries of financial aid as well. The declaration starring back at me that evening was, in my mind, a sentencing back to my beginnings. My application for financial aid had been denied. Every grant I had so thankfully received would be terminated at the beginning of my senior year. Consequently, my final year of undergraduate education would come with an addition $10,000 price tag; which was on my shoulders to earn.
I futilely endeavored to stave off anxiety by immersing myself in rigorous study throughout the remainder of that year, but as summer approached, I knew I had to find a way to finance the approaching costs of education. Fortuitously, the building industry of Central Oregon was utterly booming, and with my experience and adeptness for learning I knew I could find a means to my end. Even so, that end came as a doubled edged sword. Before summer even began I had procured a position building state prisons in a town two hours away. The daily drive was excruciating, but the pay compensated. In only three months I amassed the $10,000 in full. Six days a week I would be on the road by 4:45 a.m. and home by 8:00 p.m. I lived work by the full definition of the word. Every aspect of that job enveloped my life. The turns of the highway North and South each day, the searing high desert heat, and the twenty foot barricades of chain link and razor wire all became extensions of myself. Yet in so doing, every dollar seemed to compromise a piece of myself. My gracious company was employed by drug addicts and criminals, and each day of work carried with it glances over my shoulder and hazards of which to be mindful. Yet there was no job that could pay me even half of what I was earning there. When I had finally saved all that I needed for my last year of education, I unhesitatingly bowed out of that business, and enjoyed the solemn week break between work and my senior year.
That summer I redefined my definition of determination, and applied it to my education. I carried a cumulative GPA of 4.07 my senior year to surpass the 4.01 I had established the year before. What’s more, I took a position conducting biological research to heighten my collegiate experience before I placed those years in the past. The tenacity that has pushed me to shatter any obstacle in my path is the same force I bring with me to law school. Through my extensive study and involvement with the physical sciences I have honed my analytical and communication skills to a point that demands utilization. Nevertheless, I recognize my potential to learn more, and to further mature as a student and as a man. The opportunity to attend law school will allow me to realize this potential, and I look forward to the experience. For me, it is no longer a question of “if I can do it?” but rather “how will I get it done?”


#2

I am driven beyond words, yet I use words to convey my drive. I am the son of a waitress and a truck driver, but I am at home immersed in science and law. I am a realistic individual; still I cannot help but dream. I am deeply spiritual, yet feel spirituality resides within my self. I am committed to achievement, but my greatest achievement will be the lives I leave behind. I am a fitness aficionado; still I endeavor to find balance between mind, body, and soul. I am reserved around unfamiliarity, yet familiarize myself quite readily. I am a perfectionist by nature, but know nothing in this life is perfect. I am a whirlwind of emotion; still I refuse to allow my emotions to cloud my thoughts. I am a man of rural beginnings, yet will not finish how I began.

I believe we may only get to experience today, yet I plan to see all of my tomorrows. I believe in karma, fate, and destiny, but will never leave my future in their hands. I believe in respecting those around you; still I regard respect as something to be earned. I believe in living without regret, yet regret opportunities that I missed. I believe that two are always better than one, but recognize that strong chains have no weakest link. I believe that all of humanity is beautiful; still I see the ugliness of humanity’s wrongdoing. I believe the world is black and white, yet see life in shades of grey. I believe our struggles help define us, but I’m much more than the events I have overcome.

I have a wealth of life experience, yet no wealth to be heard of. I have given everything I have to lay the foundation for my future, but feel that I can never give enough. I have faith in myself alone; still I trust my loved ones to always remain faithful. I have carried my own weight throughout this life, yet I wouldn’t have succeeded without support along the way. I have stood by my convictions, but empathize with those who disagree. I have built homes, offices, and prisons; still I consider myself a scientist. I have asked myself why I have never given up, yet know it is because that is not who I am.

