I would love comments or suggestions on how to improve my PS. I've spent way too long in bed with this thing already and need some outside perspective.
My mother was hysterical, loudly and tearfully insisted that I had ruined my life beyond any hope of salvation. I didn’t understand why she was reacting so strongly. I was willing to admit that dropping out of high school wasn’t exactly ideal, but I had already decided to take the GED exam and then it would be as if the whole thing had never happened. My attempt at rationalizing this decision was to remind her that no one else in our family had ever gone to college and they had all done just fine. The fact that I was leaving school to work full time to help pay our bills weakened my argument but went unsaid. I removed my McDonald’s uniform from my backpack, put it on at home and left for work, no longer bothering to pretend that I was leaving for school instead.
I didn’t last long slinging burgers, but I did eventually carve out some success for myself in retail management at ____________. I enjoyed my job as the Guest Service Coordinator, which involved all aspects of hiring and training at the store and allowed me to live in modest comfort. Occasionally I would feel a twinge of jealousy when a coworker left for some seemingly exotic locale to attend college, but then I would think about how well I had done for myself without it and the mood would pass.
After several years of gradually moving up within the store my boss approached me to inquire about my interest in training to take over my own branch. I was ecstatic. This was what I had been working towards for years. I spent the rest of the day bouncing with excitement to go home and tell my husband that it had finally happened. When I delivered the news, he allowed me a moment to celebrate before reminding me of a fact that I was consciously choosing not to acknowledge. Per company policy, this was the highest position I could attain without a college degree. I was 25 and my career had already peaked.
I tried to make peace with this fact, but it bothered me. It was one thing to have willingly sold myself short all this time, but I resented that I had allowed someone else to do it for me. I recalled that long-ago conversation in my mother’s kitchen when I argued that I would be just fine without an education and realized that I had been correct. I would be “just fine” and nothing more. Motivated not by the failure that my mother had predicted but by the limitations of my particular brand of success, I submitted an application to the local university and promptly forgot about it until the acceptance letter arrived.
Once in school, I was thrilled to discover how much I enjoyed it. Sometimes it was challenging to balance the demands of a full course load while continuing to work full time, but even on the longest nights, I didn't question whether I had done the right thing. The courses that most captivated me were the ones on issues related to law: Civil Liberties, Constitutional Law, Women and the Law, etc. I was fascinated by the subtle nuances and details that could make or break a case, the myriad of ways that the same words could be interpreted and applied, and the construction and application of arguments. I devoured every similar course that I could and was disappointed when I exhausted ___________ State’s supply of them.
That has led me to my current path: attending law school. I believe that my work ethic and analytical nature combined with the leadership experience and resourcefulness that I gained during my retail experience will make me a successful law student and future lawyer. Had I not made the poor decision to drop out of high school I may never have taken the winding path that brought me here and I would not be as strong a student or person as I am now. Above all, I now know what it feels like to achieve things that I had already decided were out of my reach and it has made me want to reach even further. Doing “just fine” has its merits, but for me it’s just a starting point.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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