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Accepted peoples personal statements

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jalby, May 27, 2002.

  1. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    After reading a few of the personal statements sent to me, I realized some people might not understand what a personal statement should be and look like. When I was writing mine, a book from Barrons, 40 essays that will get you into medical school, showed me how to write a personal statement and what should be in it. I think we old people who have gooton in should post our personal statements so that other people will have an idea of what is expected.

    So a preface on mine. I'm not sure it was a good essay. I think I might have scareed some schools off, but I felt I needed to tell my story how it happened.

    Since my parents were missionaries, I grew up in a family that emphasized helping others. By showing compassion and caring, they were able to help other people improve their lives. I could see how happy people were after my parents worked with them, and I knew that I wanted to do something similar.
    When I was 8 years old, we moved from the Philippines to San Bernardino. It was quite a shock to go from a Third World country with few amenities, to the United States where there was fast food, consistent hot water, and, until recently, no brown outs. I quickly adjusted and felt very fortunate to live in the United States. Nevertheless, while San Bernardino is a better place to live than the Philippines, it was still a very poor, gang infested area. Most of my friends had only one working parent and no role models to encourage or challenge them, and consequently they had very low expectations for the future. As a result, academic achievement was never a major priority. In fact, less than 50% of my class graduated from high school. Most of my closest friends are still living at home, and are stuck with no way to make a better life for themselves. I was fortunate in that my parents always stressed achievement and the value of education. Because of their encouragement, I was of the very few to make it to a high quality, upper level university.
    During my first year and a half at UCLA, I really had no direction. I initially was a chemical engineering major, mainly because my parents recommended it. However, I soon realized that I would not be happy as a chemical engineer. There is limited human contact and no opportunity to directly help people. I lacked motivation and structure, and because of this my grades suffered.
    My parents became alarmed by my grades, so they introduced me to a family friend and physician, Dr. Charles Hyman. After a few sessions with Dr. Hyman, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) along with some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) characteristics. He provided me with recommendations on how I could cope. For example, I used to get bored studying in a library, and would walk out after a brief time. Dr. Hyman suggested that I study in a coffee house so that if I was bored, I could find a short distraction and quickly return to studying. I also made various other changes to improve my academic and social life. My grades improved and I started enjoying college much more. My experience with Dr. Hyman also gave me a professional direction. After only a few sessions, he was able to markedly improve my life. I realized that as a physician I could help others, like Dr. Hyman did for me, while being in a challenging and intellectually stimulating field.
    After seeing Dr. Hyman, I took Dr. Steven Clarke?s biochemistry class. The complex mechanisms that regulate various cellular pathways fascinated me, and I switched my major to biochemistry. I then joined the laboratory of Dr. Albert Courey where I have been studying different proteins involved in the developmental processes of drosophila. By understanding how these proteins function we hope to gain more insight into human developmental processes. I also decided to get a minor in neuroscience because I want to better understand the relationship between the brain and behavior. I have enjoyed taking these classes and look forward to learning more about human function and disease.
    As I progressed down this path, I realized that I wanted to help out in underserved communities, such as the ones where I grew up. The fact that my parents emphasized education enabled me to position myself for a successful career and a strong future. This fact motivated me to help educate inner-city kids. I joined a program where I am helped teach 2nd grade children in south central LA how to read. At first I was shocked by how poor these kids? reading skills were and the measures they took to hide their deficiencies. For example, one student had memorized all the words of a couple of books and always read those books so people would think she knew how to read. Since I have been working with these children, there has been substantial improvement in their reading skills. I find it very gratifying to know I have made an impact. I realized that a teacher, like a doctor or a missionary, could make a huge positive impact on people on a daily basis.
    In the past year, I also started volunteering at the ER of King-Drew, a hospital dedicated to the underserved community of South Central LA. Because I work on the weekends, I am frequently the only volunteer in the ER, and I am able to see and help with the best cases. During this time I have been able to ventilate a patient, assist a doctor putting in a naso-trachial line, and participate in many other procedures. Frequently, I?ve seen how much a doctor can help a person in their greatest time of need. My experiences in the ER reinforced my desire to become a physician. I?ve come to realize that medicine offers the perfect combination of teaching, an intellectually stimulating environment, and best of all the ability to help people, and I look forward to learning about the field as a medical student.
     