I know where I have come from, yet focus on where I am going. I know that there is so much more to life than material possessions, but I can not ask my family to do without. I know the man that I am; still I do not know the man that I will become. I know that the sun will rise tomorrow, yet not what tomorrow will bring. I know the heavens of Oregon in the spring time, but I have never flown through such a sky. I know to take days as they come; still I learn from each day past. I know the epigenetics of inheritance, yet I haven not forgotten how to change my oil. I know the inevitability of mistakes, but I value every lesson learned as a result.

I hope to change the world for the better, yet believe it will be through my children that I do. I hope to realize all the dreams I am dreaming, but know that I must earn them first. I hope to use the law to support scientific advancements; still I do not wish to impede advancements with legalities. I hope to lay a steadfast path before me, yet I will remain unwavering on the most uneven ground. I hope to be the man my father was not, but I know his shoes will be the hardest ones to fill. I hope to surpass all the goals I have set before me; still I shall celebrate each one that I attain. I hope to never stray from the direction that I have chosen, but I know I will always find my way home.

I will never second guess my chances of reaching beyond any limit set against me, yet I will remain grounded at all times. I will always be at home in jeans and a tee shirt, but I am confident in a suit and tie. I will overcome all of life’s adversity, but I understand it was adversity that pushed me to overcome. I will embody objective neutrality through legal discourse; still I will utilize my passion to elevate my case. I will never confine the ambition that I represent, yet I shall never disregard the statutes put in place. I will meet both triumph and disaster, but I will treat the two imposters just the same.

Even so, in spite of all the facets that define me, I have yet to be an attorney.



Thanks :D


your second one is MUCH better. mainly because it does not mention (as much) things that I would be able to find in your resume. you should center it tho. The dichotomous nature is interesting in the beginning but it begins to sound annoying later and doesn't add much substance as to who you are. again, you just describe things as oppose to evaluating them.

rnelson5
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby rnelson5 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:36 pm

Hmm thanks for the input, I was really kind of worried about the different style used by the second one. Maybe there's hope for it with some editing.

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USC2009
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby USC2009 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:38 am

I skimmed/read your second one rnelson, and I wouldn't use it. I see what you're going for with the style (and somewhere else, it might work), but almost everything I've read about personal statements suggests that you should be direct and not try to be "cute" (i.e., don't send it written in green or in a haiku).

Just a thought though.

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summertimechi
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Re:

Postby summertimechi » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:02 am

wow, rnelson, your personal statement seems almost identical in style to this kid's from last year... he had a pretty impressive cycle, just thought i'd share it in case you hadn't seen it.

cubbie1 wrote:I had been waiting to post my personal statement until I heard back from every school, but I'll go ahead and do it now I guess.

GPA: 4.10 (Columbia)
LSATs: 171, 178
Major: Economics-Philosophy (Not a double major, a single dual major)

In: Yale, Stanford, Columbia, NYU ($25k, $25k, $12.5k), Virginia ($23k per year), Boalt, Georgetown, UCLA, BU ($40k per year), USC
Hold: Penn
Still Waiting: Harvard


I am a thinker, but not one to think out loud. I love myself, but am not in love with the sound of my own voice. I want to be loved, but not at the cost of not loving myself. I want to know everything, but realize that nothing can ever be known for sure. I believe that nothing is absolute, but I can absolutely defend my beliefs. I understand that chance is prevalent in all aspects of life, but never leave anything important to chance. I am skeptical about everything, but realistic in the face of my skepticism. I base everything on probability, but so does nature...probably.

I believe that all our actions are determined, but feel completely free to do as I choose. I do not believe in anything resembling a God, but would never profess omniscience with regard to such issues. I have faith in nothing, but trust that my family and friends will always be faithful. I feel that religion is among the greatest problems in the world, but also understand that it is perhaps the ultimate solution. I recognize that many people derive their morals from religion, but I insist that religion is not the only fountainhead of morality. I respect the intimate connection between morality and law, but do not believe that either should unquestioningly respect the other.

