Application Components

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cnorthrup14

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Application Components

Postby cnorthrup14 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:31 pm

I would like some feedback on my personal statement to ensure that it is up to par. I would love some constructive criticism, especially with the first paragraph. I am not the strongest writer, especially when it comes to writing about myself.



I have sat down countless times in an attempt to write the perfect personal statement to sum up a life-altering event I have experienced without describing it in an especially bleak manner. This event is the divorce of my parents. Prior to its occurrence, I had always believed divorce to be not especially impactful. I was proven wrong.
Near the end of my junior year of high school, my mother informed me that her twenty-year marriage to my father was coming to an end. I saw completely different sides of my parents. Frequent violent attacks and police calls became the new norm. Both of my parents had substance abuse disorders my entire life, but it was heightened to a new extreme. I was afraid to be home. I moved into a motel about twenty miles away with my sister and her boyfriend. Several of my classmates lived in the motel with their families, and we rode the bus together to school.
A couple of months passed, and the school year was coming to an end. I had asked my grandparents to move into their home with them. They more than welcomed me, and the last day of school they helped me pack and move my things into the attic of their cozy one-bedroom home. Their house was nearly 300 miles from my school and in an affluent area, so I had to change school districts. I left behind the chaotic life I had known for one of stability and opportunity.
I quickly started working two part-time jobs that I rode my bike to. The independence was bliss. Shortly afterwards, my mother moved into my grandparents as well. She struggled with many emotional stressors, and she struggled to achieve sobriety. Meanwhile, my father estranged himself as he engaged in a relationship with my cousin [should I include this?]. Our neighbors heard of our circumstances and placed homemade signs labeled ‘white trash’ in our front yard while we were away. Although this blatant discrimination was hurtful, none of us were angry as our morals prevented such feelings of hate. [add more? Is this section relevant/appropriate?]
Despite these obstacles, I always made my coursework a priority. Because of this, I graduated near the top of my class. I enrolled in Wayne State University during this time as a first-generation college student, and I accepted a full-tuition scholarship.
For a couple years of college, I worked full-time while taking a full-time course load to offer financial support to my mother. While there were stressful moments, I enjoyed the life we had created for ourselves. In my junior year, my mother began attending self-help groups. She has since achieved sobriety and financial independence.
My adolescence may be unconventional, but I am tremendously fortunate for my experiences. It has instilled in me a strong sense of empathy for others regardless of their circumstances. My family describes me as exceptionally self-motivated and ambitious. I am also very humbled to have been afforded the opportunity to attend [insert university name] law school, a prospect most people from my background will never have.

AJordan

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Re: Application Components

Postby AJordan » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:35 pm

I am neither a writer nor a consultant. Please don't take this the wrong way. I think it's poor.

It reads like you started with an undoubtedly affecting event and worked forward from that point adding random bits of information. The first paragraph reads like a Perd Hapley introduction. You should scrap it. The piece of this that I think has potential is the bit about how you learned empathy. I'd start with that nugget, work back through some experiences that taught you empathy, expand and expound on those ideas, and eventually arrive at the divorce as an activating event into the journey you've already described.

The details of the divorce aren't especially relevant; how you responded and what you learned is more important. As is, tt's not enough of a story about you and how you developed. It tells me nothing about you except you were able to live with your grandparents and work a few jobs. The former doesn't really matter and the latter can be seen on a resume. Focus on the empathy bit and the metamorphosis getting there and I think you'll be better off.
Last edited by AJordan on Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

cnorthrup14

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Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:04 pm

Re: Application Components

Postby cnorthrup14 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:37 pm

AJordan wrote:I am neither a writer nor a consultant. Please don't take this the wrong way. I think it's poor.

It reads like you started with an undoubtedly affecting event and worked forward from that point adding random bits of information. The first paragraph reads like a Perd Hapley introduction. You should scrap it. The piece of this that I think has potential is the bit about how you learned empathy. I'd start with that nugget, work back through some experiences that taught you empathy, expand and expound on those ideas, and eventually arrive at the divorce as an activating event into the journey you've already described.

The details of the divorce aren't especially relevant; how you responded and what you learned is more important. As is, tt's not enough of a story about you and how you developed. It tells me nothing about you except you were able to live with your grandparents and work a few jobs. The former doesn't really matter and the latter can be seen on a resume. Focus on the empathy bit and the metamorphosis getting there and I think you'll be better off.


Thank you for the advice! I am definitely in dire need of some way to clean it up, so this is very helpful.



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