THE PERSONAL STATEMENTThe following are samples of personal statements written by students who won admission. Whenreading these samples, bear in mind that your personal statement should reflect your ownbackground, education and career goals and special circumstances. It is not necessary or desirable toduplicate the tone or style of any of the samples presented here.Personal Statement Sample #1Early in my high school years I discovered a personal truth, that I have no limitations other thanthose I choose to impose upon myself. Everyone brings to the world unique talents, gifts, andabilities, and some of mine include my strong will and my determination to be able to givesomething back to the communities in which I was raised. My plans are to not only use education asa tool to prepare me for a vocation, but also to help me become a self-sufficient individual who isfully prepared for life.No one is exempt from turmoil during their lives, and I can honestly say that I am thankful for theadversities and challenges which have crossed my path because they have strengthened mycharacter and brought forth certain virtues I might otherwise never have known. There are variouspersonal issues with which I have struggled and I have no doubt as to where their foundations lie.Because my parents divorced when I was two, I did not grow up with a secure sense of home. I wasjuggled around between different family members, each taking part in raising me with their own setof standards and values. I had different customs at each home and had to learn how to be"politically correct" according to who I was with. For example, with my fathers family, I went to aCatholic church and studied the New Testament and, while with my mothers family, who is Jewish, Iattended synagogue, studied the Torah and learned to pray in Hebrew.One of the greatest challenges I have faced was growing up multi-ethnic in a bilingual and multi-cultural environment. Even though the society in which I live insists on categorizing me into oneracial category, I consider myself to be multi-ethnic. My mothers ethnic make-up is French, Polishand Ukranian and my fathers is Brazilian, Native American (Fulni-o), and African. Some of theconflicts that I dealt with while growing up concerned issues surrounding physical appearance, self-esteem, and questions such as "where do I fit in?" and "to whom do I belong?" Fortunately, I havesince learned that being part of more than one ethnic group is anadvantage, not a detriment, and Iam proud to claim and take part in my diverse heritage. Everyone and everything in my past hasbeen my teacher, and I feel that my history has inevitably led me to my major field of study, Ethnic
Studies, about which I am immensely passionate. It has been a wonderful rite of passage for me tolearn to accept all the parts of myself.I am currently involved in various community activities and am particularly proud of my involvementwith the Shanti Project, a San Francisco based organization dedicated to helping people who are HIVpositive. I also devote a great deal of my time to music, a tremendously important part of my life. Inaddition to performing at local fund raisers, I spend time practicing and recording. I have on occasionfound myself challenged to the maximum of my capabilities because of my high academic standards,my volunteer work, my music, and my part-time jobs. But my strong belief that I have no limitationsand my will to succeed has kept me going.One cannot always choose the circumstances one is dealt, but one does have the choice as to howone chooses to deal with them. Some of my goals include developing my spirituality, working withchildren to help them maintain their sense of self by possibly teaching or counseling, and graduingfrom university. I would like the opportunity to be able to pass along the information I have learned,that no one person other than oneself can keep one from achieving ones goals and that everyonehas the potential to share with the world their unique talents, gifts, and abilities. While one may findmotivation in ones hopes for the future, one must not devalue the steps one takes to get there,because it is through ones past joys and hardships that one comes to be who one is in the future. AsUrsula le Guin so aptly stated, "I is good to have an end to journey towards, but is the journey thatmatters in the end."Personal Statement Sample #2I have always dreamed of becoming an artist.Art is my passion;Art is my companion;Art is my soul.I am surrounded by art work in my home: ceramics, paintings, calligraphy, photography, and graphicdesigns that I have created with pencil, pen, charcoal, clay, and brushes.I was just four years old when my mother taught me how to paint. Rather than having me play withdolls and toys, she encouraged me to copy her drawings and to paint my own pictures. Year afteryear she insisted that I continue to draw. Consequently, I drew thousands of pictures when still a