I want to study the law and become a lawyer, but I do not want to study the law just because I want to become a lawyer. I am aware that the law and economics cannot always be studied in conjunction, but I do not feel that either one can be properly studied without an awareness of the other. I recognize there is more to the law than efficiency, but believe the law should recognize the importance of efficiency more than it does. I love reading about law and philosophy, but not nearly as much as I love having a good conversation about the two. I know that logic makes an argument sound, but also know that passion makes an argument sound logical. I have philosophical beliefs informed by economics and economic beliefs informed by philosophy, but I have lost track of which beliefs came first. I know it was the egg though.

I always think very practically, but do not always like to think about the practical. I have wanted to be a scientist for a while now, but it took me two undergraduate years to figure out that being a scientist does not necessarily entail working in a laboratory. I play the saxophone almost every day, but feel most like an artist when deduction is my instrument. I spent one year at a college where I did not belong and two years taking classes irrelevant for my major, but I have no regrets about my undergraduate experience. I am incredibly passionate about my interests, but cannot imagine being interested in only one passion for an entire lifetime.

I love the Yankees, but do not hate the Red Sox. I love sports, but hate the accompanying anti-intellectual culture. I may read the newspaper starting from the back, but I always make my way to the front eventually. I am liberal on some issues and conservative on others, but reasonable about all of them. I will always be politically active, but will never be a political activist. I think everything through completely, but I am never through thinking about anything.

I can get along with almost anyone, but there are very few people without whom I could not get along. I am giving of my time, but not to the point of forgetting its value. I live for each moment, but not as much as I worry about the next. I consider ambition to be of the utmost importance, but realize that it is useless without the support of hard work. I am a very competitive person, but only when competing with myself. I have a million dreams, but I am more than just a dreamer. I am usually content, but never satisfied.

I am a study in contradiction, but there is not an inconsistency to be found.

rnelson5
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby rnelson5 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:03 am

See that's exactly what I was thinking. I had to see what it would sound like finished, but I don't really feel comfortable walking that tight rope. I'll work with them and maybe try another as well. However, first thing is first, Oct results need to hurry up and get here haha.

rnelson5
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby rnelson5 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:05 am

Ohh yeah and that guy was the one who kind of inspired that, I tried to change it a bit and hone it in areas that I saw as lacking. But yes it was the building block so to speak; mostly inspired due to his results. I don't know it's all up in the air I suppose.

sluggo
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby sluggo » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:37 pm

he inspired you? you completely ripped off his tone/style (yes maybe he stole it from someone else). i read the first two lines of that PS and instantly remembered that one from last year... i would highly recommend not doing it if you are going to be applying to the places he did

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Croissant
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Re: Re:

Postby Croissant » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:46 am

summertimechi wrote:wow, rnelson, your personal statement seems almost identical in style to this kid's from last year... he had a pretty impressive cycle, just thought i'd share it in case you hadn't seen it.

cubbie1 wrote:I had been waiting to post my personal statement until I heard back from every school, but I'll go ahead and do it now I guess.

GPA: 4.10 (Columbia)
LSATs: 171, 178
Major: Economics-Philosophy (Not a double major, a single dual major)

In: Yale, Stanford, Columbia, NYU ($25k, $25k, $12.5k), Virginia ($23k per year), Boalt, Georgetown, UCLA, BU ($40k per year), USC
Hold: Penn
Still Waiting: Harvard


I am a thinker, but not one to think out loud. I love myself, but am not in love with the sound of my own voice. I want to be loved, but not at the cost of not loving myself. I want to know everything, but realize that nothing can ever be known for sure. I believe that nothing is absolute, but I can absolutely defend my beliefs. I understand that chance is prevalent in all aspects of life, but never leave anything important to chance. I am skeptical about everything, but realistic in the face of my skepticism. I base everything on probability, but so does nature...probably.

