First Draft- Please help critique

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AbbeyRoadLaw
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:56 pm

First Draft- Please help critique

Postby AbbeyRoadLaw » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:43 pm

This is the first draft of my PS to W&M. Please let me know what you think.Constructive criticism is great. Thank you!

My life’s experiences have undoubtedly shaped me into a compassionate person who yearns to protect children by providing them with a legal voice to fight against those who wish to control them. Throughout elementary school, I was bullied by three other boys in my grade. It began with teasing and name-calling, but soon escalated to more physical attacks, such as tripping me while out on at recess and stealing my food at lunch. The harassment only worsened after we reached middle school. In addition to new, more profane, verbal attacks, they pushed me down the stairs, knocked the books out of my hands, and generally humiliated me in front of my classmates. By eighth grade, the harassment had taken a serious toll on me. My anxiety levels were so elevated that I dreaded going to school and would even pretend to be sick in order avoid going. When I did go to school, it was difficult to concentrate in class, and my grades started to slip. In addition to a lowered appetite, I had very low self-esteem and feelings of self worth. Instead of spending my time worrying about girls and sports like an average middle-school boy, I battled depression and anxiety issues because of years of bullying. I felt so helpless and angry, both at the boys for what they were doing to me, as well as at myself for my inability to stand up to them.
That spring, it reached the breaking point. I finally found the courage to inform the principal what had been happening. The overwhelming wave of support that came to my aid was incredible, and something that I will never forget. The principals, school board, coaches, and my family all came to my side and finally; I no longer needed to fight alone. Serious measures were taken against the three perpetrators, and the bullying immediately stopped. I began to see as counselor on a weekly basis, and it was once piece of advice she gave me that has left the largest lasting impact. As summer approached, she suggested I try and find a job or volunteer to stay busy, and help keep improving. Fortunately, I was offered a position coaching at the swim team in town. Taking that job honestly changed my life. Working with children helped give me everything I had been lacking , but could not find on my own: confidence, self-esteem, a sense of pride. Their unyielding positive attitude and enthusiasm was infectious, and I took tremendous pride in being a positive role model in their lives. I was a natural, and I began high school that fall with a renewed positive sense of self that I had not had for years.
Nine years after starting my first coaching job, I am still working with children. In addition to coaching two swim teams, I now work as a full-time one-on-one aide for a mentally handicapped second grade boy. My job requires an incredible amount of both patience and empathy. At times, one must be able to withstand a great deal of frustration and a number of different obstacles. One day, he might be a good listener and attentive, and the next, he might tell me to go away and say “no” to everything that I ask him to do. Each day is different and each day presents a new set of challenges. Still, even in the most frustrating of moments, I remain proud, knowing that my efforts are having a lasting impact on his life.
As I look back, I realize that the challenges I have faced are what have enabled me to find the strong footing I have today. Being bullied lead to working with children, which has instilled in me a deep appreciation for the effect adults can have on their lives as well as inspired me to attend law school to pursue my interest in learning how the law can address issues with divorce, abuse and child custody. I have been extremely fortunate to have found the support of adults around me during the obstacles in my life, and becoming a lawyer will allow me to be the voice for those children who may not have that support. I see William & Mary as the best place to attain my legal education. I visited Williamsburg during my college search senior year of high school, and loved the peacefulness and colonial feel of the W&M campus. In addition to a beautiful campus, I am drawn to W&M Law’s small class sizes as well as the fact that first year students are not divided into sections, which seems favorable to building friendships and close ties with a larger number of the class. As a 22 year old Caucasian male, I cannot offer William & Mary racial or ethnic diversity. However, diversity is much more than just numbers on a pie chart, and I believe that I can help diversify W&M through my character and experiences. My work experience demonstrates that I am dedicated to helping benefit the lives of others. My experience with bullying is not unique. But my transformation afterwards is. I have been inspired to make a difference, and studying law at William & Mary gives me an opportunity to pursue a career that affords me the greatest meaning of impact and contribution.