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  3. vyc

    vyc Senior Member

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    mine is posted up on my journal:
    <a href="http://vyc.pitas.com" target="_blank">http://vyc.pitas.com</a>

    look on the left hand column
     
  4. UrSexyLatinDr

    UrSexyLatinDr Single and looking =o)~

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    Hey Jalbrekt thanks for posting your PS. Why dont you the rest of people who got accepted put yours here? Dont you guys want to help the people who are applying to get an idea of what to write and how to? Lets no be so selfish, I be you guys wouldve like this kind of support, so as future doctors dont you want to start helping? come on guys.... :mad:

    Ok, I have a question, how long before you apply should you start writing your personal statement? :D

    Eduardo
     
  5. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by UrSexyLatinDr:
    <strong>Why dont you the rest of people who got accepted put yours here? Dont you guys want to help the people who are applying to get an idea of what to write and how to? Lets no be so selfish, I be you guys wouldve like this kind of support, so as future doctors dont you want to start helping? come on guys.... :mad: </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Please do not assume that others who do not post their personal statements are being "selfish." For many people, including myself, the personal statement is exactly that: PERSONAL. In addition, posting my personal statement on an internet forum opens the doors wide open to plagiarism-- not necessarily of the whole thing, but of the ideas, experiences, even certain phrases used in describing an experience. I worked extremely hard on my personal statement and I cringe at the thought of someone using my words to describe their experiences.

    Please think twice before calling those who do not post their personal statements "selfish." Many of us are the same people who have volunteered to read your personal statements and critique them for you. Some professionals charge a large amount of money for this service. People who volunteer information on SDN do not charge for their valuable advice and they do it out of a sincere desire to help others, as there is really no personal gain in it.

    Just wanted to let you know that we are ready and willing to help you guys in many ways. Some ways may be too personal for some or maybe they are simply not willing to expose themselves in that manner. As a future physician, I think you should respect that. Thank you.
     
  6. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior

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    UrSexyLatinDr,
    I agree with praying4MD. It is very silly of you to think not posting ones PERSONAL statement on the INTERNET implies that one is "selfish". That's ridiculous. I personally wouldn't mind posting mine here, but I (as well as everyone else) have the right not to. :mad:
     
  7. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    I agree w/ P4MD. I actually struggled with the idea that other people might plag parts of my essay. But I guess I trust people more than I should (I've known that for a while), but I felt it would do more good than harm to give everybody access to mine.

    And UrSexyLatinDr, you shouldn't call other people selfish. It does seem like the majority of your posts are asking othe people for information that for the most part would only be relevant to you.
     
  8. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior

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    Back to topic,

    Different strokes for different folks, but I suggest writing one's personal statement before taking a look at any samples. This way it bears little resemblance to generic premed essays; and uniqueness makes all the difference in the process. Personally a friend of mine freaked me out 3 months before the AMCAS was available, when she told me she had been working on her's for months. I rushed home and started working on mine, but to my surprise I was done in less than 30 mins. I thought it looked good, but I was paranoid about how fast I wrote it. In anycase I showed my profs and pre-health advisor and they all thought it was great, so BOOYAKA!
     
  9. vyc

    vyc Senior Member

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    mine's been online for months.
    see my previous post.

    i assume that no one will be stupid enough to plagiarize my words/ideas.

    i started writing my essay in March.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by UrSexyLatinDr:
    <strong>Ok, I have a question, how long before you apply should you start writing your personal statement? :D

    Eduardo</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  10. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    i agree that it's easier to write a personal statement before reading others' statements (unless you have no idea what a personal statement should look like). if i had looked at other statements before writing mine, i think i would have had a really hard time not copying formats or ideas.
     
  11. apocalypse3678

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    hey guys don't listen to a.caveman...he's full of it. always willing to put some one down,
    me
     
  12. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by apocalypse3678:
    <strong>hey guys don't listen to a.caveman...he's full of it. always willing to put some one down,
    me</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I'll keep that in mind.
     
  13. djipopo

    djipopo SDN Angel

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    I too feel very uncomfortable with posting my personal statement online ( i value my anonymity too much) <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> However, I do have a few words of advice for those who are in the midst of writing their essays:

    Start writing your personal statement NOW!!!! If you're like me, you'll procrastinate until the very end, but I think it's one of the most important parts of your application.

    You can never start too early, I started writing my PS a few months before the AMCAS app was online (only because my pre-med advisor required us to have one for the Pre-Med Committee Interview at my university). It helps you focus on what you want to emphasize about yourself; this will help in countless numbers of ways. Trust me! I had to show the admissions folks that I had heart, this is where i did it. Additionally, a lot of interviews are closed-file, so when the interviewer asks you that unavoidable and completely nerve-racking question: "tell me about yourself", you'll know exactly where to start.