I believe that all our actions are determined, but feel completely free to do as I choose. I do not believe in anything resembling a God, but would never profess omniscience with regard to such issues. I have faith in nothing, but trust that my family and friends will always be faithful. I feel that religion is among the greatest problems in the world, but also understand that it is perhaps the ultimate solution. I recognize that many people derive their morals from religion, but I insist that religion is not the only fountainhead of morality. I respect the intimate connection between morality and law, but do not believe that either should unquestioningly respect the other.

I want to study the law and become a lawyer, but I do not want to study the law just because I want to become a lawyer. I am aware that the law and economics cannot always be studied in conjunction, but I do not feel that either one can be properly studied without an awareness of the other. I recognize there is more to the law than efficiency, but believe the law should recognize the importance of efficiency more than it does. I love reading about law and philosophy, but not nearly as much as I love having a good conversation about the two. I know that logic makes an argument sound, but also know that passion makes an argument sound logical. I have philosophical beliefs informed by economics and economic beliefs informed by philosophy, but I have lost track of which beliefs came first. I know it was the egg though.

I always think very practically, but do not always like to think about the practical. I have wanted to be a scientist for a while now, but it took me two undergraduate years to figure out that being a scientist does not necessarily entail working in a laboratory. I play the saxophone almost every day, but feel most like an artist when deduction is my instrument. I spent one year at a college where I did not belong and two years taking classes irrelevant for my major, but I have no regrets about my undergraduate experience. I am incredibly passionate about my interests, but cannot imagine being interested in only one passion for an entire lifetime.

I love the Yankees, but do not hate the Red Sox. I love sports, but hate the accompanying anti-intellectual culture. I may read the newspaper starting from the back, but I always make my way to the front eventually. I am liberal on some issues and conservative on others, but reasonable about all of them. I will always be politically active, but will never be a political activist. I think everything through completely, but I am never through thinking about anything.

I can get along with almost anyone, but there are very few people without whom I could not get along. I am giving of my time, but not to the point of forgetting its value. I live for each moment, but not as much as I worry about the next. I consider ambition to be of the utmost importance, but realize that it is useless without the support of hard work. I am a very competitive person, but only when competing with myself. I have a million dreams, but I am more than just a dreamer. I am usually content, but never satisfied.

I am a study in contradiction, but there is not an inconsistency to be found.


yes that's immediately what came to mind when I glanced over your statement...and also guessed you must have taken his idea. he did well, but his stats were also impressive...so I wonder if it would be wise for you to try to pull the same stunt. esp if you're applying to the same places--his PS probably stood out among the others.

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Croissant
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Croissant » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:47 am

sluggo wrote:he inspired you? you completely ripped off his tone/style (yes maybe he stole it from someone else). i read the first two lines of that PS and instantly remembered that one from last year... i would highly recommend not doing it if you are going to be applying to the places he did


I read this after my last post, but clearly I agree wholeheartedly.

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fluffy
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby fluffy » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:42 pm

Well, to be honest, I don't think it was the essay that got him in... That essay style is really annoying to read after awhile. It's like, we get the message: you're perfectly balanced. :roll:

meerap
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby meerap » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:02 pm

So I posted my PS on here for last year's cycle, decided to take a year off, and here I am again writing this damn thing. I kept it pretty much the same but tweaked it a bit reflecting what I'm doing during this year. Also, if I plan to apply to a few of the same schools as last year, is it ok to keep my PS pretty much the same?
Read it, tear it apart, and any constructive criticism would be great! Thanks!


