PS review- Thoughts?

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UtahPhi
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:20 am

PS review- Thoughts?

Postby UtahPhi » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:22 am

I took 20 of my fraternity brothers on a romantic weekend get-away with my girlfriend. Kelly had been planning a trip for weeks. I was spending most of my time with the fraternity, and she wanted to have a weekend away with just the two of us. However, in the chapter meeting four days before our trip, the fraternity was at an all-time low. We were midway through our first semester as a full chapter, and the motivation was gone. I knew a member retreat could turn things around, and thus our romantic weekend took a different turn. Kelly was not pleased when I informed her of our 20 additional guests, but consented to the additions. In the end, Kelly remained my girlfriend, the fraternity came back renewed, motivated to succeed and had a fantastic semester after that “romantic get-away”.
The point of that was not to highlight my poor relationship decision. Re-founding and acting as President of a fraternity has been the most influential factor in my growth during college. It taught me the value of “doing what ought to be done”, a motto of our fraternity. I experienced every type of situation as President. From members admitting that they are homosexual in chapter meeting to helping a fellow member go from a potential drop-out, to a constant on the dean’s list. It seemed like every potential scenario happened during my terms, but the one thing that helped me to cope with any situation was to “do what ought to be done”.
I came into college as a wide-eyed freshman, and of course the idea of a fraternity with girls, outrageous parties and an amazing house appealed to me. Oddly enough, I ended up joining a group that had none of that. Phi Delta Theta was re-founding their currently closed fraternity chapter on campus. I joined when there was nobody else. Only a beat-down house, no girls and no parties (housing is alcohol-free). I am still surprised that I made such a choice, but the opportunity to build something great, something that I could be proud of for years to come, was what drew me in. Unfortunately, my first two years were far from what I imagined. Starting a fraternity from the ground-up was extremely difficult. I was an active member during that time, but never devoted myself fully. Things got so tough that it came to a point where 80% of the members were asked to leave, and seven of us were offered the choice to leave with them, or to come back and start over, again.
Deciding to come back and leave behind those other 30-plus men was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. My life had always been easy; being a smart kid with supportive family, things had always gone smoothly. That was the first kink in my life, and it was difficult for me. Having to make a decision though, helped me to realize that up to that point I had not been acting as I should. I was blessed with opportunity in life, I had the ability to lead and help others, but in truth I had shunned opportunity, and strayed away from what I valued. I realized I had failed by doing so, and that feeling of failure is what led me to stay with the group and vow to “give it my all” to remedy my mistakes.
The decision to stay with the group was the greatest choice I have ever made. I became President, restored the chapter, became active on campus and built an organization that continues to help build better college men. In no way am I naïve enough to say that this was solely my doing; I was lucky to have one of the best groups of college men to work with that was blessed with the perfect combination of personalities and abilities. The only thing I did was to fully give myself to the fraternity, and strive to inspire others to do the same. My proudest and most emotional moment of college was the day we were re-installed as a chapter, the culmination of our goals. I realize though that I was extremely lucky to have been given a second-chance to remedy my failures and enjoy that moment.
I truly came to appreciate that reality; that life rarely gives a second-chance. If I had not been given that chance with the fraternity, I would be a noticeably different individual today. Many scholastic aspects may have remained similar, but I would be only a shell of my current self. What I gained has allowed me to make choices and life decisions based on a solid foundation of experiences and values. Whatever life brings, law school being the next step, I know that the keys to success are to devote myself and to “do what ought to be done”, and I am confident I have developed the skills to do so.

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

Re: PS review- Thoughts?

Postby MrSparkle » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:44 am

"Things got tough" is pretty vague, I don't know why 30 people were asked to leave. Without that detail, your basic argument is "I became president of a frat, and it was hard to hold together but I did it."

I don't know about this general topic. I think you need more detail about why it was important to keep this fraternity together, or ways in which it was special. Or you should choose a different topic, I don't get a real sense of who you are, and the essay lacks a strong structure/plot. It feels kind of random.

I don't know if any of these impressions will help you, but in the end, the question that you are asking/must answer is "Should I be admitted to your law school?" I don't know if I would based on this alone.

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arism87
Posts: 1311
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:46 pm

Re: PS review- Thoughts?

Postby arism87 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:51 am

I would also consider a new topic. My thoughts as I read (please don't take offense, I'm definitely a biased GDI- but the adcomm may be as well)

-Really, this guy gets one chance to express himself and he's writing about a frat?
-...and his love life?
-Not only that, but his frat frowned upon members being gay? (implied)
-Oh, so he wanted to party and get girls.
-Why did everyone get kicked out? Real winners, this guy's friends.
*checks out*


I DID like this part, and should you keep the topic, I would definitely try to keep to this theme:

"I was blessed with opportunity in life, I had the ability to lead and help others, but in truth I had shunned opportunity, and strayed away from what I valued. I realized I had failed by doing so, and that feeling of failure is what led me to stay with the group and vow to “give it my all” to remedy my mistakes.
The decision to stay with the group was the greatest choice I have ever made. I became President, restored the chapter, became active on campus and built an organization that continues to help build better college men. In no way am I naïve enough to say that this was solely my doing; I was lucky to have one of the best groups of college men to work with that was blessed with the perfect combination of personalities and abilities. The only thing I did was to fully give myself to the fraternity, and strive to inspire others to do the same. My proudest and most emotional moment of college was the day we were re-installed as a chapter, the culmination of our goals. I realize though that I was extremely lucky to have been given a second-chance to remedy my failures and enjoy that moment."

lcw
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:15 pm

Re: PS review- Thoughts?

Postby lcw » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:15 pm

I think you did a good job communicating your passion and commitment to your fraternity. However, I don't think your personal statement is effective at communicating to a law school admissions committee why you want to go to law school. In fact, you don't even mention law school until the very last sentence of your statement. Even then, the reference to law school is merely to it being the next step. There is no mention of 1) why it ought to be your next step; and 2) why that step should be through the doors of this particular law school.

This statement reads much more like a farewell speech that you would give at the end of your tenure as President of your fraternity. As a reader, I'm left wondering why you want to go to law school, why you think your suited to law school, and why you wouldn't choose an alternative career path that was more directly related to the Greek life.

As a way of incorporating your fraternity background, perhaps you can write about "doing what ought to be done" with respect to 1) how that motto will influence your future career as an attorney or 2) how that motto has steered you towards law school (as opposed to any other profession).

Best of luck.




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