First Draft/Rough Draft Help

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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First Draft/Rough Draft Help

Postby biggmike » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:04 pm

Hey guys, just looking for some feedback here if you have a few minutes to spare I truly appreciate it.

GPA: 3.8
LSAT's: I took a Kaplan Prep course and scored 178 on my last practice test, however 160's have been the norm. Taking my first official LSAT in October.

This is a rough draft and I'm trying to figure out what to say and how to say it without coming off whiny or bitter.

During my senior year of high school, my father, a New York City bus driver, strongly discouraged me from attending college. He refused to give me his tax returns which I needed for FAFSA and inundated me with the allure of a blue collar job. This wasn’t because I was a bad student or had a poor work ethic, he just believed that going to college would be a waste of money and wouldn’t provide me the stability and safety of a civil service job such as working for the Department of Sanitation or the Police Department. After all, he didn’t go to college and was able to have a house and raise three children. Having no large amount of savings, I wound up working as a patient transporter in a hospital and after two years saved up enough money to attend The College of Staten Island, which had affordable tuition and easy to get to with public transportation.

After about a year and a half of working odd hours at the hospital and struggling to find a balance between work and school, I dropped out of college and took the civil service test for Sanitation. Shortly after, there was a hiring freeze in New York City and I felt that I was stuck in this job which had no room for advancement. My fiancé and her family really inspired me to finish school and at least get my Bachelor’s degree and had faith that I could do more than civil service. I went back to school to finish my Bachelor’s and while finishing it I came to this realization: It is our duty to work to the best of our ability. If the best I can do with my life is working for Sanitation, then that is fine. However, I feel that my talents can be best utilized elsewhere, hence law school.

As someone who has experienced both worlds, growing up in a blue collar family and now living with my in-law’s who have professional jobs, I realize that I can do more than what my family wants me to do. This is not to say that I hold ill will towards my family and they do not resent what I am attempting to do, it is quite the opposite in fact. They very much support me even though I turned down Sanitation when they called last August, as I believe I can do better.

My father wanted to become a lawyer back in the 1970’s after he graduated high school, but due to extraneous circumstances such as his brother being murdered as well as financial problems, it was not feasible for him to go to college. He very much had the mind for law school and I believe he still does. I am very much in my father’s shoes today. We share similar experiences as we approach the same forked road. My older brother passed away in February after a two year bout with cancer at the age of 29. I understand the financial risk I will be taking on by attending law school. However, I refuse to let my future be stymied the same way my father did.

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Re: First Draft/Rough Draft Help

Postby CorkBoard » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:27 am

This needs some work. The ending is too abrupt and comes off a little vindictive. I think it takes you too long to segue into the whole "I went to college and finished despite the odds" or whatever.

It just seems like you're angry at your father which is both how this PS begins and ends.

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Re: First Draft/Rough Draft Help

Postby Feedback Help » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:11 am


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Re: First Draft/Rough Draft Help

Postby Da1andOnlyPharo » Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:03 pm

The first thing that comes to mind is that it's a little boring. No doubt you overcame some adversity, but I think you need to jazz it up a bit. Maybe be a little bit more dramatic--everyone else's is going to be, making yours quite forgettable.

The second thing is that you don't substantiate your claim that you're gifted for something beyond Sanitation. You don't even sound too sure of yourself ("If the best I can do with my life is working for Sanitation, then that is fine. However, I feel"), let alone persuasive enough to convince adcom. Cite some examples. Give reasons why you're ready for a professional track.

On a related note, I think it needs to be more about the study of law. You say you're too talented of a person to be working in sanitation, but why did you decide on law over some other graduate program?

That's enough to start. Give it some work and post a revised draft for more feedback.

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