Please critique my PS :)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
kjames511
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:30 am

Please critique my PS :)

Postby kjames511 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:08 pm

hey y'all please read and let me know what you think :)



Walking away from the Honors College with my hands empty, I waited for the anticipated sensations of liberation and satisfaction to finally hit me. My senior thesis, finally submitted, was supposed to evoke those distinctive emotions I had spent months expecting, yet I only felt only frustration.

About to turn the street corner, I glanced over my shoulder a final time to look back at the building that now housed my completed thesis and the hundreds of other thesis’ students before me had submitted. For the first time, I realized my 70-page thesis would never leave the building in which I had left it in. My work would sit on the same shelf where I had left it for months, maybe even years, before someone would ever take the time to flip through it, perhaps maybe if I was lucky even read it. My thesis, I then decided, was incomplete.

The passion for my thesis came from my experience interning at the United States Senate Education Committee. During my time in Washington, DC, I spent the majority of my internship researching for-profit colleges. While in DC I realized that for-profits were notorious for targeting low-income, first generation high school graduates who knew little about their options when it came to post-secondary education. Not only did these schools enroll students who they knew would struggle to succeed at their institutions but their graduation rates proved it. I left the Senate Education Committee knowing too much.

The next fall I spent at The University of South Carolina, while there I never doubted wanting to continue my research on for-profit colleges. After a year of investigating, researching and composing, my thesis was complete. In it the questionable motives and practices used by for-profits were discussed along with specific legislative actions necessary in order to change the industry.

It was during the 15-minute walk back to my dormitory from the Honors College that I decided writing a thesis simply wasn’t enough, and with this decision my life changing four-month journey began. The frustration I felt the day I turned in my thesis eventually evolved into motivation. Motivation to do something more than just write a paper. Completing my thesis, graduating with honors, and moving on with my life would have been easy. Instead, I spent the last four months of my college career traveling to schools across South Carolina, preparing speeches, publishing brochures, and talking to students about for-profits. It was during those four months that I learned more about myself than I had during my entire college experience. Traveling to some of the most poverty stricken schools in South Carolina, I met students who were so similar to me, yet were guided down completely different educational paths. Often, I found myself wondering how different the outcomes of their lives would be from mine, and how inherently unfair it seemed to be. Day by day each speech I gave became more passionate than the last, I contacted more schools than I ever thought possible, and persuaded hundreds of students who had once considered a for-profit as part of their future education that there were better options.

Critics told me I wouldn’t change anyone’s decision on where they would end up going to college. I think some would disagree. After talking to a 12th grade English class in Sumter, South Carolina, one student went home to withdraw his application to The University of Phoenix. The next day his high school counselor contacted me letting me know they had plans to discuss his options when it came to community colleges.

The young man from Sumter was one of many students whose mind I changed during those four months. It was only after this realization that I finally felt those feelings of liberation and satisfaction that I had envisioned and expected so many months ago.

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MachineLemon
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:47 am

Re: Please critique my PS :)

Postby MachineLemon » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:00 am

Clear, well-written, good mechanics, but I have no idea why you want to pursue law. How did this experience make you want to attend law school/practice law? Did you want to see diploma mills from the inside? haha.

But seriously, if you make that clear, this will be very solid.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Please critique my PS :)

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:33 pm

kjames511 wrote:hey y'all please read and let me know what you think :)



Walking away from the Honors College with my hands empty, I waited for the anticipated sensations of liberation and satisfaction to finally hit me. My senior thesis, finally submitted, was supposed to evoke those distinctive emotions I had spent months expecting, yet I only felt only frustration.

About to turn the street corner, I glanced over my shoulder a final time to look back at the building that now housed my completed thesis and the hundreds of other thesis’ students before me had submitted. For the first time, I realized my 70-page thesis would never leave the building in which I had left it in remain in the building, and probably on the very shelf, where I had deposited it. My work would sit on the same shelf where I had left it for months, maybe even years, before someone would ever take the time to flip through it, Perhaps maybe if I was lucky, some future student might flip through or even read it. I realized My thesis, I then decided realized, was incomplete.

The passion for my thesis came from my experience interning at the United States Senate Education Committee. [poor construction, use active voice, also: announce your thesis first, and then describe where your passion came from] During my time in Washington, DC, I spent ["spent time" is one of the lamest and most overused verbs in the English language. No one spends time. They do something during a time period.] the majority of my internship researching for-profit colleges. [research for research's sake? Were you identifying troubling indicators in the for profit sector?] While in DC I realized that for-profits were notorious [notorious? Be specific. Adcoms are notorious for preferring succinct and descriptive writing styles. State a specific claim and support it.] for targeting low-income, first generation high school graduates who knew little about their options when it came to post-secondary education. Not only did these schools enroll students who they knew would struggle to succeed at their institutions but their graduation rates proved it. I left the Senate Education Committee knowing too much.

The next fall I spent at The University of South Carolina, while there I never doubted wanting to continue my research on for-profit colleges.[run on sentence] After a year of investigating, researching and composing, my thesis was complete. In it the questionable motives and practices used by for-profits were discussed along with specific legislative actions necessary in order to change the industry.

It ["it" is shit. Don't start a new paragraph with "it". You are not Charles Dickens.] was during the 15-minute walk back to my dormitory from the Honors College that I decided to go beyond writing a thesis simply wasn’t enough, and with this decision my life changing four-month journey began. [cliche and overly dramatic] The My frustration I felt the day I turned in my thesis eventually evolved into motivation motivated me. Motivation to do something more than just write a paper. Completing my thesis, graduating with honors, and moving on with my life would have been easy. [why not say, "I had no extrinsic motivation to continue and a part of me wanted to take a long needed summer respite from the rigors of college." Then you won't sound like such a repetitive self-promoter. (If you say the word "honors" one more time I may throw up.) You do know that is in your application] Instead, I spent [stop spending time and start using it. This is no different than using the verb to be] the last four months of my college career traveling to schools across South Carolina, preparing speeches, publishing brochures, and talking to students about for-profits. It was during those four months that I learned more about myself than I had during my entire college experience. [BS. This is an unsupported statement. If you want to make this statement, you should tell us what you learned about yourself (not about the problem)] Traveling to some of the most poverty stricken schools in South Carolina, I met students who were so similar to me, yet were guided down completely different educational paths. [Are kids steered toward for-profit schools that have better options? Think open enrollment, selling false short-cuts to success, etc. Most of the people that bite on the for-profit worm are not like you.] Often, I found myself wondering how different the outcomes of their lives would be from mine, and how inherently unfair it [What is "it"? Get rid of the word "it" because you don't know how to use it.] seemed to be. Day by day each speech I gave became more passionate than the last, I contacted more schools than I ever thought possible, and persuaded hundreds of students who had once considered a for-profit as part of their future education that there were better options. [How did you earn the right to speak at high schools? Was this a part of a larger program, or did you do that on your own? Because if you did, that is the real story.]

Critics told me I wouldn’t change anyone’s decision on where they would end up going to college. I think some would disagree. [who are these critics and who are these "some"? This is just wasted filler to create an overstated conflict/drama that does not exist.] After talking to a 12th grade English class in Sumter, South Carolina, one student went home to withdraw his application to The University of Phoenix. [did you miss the advice to not name names?] The next day his high school counselor contacted me letting me know they had plans to discuss his options when it came to community colleges.

The young man from Sumter was one of many students whose mind I changed during those four months. It was only after this realization that I finally felt those feelings of liberation and satisfaction that I had envisioned and expected so many months ago. [this PS is nothing more than an abstract for an internship on your resume. it does not add much to your application, though it could if written better and more honestly and personally.]




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