Below is my personal statement for law school. I am looking for any critiques or edits to help give my paper that "edge" I feel it needs.
I have always been ahead of my classmates when it comes to learning. I constantly earned my position on the honor roll lists all throughout high school and college, and I even received recognition from the White House on occasion. However, my capacity and ability to learn didn't come from some sort of innate brilliance - as much as I'd like to believe that. Instead, my capacity and ability was, and still is, derived from my motivation, my desire to succeed in all that I do, and, ultimately, my work ethic. My work ethic is a driving force within me like that of a raging bull.
Still, this bull inside of me defines who I am! To learn and to receive these distinguished awards was just as normal to me as is breathing. One day, though, I realized the importance that this capacity and ability to learn held. It was when I was receiving one of the many awards I've had the honor of having bestowed upon me. On that stage that fateful morning, I noticed my parents' eyes shine, filled with contentment as they beheld me in their sights for a brief moment of excellence. A brief moment that has been played over and over again countless times. Yet, the glean in their eyes, the fulfillment I felt they enjoyed, impacted me to my very core that day. It was then that I knew I wanted - nay, I needed - to push harder.
Unfortunately for my brother, he didn't have the same determination. While in high school, he failed a year. After hearing of his failure, my dad sat down to have a serious conversation with him in the hopes that my brother would get his priorities in order. Maybe I wasn't supposed to hear the story, but I'm sure glad I did! I overheard my dad telling my brother the story of every tribulation he encountered and endured on his less than fortunate journey to the United States - a journey to a better life.
In 1981 my father and mother were wed at the age of 21 in Nicaragua. Shortly thereafter, my mom became pregnant, and my dad did not want to raise his children in a place overridden with poverty, war, and desolation. He asked his friends and family to lend him money so that he could purchase a round-trip flight to Florida hoping to find work and make enough money to give his new family a decent start at a new life. Once he acquired the money he flew to Miami, Florida in search of a job - any job. Although my father struggled to find employment due to his immigrant status, he was able to find decent employ at a cement company loading and unloading bags of cement from trucks. My father endured sleepless nights, as he would take on double shifts on any given day. Thus, working 90-100 hour weeks. In no time at all my father saved up enough money to repay his family and friends, bring his wife and unborn child to the States from Nicaragua, and keep a place suitable enough for his family and himself.
As I heard this story I could not help but think, "I now know where I learned my work ethic. I'm going to make him so proud of me by showing him that his work was not in vain!" And just as those thoughts heralded in my head, I realized the deep impact my father's struggle was having on me and I ran over to him and, as I cried on his shoulder, said, "I will make you proud daddy; I will become someone!" On that fateful 8th of June, 2004 I was set on a journey that will culminate in a Florida Bar license.
From that day forward, I continue to work arduously just as I was doing so before with a few exceptions - I now work even harder, I am more focused, and I treat any potential barrier as a mere obstacle that I must overcome. There is nothing in this world, save death, that will cause me to lose sight of that promise I made my father. He taught me that dreams are not born of laziness, indifference, or from a lack of ambition, and the only limitations that may arise are those that we set in our mind. My focus does not allow me to see limitations, nor does my mind allow me to inset any limitations.
Hi... hope I'm not too late !
I have always been ahead of my classmates when it comes to learning.
.... I wish you didn't compare yourself with others because it sounds a bit boasting sort of.... It might get them to form a wrong opinon about you. Instead you talk about your achievements.I always excelled in studies and this earned my position on the honor roll lists all throughout high school and college
My work ethic is a driving force within me like that of a raging bull.My work ethic is like a raging bull that drives me towards achieving my goal.
To learn and to receive these distinguished awards was just as normal to me as is breathing.
I think this is a bit over-stated. Tell them an incident or experience that will convince them you are such a talented person who has receive distinguished awards. It's always to back up with real life events and experiences rather than making statement.