I was so hungry from all the shopping I did that I stopped off at the nearest vendor on the street to pay a mere sixty rupees for a meal of old eggplant and cold hard naan, and almost found it to be appetizing. I had taken a few bites when I looked down at my feet to find a teenage girl in rags with dirt piled into her hair and bags under her young tired eyes. I was startled at first, expecting it to be the usual stray cat brushing up against my leg, and instead to find another human being clinging to my leg. She was begging me for my food, and strangely, at first, I was reluctant to give it to her, being the selfish, possessive American that I am. Then I suddenly realized that while I had hesitated to even buy the food, scared that it might make me sick or it just might not be up to par with my standard of food, this young girl was literally begging me for just one bite and she did not even know what was on my plate. From that day on, my leisurely family vacation became quite different from the prior three weeks which consisted of shopping, indulging, and sightseeing. In the last of my four weeks in India, I began taking notice of every beggar on every street and they seemed to be everywhere.

I had heard about India’s local non-governmental organizations for hunger relief and asked around to find the nearest meeting place. Many of the locals were thrilled to see my enthusiasm for the issue, and personally guided me to where the NGO meetings were held. I was warmly welcomed by members of this organization, known as Action Aid India, to listen in on their discussion and future plans. To my surprise, the dingy, old meeting hall was so packed with concerned townspeople that I could not even find an open seat. As the meeting went on, I came to learn that in the last year over 3,000 bodies were found in the streets of New Delhi, every single one of them dead because of a lack of shelter and food. As I looked around the room, I found myself to be the only one wide-eyed and mouth gaping; nobody else was shocked to hear these statistics, a thing I found to be even more astonishing. The townspeople had come up with elaborate plans to significantly reduce these numbers. I came to see that government intervention was not necessary to create public interest within the community itself, and that a local organization could have a greater impact than I ever imagined. And this is the inspiration I took back home with me.

When I arrived back in America, my whole perspective had changed. I finally read the homeless man’s sign on Michigan Avenue who I must have driven past a thousand times. I gave my leftovers to homeless people searching through garbage cans for a crumb of food. But I soon realized that these small acts were not enough; I wanted to help more and I knew it was necessary to get involved in my community and on my university campus. Upon my return to school, I created an organization at my university called Feeding the Hungry, whose main purpose was to eradicate hunger in Chicago, on a small scale, by having food drives and fundraisers to deliver food to the less fortunate in the poorer areas of the city. Delivering food to some of the most poor and broken down areas of Chicago was an eye-opening experience. It showed me the stark realities of people trying to survive in sub-zero temperatures with sometimes less than one meal a day. Along with many others, I was ignorant to believe that these problems are only rampant in third-world countries and rarely occur in America. Initially, I had set up the organization so as to deliver food to only a few areas of the city that I believed were the major areas of homelessness. My ignorant beliefs were soon amplified as we visited more and more areas of Chicago that were stricken with severe cases of homelessness and poverty.

As graduation slowly began to approach, I knew I wanted to continue my work to eradicate hunger, and although I had been accepted into pharmacy school through a guaranteed acceptance program straight out of high school, I was becoming uninterested in what it had in store for me. I found myself becoming more interested in and performing better in courses that discussed world politics and law and society. With my newfound interest from my trip to India and starting my organization, I realized that law school would be a better place for me to hone my skills to learn about and fight a world problem that was slowly turning into a personal mission of mine.

After much debate and carefully weighing my options, I made the decision to take some time off between graduating and attending law school. In January of 2009, I will be taking with me my deep rooted desire for helping people as I leave for Bihar, a state in India that has been struck with severe floods that led to the displacement of over three million people. By volunteering at community camps and shelters where the displaced people will be housed for the next several months, I am certain that my support and aid will help those people who have unfortunately lost their homes, businesses, and families. And though I myself may not have been one of those so unfortunately displaced from my home or deprived of proper nutrition, my reward is in knowing that my fervor for these human rights issues will advocate change towards a society where common tribulations of homelessness and hunger no longer reside. It is this belief that I strongly possess which leads me directly down the path for law school. I know that there is no better place than law school for me to apply my skills and dedication to becoming a devoted supporter of change, and for this reason I am confident that (law school) will mold me into an avid and successful lawyer.