    Some more points about the personal statement - do not say anything negative about yourself! Even if you failed every single class in your first year, you do not have to confess to every single flaw in your application. A lot of "how to get into med school guides" will tell you to do this, your advisor may even tell you to do this, but it will always leave a bad taste in the admissions committee members' minds and if they feel compelled to ask you about whatever "it" is they will bring it up in the interview. Additionally, they may not have noticed or even cared that you had a bad grade in class X, Y or Z - bringing up your flaw will only bring attention to it.

    Remember that YOU are creating the image of yourself on paper. You want it to be the best possible, but . . .You don't need to lie or embellish anything.

    Also, edit, edit, edit and keep copies of each of your drafts. Take some time off between drafts and keep polishing the essay until you think it's perfect.

    Hope this helps!
     
  14. Street Philosopher

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Original:
    <strong>Back to topic,

    Different strokes for different folks, but I suggest writing one's personal statement before taking a look at any samples. This way it bears little resemblance to generic premed essays; and uniqueness makes all the difference in the process. Personally a friend of mine freaked me out 3 months before the AMCAS was available, when she told me she had been working on her's for months. I rushed home and started working on mine, but to my surprise I was done in less than 30 mins. I thought it looked good, but I was paranoid about how fast I wrote it. In anycase I showed my profs and pre-health advisor and they all thought it was great, so BOOYAKA!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hellz yeah BOOYAKA! I wrote mine in a few days, but all these people taking months keep freaking me out. It's like a personal statement dudes, not a freakin Pulitzer candidate. Werd.
     
  15. UrSexyLatinDr

    UrSexyLatinDr Single and looking =o)~

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    Hi

    Ok, I am really sorry. I truly apologize for the non-sence comments I made, you guys are right, I should think twice before opening my mouth. Sorry... :( :rolleyes:

    Eduardo
     
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  17. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    Well... this is my first year applying... so I haven't gotten in anywhere yet (because I have applied anywhere yet ) . But as soon as I get in (if I get in that is) I'll post my PS for y'all. :D

    Honestly, the PS is not that personal. Considering that we send this thing out to dozens of people we've never even met... how personal can it be?
     
  18. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A.

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    yo rel prime, you landed some interviews right? Well obviously your PS was quality, since it tends to be looked at almost exclusively in the screening process for decision making purposes.

    Wouldn't you agree that once you land the interview that it's importance greatly diminishes in weighing your 'canidancy' for a seat? I'm going to step out on a limb and say that your interview, demographics of the incoming class and you as a 'whole' (as cliche as that sounds) far outweigh the quality of your PS when it comes to picking people- ESPECIALLY this late in the game.

    That said, I'll probably post mine once I get off a waitlist also <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  19. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    USeF: Sorry if I was confusing before... I haven't applied anywhere yet! I'm filling my AMCAS for the first time on June 5 of this year.

    I would agree that the importance of the personal statement diminishes after you get an interview... I mean the whole point of the personal statement is so they can get to know you a little without meeting you... once you get an interview they can talk to you personally, so why would they need the personal statement all that much?

    I think it goes like this...

    1)To determine if you get an interview they look at your stats, read your PS and glance over you ECs.
    2) To determine if you get in they look at your interview and they more carefully go over your ECs.... and then compare you and your stats to other applicants that got interviews.
     
  20. Doc AdamK in 2006

    Doc AdamK in 2006 Now 2 year UB Med Doc

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    If you start reading others people's personal statement, you may be unconsciously using their ideas or words and phrases

    Then it will look like you had help writing it.
    Trust me it sticks out.

    AK
     
  21. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Doc AdamK in 2006:
    <strong>If you start reading others people's personal statement, you may be unconsciously using their ideas or words and phrases

    Then it will look like you had help writing it.
    Trust me it sticks out.

    AK</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">This is so true! That's why after reading 2 personal statements I stopped reading them... it's just too hard to make sure you don't "borrow" anything. And if even if your essay is totally unique you can still drive yourself crazy thinking to yourself "Did I really come up with that... or did I hear it somewhere... wait... does this sound too much like that one guy's statement... oh no! I used the word "jocular" and so did the other guy..."

    If you buy Barrons "Personal Statements that will get you into Medical School" I would suggest only reading 1 or 2 essays... but read all the instructions. I think the instructions give you a pretty good idea of how to write the essay... even without the example essays.

