Personal Statement




Personal Statement








Personal Statement

Four summers ago, I was detained within the concrete cell I call home. I was looking out the window, dismayed about having to live another summer in grey and lifeless Seoul. Seoul houses a large population, reaching high figures of 24 million. Those who live here remind me of ants, preparing for the coming winter. While at the window, I closed my eyes for a while and dreamt of America where life had more scope and people were warm. Suddenly, a loud trill drew me out of my reverie.

I observed a female insect whose needle-like legs were hugging the screen, and a white timbal at the tip of her abdomen was vibrating so rapidly that it was visible only during some odd moments of silence. She sang as if was possessed and like it was her only purpose in life. It seemed like she was awakening the memories of her ancestors and shouting of the mightiness of her tribe that lives to sing despite the grayness. Her song gave the impression of mocking my fantasy of escaping to America. Then, as suddenly as she came, the cicada dropped dead. I stood in front of my window, trying to make sense of this bizarre incident.

Various questions crossed my mind. “Where had this little vermin come from?” “Was she attracted to my despair?” I thought to myself, “Maybe she smelled my distress while sitting on a branch in the park across the street.” I could not help but wonder if she was lost or separated from her tribe. “Was she looking for an audience to perform her last song?” “As she died, did she feel any fear or despair?” I laughed off my wandering thoughts, and dedicated myself to carping again.

A few days later, I went to the Han River with hope that a hike would resuscitate my usual jovial nature. On the riverbank, littered with hundreds of people walking their dogs, enjoying picnics, or sharing quality time, I was awakened by the memory of the brief comradeship I had had with the cicada. It was short-lived at best, but sharing in her song, her passion, and her death had initiated a relationship more intimate than what can be gained from a lifetime friendship. The cicada lives for two weeks, and in death, it provides food for hundreds of ants. Today as I look back on the jungle of life, I no longer look at the gray, but at the wells of stories its inhabitants have to tell.

Learning technical proficiency at dental school is something any dedicated student can do, but the cicada has blessed me with a special experience that instilled in me the sensitivity to find meaning even in the most trivial events of life, such as the cicada’s singing. This will therefore enable me to listen not only for the typhoons, but also for the slightest flutters of my patients’ songs.





Revision comments

It is advisable to first state the subject of discussion in a sentence. In the second paragraph, when describing the insect, you started with the pronoun ‘her’ instead of stating what ‘her’ refers to.

Questions are clearly defined in a paragraph when they have quotation marks and sentences between them to connect them in order to give it meaning. .

Avoid putting too many words in a sentence as this may obscure the meaning of the sentence. This was especially notable in the last paragraph.

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