Rough PS Draft. Tear it apart please

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Rough PS Draft. Tear it apart please

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:00 am

Very early draft. Want to know if I'm on the right track.

“Mhmm”, the only thought running through my twelve year old brain as I wake up, the delicious aroma of something sweet baking wafting through the house. Groggily stumbling into the kitchen, I’m surprised by what I see. My younger sister, Erin, orchestrates the production, directing my two younger brothers to prepare cinnamon rolls for everyone. As I sat down, my stomach growling in anticipation, I heard my parent’s door open and then slam shut. My dad arrived, tall and terrifying, even in his bathrobe, with a look of aggravation on his face. As he looks around and notices the “mess”, his expression shifts from annoyance to something darker. His powerful, booming voice drowns out the protests of my siblings as he picks up a cinnamon roll, and I realize I need to disappear. Scrambling for my bedroom, ducking and dodging cinnamon roll missiles, I close my door just as the container of frosting explodes against it with a thud.
After a few hours, with a lot of encouragement from my stomach, I gather the courage to peek out of my room. There is no evidence of the carnage from earlier, everything back in it’s place. While creeping through my kitchen, I notice that my dad is sitting in his office. I freeze, hoping that he will not notice me but he looks up. He stares at me for a second longer than normal, and then turns his attention back to his work. Later, it would be as if this incident had never occurred. Experiences like this with my father, a real life Dr. Jekyll, were far too common growing up with an addict as a father.
The oldest of four siblings, I was the most aware of what was going on in our household. An excellent student who never got into any trouble outside of my home, I seemed to be the perfect child, at least to those on the outside. The stress of my father’s addictions and striving to be perfect definitely made an impact on my personality. I suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), anxiety, and low self-esteem. After learning of my father’s addiction, my performance in school changed. As if high school wasn’t bad enough, the combination of low self-esteem, anxiety, ADD, and an unstable home life just made it worse. I stopped caring about school, was constantly late/absent from school and put in the bare minimum amount of effort required. My teachers constantly admonished me for my lack of effort, knowing I could do much better work. I put absolutely no effort into applying to college, but fortunately was accepted into State University.
Living on my own, away from my family, was a huge change and I knew I would have to adapt. I started off on the wrong path, constantly skipping classes and barely paying attention when I went. On my first college exam, without any studying, I received a 68%. This was a wake-up call and my life took a complete 360. I began paying attention and managed to finish the semester with 3 As, an A- and the realization that I loved learning. My dad, who had separated from my mother and gaining more than 1 year clean and sober, finally told me how proud he was of my success in college and how glad he was that I was heading down a successful path, which definitely enforced my newfound self-confidence.
Over the next three years at XXX, I began to further evolve as a person. I got involved in student organizations and intramural sports, which, combined with my continued success in the classroom, helped me confront and work to fix the negative aspects of my personality. I learned how to cope with imperfection and learned to control my anxiety and ADD, without resorting to drugs and alcohol.
My father, whose ability to control his disease while dealing with a stressful career, has and still is an inspiration to me. While I know that he still struggles with it, he has become a much better parent, one who is supportive and not emotionally distant. Growing up as a child of an addict was not an ideal childhood, I believe I am better off because off these struggles and that I am better prepared for success in law school and the legal field as a result. Overcoming this has made me more mature, driven, responsible, and organized. After dealing with the stress of living with an alcoholic, I will have no problems coping with the stress of a rigorous course of study at an elite institution.
Growing up in household with an alcoholic is like growing up with a bully. I have grown to seriously dislike people who take advantage of other people or abuse the system for their own gain. This fueled my dream to pursue a career in government, particularly as a prosecutor or a Judge. I know the University of Texas’ Law School would be the ideal place for me to receive my legal education. First of all, throughout the process of researching law schools, Austin is one of the select few locales that received unanimously positive reviews; with many of them stating that it was the ideal place to live. Secondly UT’s academic reputation and course offerings make it very appealing. Specifically, Texas’ large number of clinical offerings in areas of interest, such as the capital punishment clinic, the human rights clinic, the domestic violence clinic, and the US attorney internship, would provide me with invaluable knowledge and experience. This experience, combined with the lower cost of attendance, relative to peer schools, would allow me to pursue careers that I’m passionate about, rather than following in my father’s footsteps and being forced into a career fueled solely by financial motives.

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Re: Rough PS Draft. Tear it apart please

Postby defdef » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:55 am

The ideas are there, but this needs a lot of structural work before you can go in line-by-line and clean it up. You introduce too many new ideas down too late in the essay and left your reader wondering what type of addict your father was for too long. It suffers from "train of thought writing" where you meander through your experience. Now that you have your ideas down on paper pick exactly what you want to say and make a plan for how to say it. Personally, I would clarify that your father wasn't too bad or else the praise you give him later sounds really sudden. You may have had years to forgive him, but for us it's a roller coaster ride since you set him up as the bad guy only a few seconds earlier. You also need to strengthen the tie to wanting a legal education.

I'm not sold on how your essay turns into a Why UT essay either. Unless your PS theme ties directly to why you're going to UT it just seems like a shotgun approach at writing. It would be much more effective to focus on the story you want to tell here and write a Why UT addenda (assuming UT accepts addenda of that nature).

Best of luck to you, it needs work, but you're on your way.

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