Second Draft PS - please give insight

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VTOrange19
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:12 pm

Second Draft PS - please give insight

Postby VTOrange19 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:57 am

Here is my second draft of my PS, it was really hard to put into two pages what I could have written a short book about. Nevertheless, it was a very important event to me and felt compelled to make it into my PS. Thanks in advance for your input.

Living my entire life in the southeast, I did not believe in the type of cold I was currently experiencing. Frigid winter air was coursing through my veins. This was not Georgia; this was not North Carolina. The bitter Chicago cold whipped at my face, and I was defenseless against it. The January morning illuminated the snow that blanketed the world as far as I could see, and here we were, a group of wool-clad warriors determined to fight the elements. I wanted to throw a fit. “This can’t be safe!” I wanted to scream. “The human body isn’t built for this,” I would say. Just when I thought my despair was rising and my body temperature falling, a gloved hand shot out from a jacket and grabbed my hand. My teary eyes caught glimpse of the bundled up person holding my hands; “don’t let them break us,” my little sister Lucia said to me.

The morning was January 21, 2009. I was in the Chicago suburb of Naperville laying my father to rest after his eighteen month bout with cancer. Being the only son of divorced parents, I knew my dad through weeklong trips that punctuated my school vacations, but a boy never forgets his father. I thought this trip would be easy; I thought I could manage my pain within my own self. I had just turned twenty-two and was determined to be a man. Men don’t cry, at least that’s what I told myself. If that was the case, then I was far from manly with my sixteen-year-old sister holding my hand, reiterating the pledge we made not to break down in public. The weight of the world crashed down upon my shoulders, and I couldn’t handle the pressure. I broke down and cried, the tears freezing to my cheeks in the near negative temperatures.

My dad’s fight with cancer was the worst period in my life. Shortly before he was diagnosed, I had been expelled from college for having too much fun and putting myself into bad situations. Ironically, my expulsion brought me closer to my dad, and knowing my affinity for World War II, he simply told me “If you are going through hell, keep going.” The Churchill quote rang especially true coming from a man dealing with his own personal hell. There was no going backwards. I refused to let the situation define or beat me, just like my father was determined to beat the disease that attacked him.

When I got home following the funeral, I decided to take the proper steps to put my past behind me and move forward. I arrived home and began applying to other colleges in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Being expelled offered me the chance to run away, I received offers to work for friends in Florida and college counselor suggestions on schools in other states, but I chose to exercise my demons and finish college where I started. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte overlooked my past and gave me a second chance to finish my undergraduate studies, and I vowed to prove my worthiness to the school and everyone around me. School would no longer be a social phenomenon for me, and since I began at UNCC in the fall of 2009, I produced far better academic marks than I ever had in my past. My grades were up half a point (3.2 to 3.7 gpa), and I made Dean’s or Chancellor’s List every semester. Determined to make the most of my second chance, I worked hard to prove what I could do. Failure was not an option; anything less than my best would not do.

I did not know my father very well, but it would be a lie to say he did not shape my life in many facets. During the most trying times of both of our lives, he taught me how to persevere, not by hollow words from a quote but by his actions every single day. I took his lesson to heart and changed my work ethic, and the results show what kind of person and student I have become. The drive that I now possess is far greater than any adversity I have faced in the past or will face in the future. Failure and missteps will happen, but tough times provided a stage from which I could prove my merits as a student and individual.

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MrSparkle
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:06 pm

Re: Second Draft PS - please give insight

Postby MrSparkle » Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:24 am

VTOrange19 wrote:Here is my second draft of my PS, it was really hard to put into two pages what I could have written a short book about. Nevertheless, it was a very important event to me and felt compelled to make it into my PS. Thanks in advance for your input.

Living my entire life in the southeast, I did not believe in the type of cold I was currently experiencing. Frigid winter air was coursing through my veins. This was not Georgia; this was not North Carolina. The bitter Chicago cold whipped at my face, and I was defenseless against it. The January morning illuminated the snow that blanketed the world as far as I could see, and here we were, a group of wool-clad warriors determined to fight the elements. I wanted to throw a fit. “This can’t be safe!” I wanted to scream. “The human body isn’t built for this,” I would say. Just when I thought my despair was rising and my body temperature falling, a gloved hand shot out from a jacket and grabbed my hand. My teary eyes caught glimpse of the bundled up person holding my hands; “don’t let them break us,” my little sister Lucia said to me.

