Here is my first, very rough draft of my PS. I am wondering, does it sound to much like whining? This is not the intent, my intent was to describe a hardship in my life and tell what I have gotten out of it and how that will aid me in law school. This is why I added the first sentence of the last paragraph...is this necessary? Please provide any and all critique you wish and don't hold back...thanks.
I was twelve years old and in the seventh grade. It came abruptly; it came with little warning; and it changed my life forever. The divorce of my parents was an event during my adolescence that impacted me heavily, in hind sight much more than I realized at the time. It brought along with it many hardships which have both taught me responsibility and independence and motivated me to succeed, which has aided and benefited me much throughout my life and will continue to benefit me in my pursuit of a legal education.
My parent’s divorce was complicated by other factors, the most prominent of which being our economic situation. Once my parents divorced I lived with my mom and brother, seven years my junior and five years old at the time, seeing my father almost exclusively on weekends only. He also paid no child support. This forced me, like it or not, into a role of responsibility in caring for my brother while my mom worked long hours at a low paying job. At the time it seemed unfair and burdensome, however taking on such a responsibility at a young age as I grew up ingrained the values of responsibility and accountability that I hold very closely and strongly today.
As a few years passed and I entered high school, the emotional aspect of my parents no longer being married passed as well; I was fifteen now and could look past the negative aspects to see that my parents could live happier apart. The reality, however, was that my emotional coming to terms with the situation had no impact on the financial aspect, and the economic burdens still loomed. Being of working age now, I took it upon myself to apply for a work permit at my town hall and begin searching for a job, and my efforts soon paid off. I found myself working twenty hours a week at a minimum wage job, not glamorous by any means, but it allowed me to engage in activities that I was never able to previously. Being on state health care and receiving food stamps and free school lunches for me and my brother, my mom still barely made enough to pay the bills. This meant I hardly ever got a ten dollar bill handed to me to go to the mall or out to eat with my friends; in fact at fifteen I was helping my mom pay the bills with the money I earned. If I wanted it, I had to earn it myself, and I did just that.
As high school progressed I took on other expenses, including a monthly cell phone bill and eventually buying my own vehicle which carried its own expenses, all with my earnings from my job. At the time it seemed unfair that I had to work so hard for what other kids didn’t seemingly have to lift a finger for, but looking on it now there are more positive aspects than I was ever able to realize. It taught me about independence and individual responsibility. It taught me about the importance of time management, and working hard to get what you want, all things which I have carried with me and will carry with me into law school.
Progressing into college, what I have taken from my parent’s divorce and my financial situation growing up has carried with me. Gaining so much independence at such a young age has aided me much in my undergraduate years; it has taught me that nobody is going to hold my hand and the importance of working hard for what I want for myself, and I fully believe that my success academically and as a student leader on my undergraduate campus can be attributed, at least in part, to the experiences discussed previously.
I share these experiences not as plea for sympathy but rather to attest to what I have learned throughout my life and why I am an excellent candidate for law school. I attribute much of my success in college largely to the independence and responsibility that I learned from the way I grew up. My parent’s divorce was certainly a hardship in my life that changed my life forever, but I don’t look back on it negatively because of what I was able to take out of it. Law school will be a hardship in the same sense, both financially and mentally, and just as I have confronted obstacles in my life in the past I am ready to confront law school with the same mentality emphasizing independence, responsibility and hard work, all three of which will lead me to success in law school and beyond.