Jas
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:47 pm

Re: First Draft- Please help critique

Postby Jas » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:05 pm

"My life’s experiences have shaped me into a compassionate person who yearns to protect children by providing them with a legal voice to fight against those who wish to control them. Throughout elementary school, I was bullied by three other boys in my grade. It began with teasing and name-calling, but soon escalated to more physical attacks, such as tripping me during recess and stealing my food at lunch. The harassment only worsened after we reached middle school. In addition to new, more profane, verbal attacks, they pushed me down the stairs, knocked the books out of my hands, and generally humiliated me in front of my classmates. By eighth grade, the harassment had taken a serious toll on me. My anxiety was so intense that I dreaded going to school and would even pretend to be sick in order avoid going. When I did go to school, it was difficult to concentrate in class, and my grades started to slip. In addition to a lowered appetite, I had very low self-esteem and feelings of self worth. Instead of spending my time worrying about girls and sports like an average middle-school boy, I battled depression and anxiety issues because of years of bullying. I felt so helpless and angry: both at these boys for what they were doing to me, and at myself for my inability to stand up to them.
That spring, I reached a breaking point. I finally found the courage to inform the principal what had been happening. The overwhelming wave of support that came to my aid was incredible. I will never forget it. The principals, school board, coaches, and my family all came to my side and finally; I no longer needed to fight alone. Serious measures were taken against the three perpetrators, and the bullying immediately stopped. I began to see as counselor on a weekly basis. One piece of advice she gave me left the largest impact. As summer approached, she suggested I try and find a job or volunteer to stay busy and keep improving. Fortunately, I was offered a position coaching at the swim team in town. Taking that job changed my life. Working with children helped give me everything I had been lacking , but could not find on my own: confidence, self-esteem, a sense of pride. Their unyielding positive attitude and enthusiasm was infectious, and I took tremendous pride in being a positive role model in their lives. I was a natural. I began high school that fall with a renewed positive sense of self that I had not had for years.
Nine years after starting my first coaching job, I am still working with children. In addition to coaching two swim teams, I now work as a full-time one-on-one aide for a mentally handicapped second grade boy. My job requires an incredible amount of both patience and empathy. You must be able to withstand a great number of frustrations and obstacles. One day, he might be attentive and listen well, and the next, he might tell me to leave him alone and refuse to do anything I ask. Each day is different and each day presents a new set of challenges. Still, even in the most frustrating of moments, I remain proud, knowing that my efforts are having a lasting impact on his life.
As I look back, I realize that the challenges I have faced are what have enabled me to find the strong footing I have today. Being bullied led to working with children. This in turn instilled in me a deep appreciation for the effect adults can have on children's lives. Today I am inspired to attend law school to help give children a voice in divorce, abuse, and child custody cases. I was extremely fortunate to be surrounded by supportive adults during those hard times in my life, and becoming a lawyer will allow me to be the voice for those children who may not have that support.
I believe William & Mary is the best place to attain my legal education. I visited Williamsburg during my college search senior year of high school, and loved the peacefulness and colonial feel of the W&M campus. In addition to a beautiful campus, I am drawn to W&M Law’s small class sizes as well as the fact that first year students are not divided into sections, which seems favorable to building friendships and close ties with a larger number of the class.
As a 22 year old Caucasian male, I cannot offer William & Mary racial or ethnic diversity. However, diversity is much more than just numbers on a pie chart, and I believe that I can help diversify W&M through my character and experiences. My work experience demonstrates that I am dedicated to helping others. My experience with bullying is not unique. But my transformation afterwards is. I have been inspired to make a difference, and studying law at William & Mary gives me an opportunity to pursue a career that affords me the greatest meaning of impact and contribution."

Made several edits to remove unnecessary "filler" type words. Changed "once" to "one." Shortened some sentences for greater impact and fewer commas (a problem I struggle with as well). One other thing I did not change, but you should: you probably don't want to open your "why W&M" with the look of the campus because it's not your most substantive point. Inserted some more logical paragraph breaks toward the end. Good luck!

ppl123
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:02 pm

Re: First Draft- Please help critique

Postby ppl123 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:23 pm

1. i would personally take out the diversity part at the end...at least the "i cant offer ethnic diversity part"... just leave it with..."i offer diversity (in these ways)"
2. avoid "filler" words.... (ie. when you say, "honestly changed my life"....) the "honestly" is not necessary...it changed your life is enough, i think.
3. avoid overly exaggerative words.... (it makes it look like you are just trying to throw in uncommon words to look smart)... it is obvious that you are smart...they will look at your transcript (unless you actually aren't then the words won't help you anyways!)

this is meant to be constructive, not mean at all. goodluck!!! :)



AbbeyRoadLaw wrote:This is the first draft of my PS to W&M. Please let me know what you think.Constructive criticism is great. Thank you!