Legalgirl
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Legalgirl » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:28 pm

ok, go easy on me, 1st draft

What started out as a coincidence has changed my life forever. My girlfriend asked me for a ride to a summer camp where she had accepted a job as a counselor. With nothing planned that Sunday, I figured to myself sure, why not? Upon arriving at the camps gate, my friend looked at me in alarm, “Please come with me to check in, I don’t know anyone here, and I’m really nervous.” Once again I obliged. Walking into the camp we were greeted with a bear hug from Zack, a sixteen year old boy with severe autism. Zack is just one of the hundreds of campers at this unique institution. We were quickly approached by the camp director with a sheer look of panic in his eyes, “Do you know anyone looking for a job?” He said, “ I just had a counselor back out this morning!” Never one to miss an opportunity, and knowing how hard it was to secure employment at this camp, I quickly volunteered.
And so began those six weeks in which I uncovered strength in myself that I had yet to realize. My campers were young, ranging from ages five to seven. All of them were severely handicapped with physical as well as mental disabilities. I began the program enthusiastic, certain that I would be the one to help these children enjoy the summer, and perhaps learn something new. I was wrong. My campers showed me how love and hope can change any bleak situation into a moment of pure joy. The depth of their hearts touched my inner soul, and the moments I shared with them will forever remain in my heart.
As a child my family was the picture of perfection, to the unknowing eye I had a loving home. However on the inside things were dramatically different. I was exposed to physical, verbal and mental abuse to myself and to the ones I love. The dysfunction was evident to me from a young age, I knew not to have friends over, and not to ever let people know the daily occurrences that were so typical in our lives. My parents are both highly educated people, with careers that are vastly successful, but in personal relationships they seem to lack the fundamental principles that almost anyone can be counted on to have. My older siblings have been the stabling force throughout my life, teaching and encouraging me in countless ways. They are the ones I can always rely on, my role models and my mentors in every way.
My parents informed me of their divorce at the same time that I was preparing to go to college. I was the oldest of the children living at home at the time, and had two younger siblings whom I knew were depending on me to be the voice of reason in that chaotic period. I recognized in their eyes fear and pain, which I had felt all my life, and I knew from that moment there was no way I could leave them. I decided to forego my college opportunities and instead attend a local school so that I could be around for my brother and sister. The divorce was long and nasty, there were times when I didn’t believe that my heart would ever recover from the emotional damage, but I remained strong for my siblings.
Soon after I began volunteering as a mentor for children from broken homes. Again I recognized the pain and fear. I met children who were exposed to episodes and choices that no human should ever have to face. Late night phone calls from children who were hurting displayed the depths of my heart. Many of these children were being lost in the shuffle of custody battles, being shipped back and forth from parent to parent was extremely difficult for them. A lot of them missed out on pivotal moments in their youth because of the situations they were in. But most of all, many of them just needed someone to listen, and someone to care.
Upon graduation from college I quickly landed my “dream job” as a marketing specialist for a Fortune 500 company. Not surprisingly I found the job unfulfilling. I woke up every morning with a fresh outlook on the day, but went to bed every night feeling as though I accomplished little. I knew I needed something more for my professional as well as personal life, and that is why I have decided to pursue a career as an attorney. I want a career that will fulfill me, a job where I can use all my experiences to help others. Perhaps to help minors or individuals with special needs, or perhaps to help myself become a more contributing member of society.
My journey towards a career in law has been long and winding. I have overcome numerous obstacles, by instead using them as stepping stones towards my future goals. There are many reasons I have chosen a career in law, chief of them being my tremendous faith in our justice system. Democracy insures that every voice be heard, yet there are those who can not speak, and I intend to speak for those less fortunate then myself.
XYZ (school) has a long-standing public interest program. One that has graduated the likes of (Columbia-Franklin D. Roosevelt and Robert L. Carter) (NYU-Rudy Guiliani and Carol Bellamy). These are people that have come to earn my respect and admiration, as well as millions of others. The tools and capacities this university will provide me are incomparable, and it is with this in mind that I hope to attend.