The morning was January 21, 2009. I was in the Chicago suburb of Naperville laying my father to rest after his eighteen month bout with cancer. Being the only son of divorced parents, I knew my dad through weeklong trips that punctuated my school vacations, but a boy never forgets his father. I thought this trip would be easy; I thought I could manage my pain within my own self. I had just turned twenty-two and was determined to be a man. Men don’t cry, at least that’s what I told myself. If that was the case, then I was far from manly with my sixteen-year-old sister holding my hand, reiterating the pledge we made not to break down in public. The weight of the world crashed down upon my shoulders, and I couldn’t handle the pressure. I broke down and cried, the tears freezing to my cheeks in the near negative temperatures.

My dad’s fight with cancer was the worst period in my life. Shortly before he was diagnosed, I had been expelled from college for having too much fun and putting myself into bad situations. Ironically, my expulsion brought me closer to my dad, and knowing my affinity for World War II, he simply told me “If you are going through hell, keep going.” How is your expulsion for "too much fun" hell when you did it to yourself. Poor analogy, IMO.The Churchill quote rang especially true coming from a man dealing with his own personal hell. There was no going backwards. I refused to let the situation Again, you created it define or beat me, just like my father was determined to beat the disease that attacked him.

When I got home following the funeral, I decided to take the proper steps to put my past behind me and move forward. I arrived home and began applying to other colleges in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Being expelled offered me the chance to run away, I received offers to work for friends in Florida and college counselor suggestions on schools in other states, but I chose to exercise exorcise my demons and finish college where I started. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte overlooked my past and gave me a second chance to finish my undergraduate studies, and I vowed to prove my worthiness to the school and everyone around me. School would no longer be a social phenomenon for me, and since I began at UNCC in the fall of 2009, I produced far better academic marks than I ever had in my past. My grades were up half a point (3.2 to 3.7 gpa)I wouldn't use exact GPA numbers in an essay, and I made Dean’s or Chancellor’s List every semester. Determined to make the most of my second chance, I worked hard to prove what I could do. Failure was not an option; anything less than my best would not do.

I did not know my father very well, but it would be a lie to say he did not shape my life in many facets. During the most trying times of both of our lives, he taught me how to persevere, not by hollow words from a quote but by his actions every single day. I took his lesson to heart and changed my work ethic, and the results show what kind of person and student I have become. The drive that I now possess is far greater than any adversity I have faced in the past or will face in the future. Failure and missteps will happen, but tough times provided a stage from which I could prove my merits as a student and individual.





I don't like it. I don't get a sense of how your father really affected you before his death, or as a result of it, or how you saw life more than just "gotta pull myself back up." You talk a bit too much about your father and not about yourself. Also, you were expelled before your father died, so you flirt with comparing that situation with your father's cancer. Granted the entire situation as a whole sucked, but you were responsible for part of it.

I would shift the focus to yourself and how you felt, and use more details. Talking about what your father indirectly taught you is pretty boring. The danger of this kind of essay is talking about the other person more than yourself...avoid this topic altogether if you can. Remember, the PS has to end super-positive and present you in the best light possible. Adcomms have to say "I want to admit this person right now." Keep on truckin'

LSATclincher
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Second Draft PS - please give insight

Postby LSATclincher » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:40 am

I felt the power of your words. I think you have a nice story to build upon. Right off the bat, eliminate para 1. It does nothing whatsoever. Create a clever 1st sentence, then begin w/ the funeral. The rest kinda tailed off me for. I certainly think you should use your father's story to show how you overcame being expelled. But the rest sounded like a grade addendum. Focus more on your accomplishments and how you've built your character since your father's death. An up-tick in grades is nice, but your transcript or addendum will prove that. It's not all about grades and scores. It's about experience, too. Use the PS to show how you demonstrated your turnaround while keeping your father's spirit involved throughout.




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