child. I sketched eggs, fruits, vegetables, furniture and gypsum sculptures, even human figures.Other children would beg their parents to take them to places of amusement; I would beg myparents to take me to art museums.I had a lonely childhood; my parents were often called out of town and could not spend as muchtime iwth me as they would have liked. My consolation was my art. Even before I could write, I wasdrawing pictures for my mother and father, indicating that I loved them and missed them, sendingthem pictures in place of letters. My parents saved these pictures for many years, and recently myfather informed me that the love I showed during those trying times was a strong motivation to helpmy parents survive the catastrophe of Chinese Cultural Revaluation.When I was in the third grade, my art teacher considered me to be more advanced than many otherstudents and suggested that I design and paint pictures for the school bulletin board, so otherstudents could have the opportunity to view my drawings. Every Friday afternoon, I would stand ona desk and facing that 18-foot-long bulletin board (I was not tall enough to reach the top of theboard), sketching, drawing, painting and writing calligraphy. Year by year, I was given the chance tocreate and share my colorful world with others; it became my greatest pleasure. I now had a goal: tobecome the best designer the world has ever known.I continued to design and paint school bulletin boards throughout my middle and high school years,winning many awards for my drawings, Chinese brush paintings and calligraphy. However, myparents did not want me to become an artist. They would rather I become a business person orscientist because in China, art is used for political propaganda; they didnt want me to get involved inChinese politics. I acceded to their wishes, working for foreign business companies after graduatingfrom high school.In July of 1993, I immigrated to the United States, and from then until December, 1994, I struggledthrough the most difficult period of my life, surviving one traumatic experience after another:domestic abuse, hiding from a violent ex-husband, divorce, a serious illness and major surgery.Without question, some of those experiences have strengthened me. In spite of this, nothing couldextinguish my dream. Art was the candlelight that illuminated those dark shadowy days. I went towork in a fishing tackle store, using my spare time to visit museums and practice sketching anddrawing. My love for art overcome those anxioius and otherwise gloomy times.Not long time ago, I acquired a part-time position as a professional painter, tooling and paintingDisney figures on ceramics. Now I am more certain than ever before that my art is my life. I cannotlive without it.In January of 1995, at the age of 28, after having been out of school for nearly five years, I went tocollege to pursue a higher education. I studied diligently throughout the week, weekends, andholidays. I took 19 units, so I could complete my General Education requirement in three semesters.With a 3.9 GPA, I achieved my AA degree with the highest honor of City College of San Francisco.During the graduation ceremony, I wept tears of joy.During the summer of 1996, I used all my savings to take a trip on Amtrak, primarily to visit artmuseums. I didnt see many of the other sights in the cities I visited by spent nearly all my time atthe Boston Fine Arts Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the National
Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian complex in Washington D.C., the Chicago Art Institute and theWilliam Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art in Kansas City, MO. I also enjoyed the many fine paintingsgracing the walls at the White House in Washington when on a special tour. I was absolutelycaptivated by the collections in these wonderful museums and would often spend the entire day inone building. While visiting the Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., I fortuitously cameupon a series of 3-D computer animation and graphic design, playing aa TV set. I was enthralled bythis utilization of modern technology in art and stood there watching it over and over again,mesmerized and spellbound.Because of this and other experiences, I feel an irresistible impulse to challenge myself once more,to acquire knowledge of art with respect to the application of advanced scientific technology. I havedecided to use the gifts that God has given me in this challenging field. I wish to attend theUniversity of California because of its prestige and long history of teaching art courses, but perhapsmore importantly, I wish to be exposed to the outstanding faculty. Indubitably, their help will be asignificant factor in my achieving my educational goal, that of becoming an artist.With the help of Scholarship funds, I will be able to add more art supplies to aid my daily practice.Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and QuarkXpress are the three computer graphic designsoftwares that I dream to have, however, I am not able to afford. With some help, I wish I canpurchase these software and use them on making better brochures and flier designs for thedepartments of CCSF.During the vicissitudes of life, my art is always with me. I shall go anywhere art leads me. With it, Iam living my life to the fullest, happy and content. Without it, I am nothing.