My life’s experiences have undoubtedly shaped me into a compassionate person who yearns to protect children by providing them with a legal voice to fight against those who wish to control them. Throughout elementary school, I was bullied by three other boys in my grade. It began with teasing and name-calling, but soon escalated to more physical attacks, such as tripping me while out on at recess and stealing my food at lunch. The harassment only worsened after we reached middle school. In addition to new, more profane, verbal attacks, they pushed me down the stairs, knocked the books out of my hands, and generally humiliated me in front of my classmates. By eighth grade, the harassment had taken a serious toll on me. My anxiety levels were so elevated that I dreaded going to school and would even pretend to be sick in order avoid going. When I did go to school, it was difficult to concentrate in class, and my grades started to slip. In addition to a lowered appetite, I had very low self-esteem and feelings of self worth. Instead of spending my time worrying about girls and sports like an average middle-school boy, I battled depression and anxiety issues because of years of bullying. I felt so helpless and angry, both at the boys for what they were doing to me, as well as at myself for my inability to stand up to them.
That spring, it reached the breaking point. I finally found the courage to inform the principal what had been happening. The overwhelming wave of support that came to my aid was incredible, and something that I will never forget. The principals, school board, coaches, and my family all came to my side and finally; I no longer needed to fight alone. Serious measures were taken against the three perpetrators, and the bullying immediately stopped. I began to see as counselor on a weekly basis, and it was once piece of advice she gave me that has left the largest lasting impact. As summer approached, she suggested I try and find a job or volunteer to stay busy, and help keep improving. Fortunately, I was offered a position coaching at the swim team in town. Taking that job honestly changed my life. Working with children helped give me everything I had been lacking , but could not find on my own: confidence, self-esteem, a sense of pride. Their unyielding positive attitude and enthusiasm was infectious, and I took tremendous pride in being a positive role model in their lives. I was a natural, and I began high school that fall with a renewed positive sense of self that I had not had for years.
Nine years after starting my first coaching job, I am still working with children. In addition to coaching two swim teams, I now work as a full-time one-on-one aide for a mentally handicapped second grade boy. My job requires an incredible amount of both patience and empathy. At times, one must be able to withstand a great deal of frustration and a number of different obstacles. One day, he might be a good listener and attentive, and the next, he might tell me to go away and say “no” to everything that I ask him to do. Each day is different and each day presents a new set of challenges. Still, even in the most frustrating of moments, I remain proud, knowing that my efforts are having a lasting impact on his life.
As I look back, I realize that the challenges I have faced are what have enabled me to find the strong footing I have today. Being bullied lead to working with children, which has instilled in me a deep appreciation for the effect adults can have on their lives as well as inspired me to attend law school to pursue my interest in learning how the law can address issues with divorce, abuse and child custody. I have been extremely fortunate to have found the support of adults around me during the obstacles in my life, and becoming a lawyer will allow me to be the voice for those children who may not have that support. I see William & Mary as the best place to attain my legal education. I visited Williamsburg during my college search senior year of high school, and loved the peacefulness and colonial feel of the W&M campus. In addition to a beautiful campus, I am drawn to W&M Law’s small class sizes as well as the fact that first year students are not divided into sections, which seems favorable to building friendships and close ties with a larger number of the class. As a 22 year old Caucasian male, I cannot offer William & Mary racial or ethnic diversity. However, diversity is much more than just numbers on a pie chart, and I believe that I can help diversify W&M through my character and experiences. My work experience demonstrates that I am dedicated to helping benefit the lives of others. My experience with bullying is not unique. But my transformation afterwards is. I have been inspired to make a difference, and studying law at William & Mary gives me an opportunity to pursue a career that affords me the greatest meaning of impact and contribution.

Jas
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:47 pm

Re: First Draft- Please help critique

Postby Jas » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:27 pm

ppl123 wrote:1. i would personally take out the diversity part at the end...at least the "i cant offer ethnic diversity part"... just leave it with..."i offer diversity (in these ways)"
2. avoid "filler" words.... (ie. when you say, "honestly changed my life"....) the "honestly" is not necessary...it changed your life is enough, i think.
3. avoid overly exaggerative words.... (it makes it look like you are just trying to throw in uncommon words to look smart)... it is obvious that you are smart...they will look at your transcript (unless you actually aren't then the words won't help you anyways!)

this is meant to be constructive, not mean at all. goodluck!!! :)



AbbeyRoadLaw wrote:This is the first draft of my PS to W&M. Please let me know what you think.Constructive criticism is great. Thank you!

