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Author Topic: My topic - too much of a sob story?  (Read 1520 times)

Trel

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My topic - too much of a sob story?
« on: August 01, 2004, 06:06:27 PM »
I'm coming straight from undergrad, no significant work experience beyond a bank internship which just taught me I have no interest in working the retail side of the financial services industry.  So I was thinking of writing my personal statement on how I had to take care of my mother from about age 14 until I went off to college.  She had 7 strokes, which meant a lot of time in the hospital, and was diagnosed with a severe mental illness after that known as multiple personality disorder.  For those unfamiliar with it, basically she might be my mother in the morning and a 14 year old child in the afternoon.  As you can imagine, it was not an easy thing to deal with.  She also passed away my freshman year of college. 

While I know this is a bit of a unique situation, is it too much of a sob story to use as a personal statement?  It certainly shaped who I am and that's the approach I intended to use, but I know many people have personal hardships and the adcoms have heard it over and over again so...thoughts?
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MaroonOut2005

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Re: My topic - too much of a sob story?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2004, 06:17:57 PM »
This is a perfect topic, in my opinion.  It tells the adcoms more about you than your resume would indicate, and it will seperate you from all the "why I want to go to law school" people.  In regards to it being a sob story, it is all in the writing.  If you use it as a crutch, it may seem like a sob story.  If you blame the situation for you not achieving as much as you could have, it is a sob story.  If you use the story to show how you developed as a person and how the experience made you stronger, it is not a sob story but an insperational one.

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Jason

shortbus

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Re: My topic - too much of a sob story?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2004, 06:19:14 PM »
I would not build your PS around a personal hardship. The problem with sob stories is that they tend to focus on the melodrama and don't communicate much about THE WRITER as a person. Focus on yourself in the PS, and if the situation with your mother helps as supporting information, ok.

NeverForever

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Re: My topic - too much of a sob story?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2004, 07:01:59 PM »
I think this is a very strong topic and can give some real insight into who you are as a person as this relationship with your mother had such an impact on your life. If you write in a way that shows how this experience improved your character rather than why you should be pitied then you're golden.

Good luck.

Trel

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Re: My topic - too much of a sob story?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2004, 09:03:18 AM »
Thanks for the opinions everyone.  I am intending to write it in a way that shows the development of my character, certainly not as a crutch b/c I've done relatively well in school.

Best of luck to all of you with your personal statements  :)
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