    Good Luck everyone :D
     
  22. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

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    Eduardo: Thank you for understanding and for your apology.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by relatively prime:
    <strong>Honestly, the PS is not that personal. Considering that we send this thing out to dozens of people we've never even met... how personal can it be?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">It can be extremely personal. I've read some describing the death of a relative and the emotions that stemmed thereafter. Others in the past have included a woman's story of the death of her child and how this influenced her. Mine included things about my family and childhood years, including the different agencies I have worked for and how they helped/hindered me. I even have specific names of people in my essay. They can be pretty personal. In fact, a good way to gauge your essay is to see if you can ask yourself this question: "Could someone else have written basically the same essay?" If so, then you have not mastered the essay. If all you discuss is your love for medicine and some volunteer work that was "wonderful/incredible" then the essay is not representative of you as a unique individual. A million other premeds could've written basically the same essay. If it doesn't say something utterly unique about YOU as a person (not just your EC's or education), then go back and rewrite it.
     
  23. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life

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    Aight people calm down. Now that all the drama has subsided, I will fulfill your thirst for personal statements by posting mine. Please don't rip this off as I applied to all of the 125 allopathic and 19 osteopathic medical schools this year. In other words, someone is liable to remember it. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> Enjoy!

    I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for
    three days in a row.

    I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I can cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

    Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets. I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

    I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international circles. Children trust me.

    I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed covert operations for the CIA, FBI and NSA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.

    I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four-course meals using only a Mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

    But I have not yet gone to medical school.
     
  24. STi555

    STi555 Senior Member

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    I love your PS papa smurf. I only hope that I can resist the temptation to copy it.
     
  25. Premed2003

    Premed2003 Senior Member

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    Did you really submit that? It's really good!

    Somehow, I remember reading it before. Did you post it here a few months ago? Or did you not really write it or submit it as your personal statement <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> , and it came from the web?
     
  26. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Papa Smurf:
    <strong>Aight people calm down. Now that all the drama has subsided, I will fulfill your thirst for personal statements by posting mine. Please don't rip this off as I applied to all of the 125 allopathic and 19 osteopathic medical schools this year. In other words, someone is liable to remember it. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> Enjoy!

    I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for
    three days in a row.

    I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I can cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

    Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets. I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

    I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international circles. Children trust me.

    I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed covert operations for the CIA, FBI and NSA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.

    I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four-course meals using only a Mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

    But I have not yet gone to medical school.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a href="http://www.huumor.com/joke_1501" target="_blank">http://www.huumor.com/joke_1501</a>

    guess "college" was changed to "medical school". <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
     
  27. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    Time for me to beat a dead horse, personal statements are personal. even though they are read by people who are strangers, you are trusting that this is a professional office that receives your application and will protect your privacy with not only your essay but you DOB, SS#, and other identifying information.

    that's why i asked for people to Personal message their essays of their own free will in the essay help thread.
     
  28. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member

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    I don't think reading other's personal statement will hinder creativity. Afterall, there's tons of PS you can read from several books in the market, and it's meant to jump-start someone to an idea AND not to unconsciously allow one to plagerize ideas and concepts.

    Some write personal statements that they feel uncomfortable sharing, but other's are more open to sharing thiers. Personally, I shared my PS with my school's premed organization during a panel and allowed everyone a copy. I didn't think anyone would be dumb enough to plagerize and I didn't feel naked sharing my PS; I wanted to help my classmates.
     
  29. Crazy Carl

    Crazy Carl Member

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    I'm not sure reading other people's work is such a problem either. You could say we would have the same problem with books, magazines, and other things we read on a daily basis. That could even be a good thing if you're reading quality stuff. But you're right, I see that what I tend to read always has a way of influencing my writing styles. I try to make time to read for pleasure regularly, and I can see bits and pieces of the authors' styles popping up in my journal entries. I think the key for me is to just be mindful of where the influences are coming from and how they appear in what I write. That way, I learn from good and bad writers alike.
     
  30. BushBaby

    BushBaby Nipplelina

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    Why not buy those books they sell at B&N (essays that will get you into medical school)? It's not that expensive ($9). I bought it to give me pointers on what path to follow when writing my essay.

    I read my friends essays but that did nothing for me. The booked helped me figure out how I could start the essay and what important points I wanted to emphasize.

    Reading the P.statements of other people can sometimes backfire because it can have you feeling like you don't have anything interesting to write about (in comparision to some of the research/life experiences that some of these people have had). I felt like that (discouraged), until I decided to stopped reading and start writing....time is a-wasting.
     

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