Legalgirl
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Legalgirl » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:51 pm

K, here's my 2nd draft. Still in the beginning stages :)

I pulled the blanket over my head, still the noise did not stop. I pushed the pillow tighter over my ears, still I heard the screaming. My brother ducked into my room, he climbed into my bed, rocked me singing softly. Slowly the noise receded. I was six years old, and this was how every night began. Sometimes it was bad, sometimes it was worse, but it always ended the same way, my father falling asleep on the couch while my mother silently cried herself to bed. Even as a child I would pray to god, begging for relief from the constant pain inside my home. I developed severe anxiety, whenever I heard rising voices coming from the other room. And yet, my brother would be there every night, letting me know it was going to be ok.
My brother is my mentor, he is the one I turn to for advice, the one I look up to, and the person I hope to be like one day. He has always taught me to reach for my dreams, never letting anything stand in my way. Perhaps most important is that he has helped me believe in myself, and instilled in me the confidence needed.
My parents informed me of their imminent divorce soon before I was to embark on my college career. As the oldest child at home, I knew my younger siblings were relying on me to maintain order amongst the chaos. I recognized in their eyes the fear and pain that I had felt all those nights, and immediately understood that I would have to forego my college plans and attend a local state school. The divorce was long and nasty, there were times when I didn’t believe that my heart would ever recover from the emotional damage, but I remained strong for my siblings.
Soon after I began volunteering as a mentor for children from broken homes. Again I recognized the pain and fear. I met children who were exposed to episodes and choices that no human should ever have to face. Late night phone calls from children who were hurting displayed the depths of my heart. Many of these children were being lost in the shuffle of custody battles, being shipped back and forth from parent to parent was extremely difficult for them. A lot of them missed out on pivotal moments in their youth because of the situations they were in. But most of all, many of them just needed someone to listen, and someone to care.
With my horizons expanded I spent the summer working in a camp for children with physical and mental handicaps. In those six weeks my life changed dramatically. I began to see the joy in life, that sometimes the bad situations are only curtains to the inner beauty and happiness of the human soul. Each of my campers taught me about life, love and hope. And their delightful spirits continue to influence me in every decision I make.
My journey towards a career in law has been long and winding. I have overcome numerous obstacles, by instead using them as stepping stones towards my future goals. There are many reasons I have chosen a career in law, chief of them being my tremendous faith in our justice system. Democracy insures that every voice be heard, yet there are those who can not speak, and I intend to speak for those less fortunate then myself.
XYZ (school) has a long-standing public interest program. One that has graduated the likes of (Columbia-Franklin D. Roosevelt and Robert L. Carter) (NYU-Rudy Guiliani and Carol Bellamy). These are people that have come to earn my respect and admiration, as well as millions of others. The tools and capacities this university will provide me are incomparable, and it is with this in mind that I hope to attend.
Sometimes as I’m falling asleep I remember those nights, the sheer terror grips my heart and the fear enters my thoughts. And then I think, I have people who love me, who have helped and will continue to help me, and I am forever thankful. I drift off to sleep, no pillow necessary.

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Croissant
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Croissant » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:12 pm

Legalgirl wrote:K, here's my 2nd draft. Still in the beginning stages :)

I pulled the blanket over my head, still the noise did not stop. I pushed the pillow tighter over my ears, still I heard the screaming. My brother ducked into my room, he climbed into my bed, rocked me singing softly. Slowly the noise receded. I was six years old, and this was how every night began. Sometimes it was bad, sometimes it was worse, but it always ended the same way, my father falling asleep on the couch while my mother silently cried herself to bed. Even as a child I would pray to god, begging for relief from the constant pain inside my home. I developed severe anxiety, whenever I heard rising voices coming from the other room. And yet, my brother would be there every night, letting me know it was going to be ok.
.


