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Physics REU personal statement help.

  1. Dec 23, 2011 #1
    Hey everyone I would appreciate any sort of criticism for my personal statement. I am currently applying to 9 REUs and I hope to get into at least one. Right now I wrote a very general statement and for each school I will personalize them. I hope this is at least a good start. Other than any grammatical errors, is there anything I should work on? Thank you so much.

    When I first came to Bryn Mawr, I had already known that I wanted to be a chemistry major. I thought I should be a chemistry major because I was good at it, and that made , for me, was a good reason to major in it. However, during my second semester of my freshmen year I figured out that was a very bad reason to major in a field. As I was realizing that I did not want to be chemistry major, I was realizing, at the same time, that I wanted to be physics major.


    I did not randomly decide that I wanted to be a physics major, I had always enjoyed learning the materials but I just did chemistry better. During my second semester of freshmen year, I worked in the inorganic chemistry research lab for one of the faculty members. I did this purely because I was curious how research is done in chemistry. I did not receive any credit for this, but I did gain valuable skills that I can apply when I do more research. Some of the chemistry related I learned was how to do a vacuum filtration and I got to observe how NMR spectroscopy works. Also I also learned some general research skills such as managing my own experiments, keeping track of data ( so that other people can follow my experiment), and even time management skills. I also gained confidence because there were many times where I was alone in the lab so I had to be independent and solve my own problems.


    It was during the countless hours I worked in the chemistry lab when I realized that I would rather major in physics. I was always curious about how nature worked and its complexity. I was taking Introduction to Quantum Mechanics at that time and whenever class is over, I usually walk out with many questions in mind. Where does mass come from? How does everything have mass? How it is that light behaves as both waves and particles? I cannot help but entertain these thoughts and I am always excited to find the answer or just plainly think about my own theories. I meet with my major advisor every day and we always talk about physics, sometimes I ask him something related to a course I have and other times I would ask him conceptual questions that I would have after the end of a class or the end of a colloquium.


    I plan to go to graduate school in physics and hopefully earn my PhD. I am really interested in the areas of particle physics and this interest developed mostly because of how much I enjoyed learning quantum mechanics. However, the future is just as complex as nature and so I hope to research in closely related areas to particle physics as well, so I can get a feeling for other fields. After receiving my PhD, I hope to teach at the college level and work on my own research projects.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2012 #2
    "I thought I should be a chemistry major because I was good at it, and that made , for me, was a good reason to major in it."

    It would sound better if you phrased it differently.

    I felt I should declare my major as chemistry because I was good at the subject material. That, for me, was a good reason to major in chemistry.

    Same with:

    "However, during my second semester of my freshmen year I figured out that was a very bad reason to major in a field. "

    However, I found during my second semester of my freshmen year that I was not passionate about chemistry and despite my ease in the subject matter I should not major in my chosen field.

    "As I was realizing that I did not want to be chemistry major, I was realizing, at the same time, that I wanted to be physics major. "

    The more I realized that I was not a chemistry major, I found my passion with physics.

    ---

    You need to make your sentences stronger. Right now you aren't catching anyone's attention and it is a bit confusing to read.
    I like that you personalized it and showed how you found your love of physics. It gives them a chance to see WHY you are a physics major. Which is really good. I can help you more if you want to message me. :)
     
  4. Jan 6, 2012 #3
    Can you show the exact question? Or it just said "Personal statement essay?"
     
  5. Jan 6, 2012 #4
    Thank you Maia11! Yeah this one was just a first rough draft and I have spent countless hours making it shorter and better. Many them ask for personal statements that should be between 200-500 words. I have shortened my significantly and I sent in two applications already.

    I decided to not mention the chemistry part though. I did however, talk about my research lab experience in chemistry.

    Also thanks for checking my sentence structure. I do have to work on my writing. It is my weakest =D.

    To Nano Passion: Some of them said "personal statement essay" and some said write about research and academic goals.

    I decided to post the essay one instead be cause I thought I would have more trouble with this one.

    THanks Again!
     
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