Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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TruHoosier
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Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby TruHoosier » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:21 pm

In my PS, or at least the version of it that I have now, I talk a lot about the struggles I overcame as a kid. Part of these struggles include getting into drugs and alcohol at a very young age.

Should I not be mentioning substance abuse? I'm concerned that will affect law schools' opinion of me if they see that mentioned.

I'm obviously not into drugs or alcohol anymore. And it wasn't a situation where I was living on the streets or something like that. It was heavy experimenting at a very young age - something that I make very clear is ended.

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MrKappus
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby MrKappus » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:27 pm

Once numbers are considered, PS's are tie-breakers. Unless this PS is exceptionally well executed, you will not be breaking ties in your favor. Why chance it?

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TruHoosier
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby TruHoosier » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:34 pm

I think it's pretty well executed. I guess I could try to rewrite it without mention of drugs and alcohol, but I think the piece will lose a lot of bite without it.

This is stuff I did when I was like 11-12. I'm 27 now. Do you really think they'd hold that against me, especially if the message of the PS is clearly and subtly conveyed?

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MrKappus
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby MrKappus » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:36 pm

TruHoosier wrote:I think it's pretty well executed. I guess I could try to rewrite it without mention of drugs and alcohol, but I think the piece will lose a lot of bite without it.

This is stuff I did when I was like 11-12. I'm 27 now. Do you really think they'd hold that against me, especially if the message of the PS is clearly and subtly conveyed?


Honestly, answering this question is like writing a book review based on someone else's description of the book. Only you know if it's well done. If it is, rock 'n roll. Good luck.

Edit: I'm trying to picture a drunk/high 11 year-old. I think I held a girl's hand for the first time at that age. Being sheltered FTW.

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TruHoosier
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby TruHoosier » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:50 pm

Yeah, you make a good point. I am just going to try to tone the speech down a little and have a lot of people read over it before I submit it.

Nothing wrong with a sheltered life man or trying to hold a girl's hand at 11! I bet you still got laid before I did!

12262010
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby 12262010 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:51 pm

you shouldn't be writing about shit you did when you were 11 or 12 in a PS, IMO.

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Cupidity
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby Cupidity » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:52 pm

Words from my Dean of Admissions, "Never give us an opportunity to doubt you," even if it is well written, when read quickly--negative things can be inferred. I would avoid negative topics like the plauge.

Renzo
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby Renzo » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:39 pm

You have one shot to tell these people the most impressive things about yourself, and you're picking your childhood drug problem?

adonai
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby adonai » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:59 pm

Renzo wrote:You have one shot to tell these people the most impressive things about yourself, and you're picking your childhood drug problem?

Overcoming adversity and changing for the better is impressive, and I believe many law schools mention this as a potential PS topic in their application.

Renzo
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby Renzo » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:01 pm

adonai wrote:
Renzo wrote:You have one shot to tell these people the most impressive things about yourself, and you're picking your childhood drug problem?

Overcoming adversity and changing for the better is impressive, and I believe many law schools mention this as a potential PS topic in their application.

Overcoming your own bad judgement isn't exactly what they had in mind.

policestate1234
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby policestate1234 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:10 pm

Don't do it brah. You are making a mistake.

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TruHoosier
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby TruHoosier » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:49 am

Renzo wrote:You have one shot to tell these people the most impressive things about yourself, and you're picking your childhood drug problem?


Yeah, childhood "drug problem". That is exactly what I am writing about. :roll:

Did you not read the subject of this thread where I said explicitly that I've just mentioned them in my PS? How do you infer from anything I have written in this thread that my PS is about my "childhood drug problem"? Why do some posters on this forum have this weird tendency to jump to conclusions and exaggerate everything? I've posted on message boards before and have never seen anything like this on any of them.

If I do mention substance abuse, I am going to do so sparingly. If you'd like to know what my PS is actually about, I got in some trouble when I was about 12-13 and was almost sent to juvenile detention center. My parents/teachers had a man who was a criminal defense lawyer come and talk to me about the road I was heading down. He scared the shit out of me, and I have been on the straight and narrow since and doing well in all facets of life.

I've wanted to be a lawyer or at least have considered being a lawyer since then. I've never written a PS before and I am only in rough drafts of this thing, but it seems to me to be a good topic. Would you all agree? The hook of the story is that I saw the importance of law at that moment and that I would like to get the chance to make sure that troubled youth are treated fairly by the legal system - something along those lines.

If you think I need to find something more positive to write about, I'm sure I can come up with something else. I see the point that some of you are making.

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TruHoosier
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby TruHoosier » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:50 am

All right, I slept on it last night and have come to the conclusion that even mentioning illegal substances is a bad idea. I think I can still keep this topic, though. I can take a different angle by just saying that I had some growing pains as a kid, was running with a tough crowd and did some things to get into trouble. Authority figures asked a defense lawyer to talk some sense into me, and that had a profound effect on my life, leading me to want to get into law and become a similar source of inspiration and safeguard to troubled kids.

I think there is still potential in this topic idea, even if it has a PG rating. And it's like many of you said. My numbers are relatively good, so why bother taking the risk?

Thanks for the advice guys. I will keep this thread updated.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:01 pm

Or, if you really want to convey an image involving drugs & alcohol, just include your avatar photo in your application packet.

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sundance95
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby sundance95 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:15 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Or, if you really want to convey an image involving drugs & alcohol, just include your avatar photo in your application packet.


Beat me to it.

lolol10
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby lolol10 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:17 pm

MrKappus wrote:
TruHoosier wrote:I think it's pretty well executed. I guess I could try to rewrite it without mention of drugs and alcohol, but I think the piece will lose a lot of bite without it.

This is stuff I did when I was like 11-12. I'm 27 now. Do you really think they'd hold that against me, especially if the message of the PS is clearly and subtly conveyed?


Honestly, answering this question is like writing a book review based on someone else's description of the book. Only you know if it's well done. If it is, rock 'n roll. Good luck.

Edit: I'm trying to picture a drunk/high 11 year-old. I think I held a girl's hand for the first time at that age. Being sheltered FTW.

+1 haha

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TruHoosier
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby TruHoosier » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:38 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Or, if you really want to convey an image involving drugs & alcohol, just include your avatar photo in your application packet.


That's a pic of me a couple years after I graduated high school. I decided to put off going to college and stick around the same town I went to high school in. You know, chase around some cuties from that new crop of freshmen girls.

I keep getting older, they keep staying the same age. :mrgreen:

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby Stringer Bell » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:51 pm

adonai wrote:
Renzo wrote:You have one shot to tell these people the most impressive things about yourself, and you're picking your childhood drug problem?

Overcoming adversity and changing for the better is impressive, and I believe many law schools mention this as a potential PS topic in their application.


I agree. In the Boalt profile Ken mentions something about a former drug dealer that got accepted with low numbers largely because his story was so compelling.

OP, you need to realize that doing this is probably a pretty big gamble. It might pay off and it might blow up in your face. You might want to have a different ps for your reaches vs. your targets and safeties.

andedom
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Re: Mentioning drugs and alcohol in your PS

Postby andedom » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:44 pm

TruHoosier wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Or, if you really want to convey an image involving drugs & alcohol, just include your avatar photo in your application packet.


That's a pic of me a couple years after I graduated high school. I decided to put off going to college and stick around the same town I went to high school in. You know, chase around some cuties from that new crop of freshmen girls.

I keep getting older, they keep staying the same age. :mrgreen:


True story, bro




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