My life’s experiences have undoubtedly shaped me into a compassionate person who yearns to protect children by providing them with a legal voice to fight against those who wish to control them. Throughout elementary school, I was bullied by three other boys in my grade. It began with teasing and name-calling, but soon escalated to more physical attacks, such as tripping me while out on at recess and stealing my food at lunch. The harassment only worsened after we reached middle school. In addition to new, more profane, verbal attacks, they pushed me down the stairs, knocked the books out of my hands, and generally humiliated me in front of my classmates. By eighth grade, the harassment had taken a serious toll on me. My anxiety levels were so elevated that I dreaded going to school and would even pretend to be sick in order avoid going. When I did go to school, it was difficult to concentrate in class, and my grades started to slip. In addition to a lowered appetite, I had very low self-esteem and feelings of self worth. Instead of spending my time worrying about girls and sports like an average middle-school boy, I battled depression and anxiety issues because of years of bullying. I felt so helpless and angry, both at the boys for what they were doing to me, as well as at myself for my inability to stand up to them.
That spring, it reached the breaking point. I finally found the courage to inform the principal what had been happening. The overwhelming wave of support that came to my aid was incredible, and something that I will never forget. The principals, school board, coaches, and my family all came to my side and finally; I no longer needed to fight alone. Serious measures were taken against the three perpetrators, and the bullying immediately stopped. I began to see as counselor on a weekly basis, and it was once piece of advice she gave me that has left the largest lasting impact. As summer approached, she suggested I try and find a job or volunteer to stay busy, and help keep improving. Fortunately, I was offered a position coaching at the swim team in town. Taking that job honestly changed my life. Working with children helped give me everything I had been lacking , but could not find on my own: confidence, self-esteem, a sense of pride. Their unyielding positive attitude and enthusiasm was infectious, and I took tremendous pride in being a positive role model in their lives. I was a natural, and I began high school that fall with a renewed positive sense of self that I had not had for years.
Nine years after starting my first coaching job, I am still working with children. In addition to coaching two swim teams, I now work as a full-time one-on-one aide for a mentally handicapped second grade boy. My job requires an incredible amount of both patience and empathy. At times, one must be able to withstand a great deal of frustration and a number of different obstacles. One day, he might be a good listener and attentive, and the next, he might tell me to go away and say “no” to everything that I ask him to do. Each day is different and each day presents a new set of challenges. Still, even in the most frustrating of moments, I remain proud, knowing that my efforts are having a lasting impact on his life.
As I look back, I realize that the challenges I have faced are what have enabled me to find the strong footing I have today. Being bullied lead to working with children, which has instilled in me a deep appreciation for the effect adults can have on their lives as well as inspired me to attend law school to pursue my interest in learning how the law can address issues with divorce, abuse and child custody. I have been extremely fortunate to have found the support of adults around me during the obstacles in my life, and becoming a lawyer will allow me to be the voice for those children who may not have that support. I see William & Mary as the best place to attain my legal education. I visited Williamsburg during my college search senior year of high school, and loved the peacefulness and colonial feel of the W&M campus. In addition to a beautiful campus, I am drawn to W&M Law’s small class sizes as well as the fact that first year students are not divided into sections, which seems favorable to building friendships and close ties with a larger number of the class. As a 22 year old Caucasian male, I cannot offer William & Mary racial or ethnic diversity. However, diversity is much more than just numbers on a pie chart, and I believe that I can help diversify W&M through my character and experiences. My work experience demonstrates that I am dedicated to helping benefit the lives of others. My experience with bullying is not unique. But my transformation afterwards is. I have been inspired to make a difference, and studying law at William & Mary gives me an opportunity to pursue a career that affords me the greatest meaning of impact and contribution.


I second the comment on the diversity stuff. It's kind of like, "I'm just a vanilla blando, but here's how I'm NOT so vanilla..." Just skip to the second part.

User avatar
AbbeyRoadLaw
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:56 pm

Re: First Draft- Please help critique

Postby AbbeyRoadLaw » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:28 am

Thank you for the feedback! I was not sure on the diversity stuff either, so thanks. I will take it out for sure

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: First Draft- Please help critique

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:52 am

In my opinion, the major weakness in your PS is the opening sentence, while the major strength lies in the concluding statements about diversity.

DELETE: "honestly" in the second paragraph.

CHANGE: "is" to "may be" at the end of the sentence "But my transformation afterward may be."




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