I haven't read the whole thing, but you should definitely capitalize God...

cocacolabottlecaps
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby cocacolabottlecaps » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:34 pm

a
Last edited by cocacolabottlecaps on Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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misseeee
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby misseeee » Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:29 am

cocacolabottlecaps wrote:First draft personal statement, please help/critique:

“Oh God! Oh God!” cried one of my residents huddled in the Commons bathroom, and I soon found my voice joining his in a prayer for life as we heard glass break and felt the building shake. The lights went out, and we heard screams in the room next to us followed by a long silence. I cracked the door to the bathroom open and saw glass scattered on the floor, furniture blown over, and heard the eerie wind tunnel that was produced from the glass busting out. A couple stumbled into the commons with blood streaming down their faces yelling for help. I ran to the girls’ bathroom and found _______, a fellow RA, to treat them with First-Aid. The couple told us that their car had flipped over on the highway. We began checking them for concussions. Soon ______’s hands were covered with blood as she tried to stop the bleeding from the girl’s head while we worked to keep them conscious. I stood in the darkness holding a flashlight and asking questions until I received a call. I heard frantic screaming on the other end, “We are trapped in (building name)! We are trapped! I smell gas! Oh, God, please help us!”
Our job was to enact emergency procedures, but we were not prepared for the devastation that we saw outside. The roof and cinder block sides of the residence building were completely ripped away by the storm. I knocked furiously on the first door I came to, “Is anybody inside, is anybody hurt?” No answer. I pushed my master key into the lock and slammed my shoulder against the door. It did not budge. I slammed the door again with my shoulder and this time it burst open to a living room with a refrigerator and furniture thrown like rag dolls across the room. Girls began to trickle out of the building in a daze. The smell of gas leaking out caused me to question whether I would make it to the next door so I begged, “Please God do not let me die here.” We searched room by room until we were sure that the building was clear. Then we evacuated the rest of the complex amidst rumors of another tornado that could hit at any moment. Our complex was only part of a vast path of destruction that spread across campus.
Where there used to be two other residence complexes there was a pile of twisted metal, cars thrown into rooms, fallen wires, and staircases leading to rooms that no longer existed. Students faltered over debris weeping uncontrollably. Emergency crews, community members, and faculty were picking at the metal looking for survivors. The fire department came expecting over a hundred bodies to be pulled from the wreckage, but miraculously we did not lose a member of our university family.
The following day the RA team was back on campus at eight o’clock to see the damage from the EF-4 tornado that had produced winds of over 200 mph. 2/3 of our residence halls were destroyed. We established a perimeter until five that night in the frigid February temperatures to protect our campus from looting. For the next two weeks the team worked diligently with faculty, staff, and State Guardsmen through physical and mental exhaustion to salvage whatever personal items we could for students. While we worked we wept knowing that we had all come within moments of death and survived. We put in sixteen hour days because we had been there to see all of our residents safely out, and now we wanted to see all of our residents return so that classes could resume and our community could heal. Against all odds, we resumed classes two weeks later after we helped coordinate alternate housing for over eight hundred students.
Life is a vapor that passes quickly over this world. Tomorrow is not a guarantee; it is a gift. I am determined to overcome adversity with endurance, to calm panic with leadership, to face tragedy with love, and to surmount ruin with renewal. I will spend my life for others, knowing that the costs are high but the rewards are great. A law degree will empower me to spend myself for the sake of others in a profession that fights for what is right and just. Like I struggled for my residents, I will struggle for my clients and for right causes until I go to sleep exhausted knowing that I have done all that I can to make a positive impact through my work.



The first sentence of your final paragraph is really great! I think your PS is quite moving and better than most I've seen posted in this thread. Maybe not the most helpful input, but I really liked it.

wallaw
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:45 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby wallaw » Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:53 pm

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Last edited by wallaw on Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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