Michigan State PS

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Michigan State PS

Postby Bgard008 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:04 pm

My Educational Transformation
My mother use to say that for me, doing well was “passing by the skin of my teeth.” I was once a young man filled with a lack of motivation and a questionable quality of life. To begin my senior year of high school, I sat across a wood-grained table inside the principal’s office, surrounded by my teachers and forced to listen to what they collectively referred to as “my situation.” I had a slim chance of graduating from high school and they all knew it. I spent the last few months of my high school career rummaging through old papers and completing tests after months of procrastination. That was not the idyllic senior year I pictured.
After struggling through immense amounts of work, I raised my grades enough to graduate high school. I had little aspirations for the future and thought college to be of no avail, until a conversation with a close friend altered my perceptions. This conversation took place at a local pool hall; where my friend and I began to discuss our futures and prospective careers. To my amazement, my friend expressed that his only objective was to stay out of prison. In the wake of my bewilderment, I attempted to collect an answer for such a pessimistic approach at life. After numerous attempts at discerning a rationale, we left the pool hall and went our separate ways. That conversation provided me with a newfound motivation to pursue an academic career. After countless applications, I was accepted to a college that would provide me with the stepping-stone for the rest of my academic career.
I had finally realized that if I continued to allow myself to make inauspicious decisions, then I would never change those self-hindering habits. As I collected various bits of information/opinions from classmates, I restructured my thought process in contradiction with what I had been accustomed to believing my entire life. This restructuring ultimately occurred after a much-anticipated transfer; which offered me better opportunities and a chance at a new beginning. At first I struggled academically, but I soon found my niche and began to seek out intellectually stimulating material. Aiding in my pursuit for knowledge I found it especially necessary to understand and contribute to the lives of the people around me.
“No degree of knowledge attainable by man is able to set him above the want of hourly assistance.”-- Samuel Johnson, LLD MA Rambler 137.
While riding a city bus, I engaged a young lady with subtle remarks, which over time turned into casual conversations and the arrival of “her situation”. She had recently given birth to a baby boy and wanted to acquire a bachelor’s degree to better their lives. I felt that it was my duty to help her, so we collectively assembled a plan of action; which eventually led to the submission of her first college application. The next time we crossed paths she greeted me with a lively smile and a hooded sweatshirt of her future alma mater. The feelings I experienced on that day were sublime. However significant my assistance was, I will never know. But knowing that my help may have given her a chance at an improved life will continue to aid in my forward progression.
Years have flown by since that conversation between old friends and the alluring exchanges on a crowded city bus. My interpersonal and intellectual skills have matured and a strong law school candidate has emerged. With a Juris Doctor I plan to assist juveniles in both judicial and personal settings, because only through life experiences and the assistance of others will children begin to take control of their existence. The Child Advocacy Certification at Michigan State University is what initially attracted me to MSU Law. With this certification and related coursework, the array of knowledge that I acquire will prepare me for the type of law I will pursue.
Five years ago, I would never have imagined I would be sending off law school applications. Remembering that day, glaring into the eyes of the teachers I had avoided for years, actually assisted me in the long run. I realize that the events that those events provided me with the will to succeed and the mindset to accomplish my ambitions. Law school, more particularly Michigan State School of Law is a part of my future and securing admission to such a prestigious institution will make me a more capable provider and contributor to society. Throughout all the ups and downs of life I have found it especially important that I be my own luminary, because if I cannot motivate myself than no one can.
“Let him that would move the world first move himself.” – Socrates

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Re: Michigan State PS

Postby Justdoingmybest » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:10 am

- Your PS does not need to have a title.I recommend not using one.
- Revise the first sentence. Maybe begin with the words in quotations. it might make your beginning better.
- Your first sentence already implies the second you should either find a way to combine both or just take it out.
-The structure of your third sentence is awkward you should revise it.
- Actually your whole 1st paragraph needs revision, the story drags and i don't think it pulls the reader in.

-I don't think you told us why the conversation with your friend made you change your attitude. You need to explore this issue and expand on this aspect of your statement

-Most of the sentences in the 3rd paragraph need some work. Grammar and syntax.

-Looking at the rest of the statement, you might want to expand on the experience with the woman on the bus. It seems like your drive to help is your main reason for applying to law school. This could also be the focus of the PS actually.

-I don't think the quote at the end is doing anything. You already touched on this in the earlier sentence.

Good Luck!

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Re: Michigan State PS

Postby TommyK » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:18 am

The quotations seem weird and break up the flow of the PS. I wouldn't start it off with a quotation either.

You were once a slacker in high school then you decided to go to college after hearing your friend just wanted to stay out of prison... & You were sitting on a bus, hitting on a girl, and realized you liked helping people so you wanted to go to law school at MSU

Maybe this is how you make decisions, but it seems like something is missing. The first one I might buy, but the second one seems like (as written) too low-impact to make a life-changing decision. Have you had any other experiences in being a child advocate? If so, I would re-structure the PS to be about those.

I'm glad you're mentioning MSU specifically in the PS. They like knowing that you're applying to MSU because you want to attend there - not just because you're applying to law school. If you don't do this and you're above their medians, they'll make you write a Why MSU essay.

I'm not a fan of the first paragraph. It starts off by painting you in a negative light (which is not necessarily bad), but doesn't provide a moment of true redemption.

Bgard008 wrote:After countless applications, I was accepted to a college that would provide me with the stepping-stone for the rest of my academic career.

If you wanted to talk about redemption, you can mention how you finally got your act together and after getting accepted to that college, you did awesome and got a 3.7 gpa. If you ended up with a sub-3.0 gpa, then you're essentially saying, "I was a slacker in HS, decided to go to college, certain I was going to nail it, but ended up slacking off there... but now I know I want to go to law school and promise I'll do better" If that's the case, avoid mentioning this at all and talk about your passion to help the young'uns.

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Re: Michigan State PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:39 am

CONSIDER: "Law school is a part of my future which should make me a more capable provider while enabling me to better contribute to society." (The MSU prestigious institution phrases are unnecessary & approach needless pandering that negatively affects your essay. The earlier mention of a specific program at MSU is enough.)

Overall, this is an excellent personal statement because it is genuine, sincere, well-written and allows the reader to get to know & understand much about you.

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Re: Michigan State PS

Postby BeerMaker » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:18 pm

I hope you're not going to Michigan State unless you have a full-ride! That would be suicidal.

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Re: Michigan State PS

Postby Bgard008 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:54 am

Thanks for the advice. Good luck to you all this cycle!

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