Please Critique - First draft

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Anonymous User
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Please Critique - First draft

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:17 am

I was not even President for one week. It was Friday night, and my brothers had just given me the honor of leading them for the next fiscal year that Monday. I was nervous, but also excited. Being given the personal responsibility for the lives of 60 college men is enough to make adults much older than me cringe, yet here I was, at 21 years old, instantly maturing beyond my years. The President before me enjoyed an entire year incident free, and I foolishly assumed that trend would continue throughout my term. All would be well. That Friday night, I grew up.
The incident involved three brothers of my fraternity, an underage recruit, alcohol, the roof of a four story building, and a drunken ultimatum. In that order. Three brothers of my fraternity (one in my class, and two older), were drinking alcohol up in their room that fateful Friday. They were having a great time and not causing any problems. I was down in my room watching “A Time to Kill”, as my parents had gifted it to me in September for my birthday. I had yet to watch it. It was a quiet weekend on campus and a long week between school, campus activities, work, and now learning a new responsibility. It was a peaceful night.
Until about one in the morning. I had finished the movie, and was up talking with some of the other new officers about where we would like to see the house go. It was a lively and exciting conversation, and we had grand plans. It ceased immediately when a brother stormed into my room. Said he needed to talk. It was important. And we needed to act now. We walked upstairs and talked, during which I learned some concerning news. A recruit was upstairs puking after drinking too much alcohol. I tended to him, and woke up a brother in the house who was a licensed EMT and volunteer nurse. Thankfully, he said that the recruit would be alright, he just needed to sleep it off. I assigned the man who was hosting the recruit to watch over him the rest of the night, and sped off to confront the culprits. Why? How? I had so many questions and was dumbfounded.
After confronting them about what happened, I went back to my room to process. I had learned some damning things. Not only had they gotten the recruit drunk, but they did it with hard alcohol (banned for public use in our campus houses). I learned they were out on our roof drinking this alcohol with an alumni and the recruit, which results in immediate expulsion (just six years ago, an alumni fell off our roof after a night of drinking and broke his back). Later that night, one of the brothers who was drinking with the recruit came to my room. He was a rising fifth year senior and chronic trouble maker. He apparently did not like what I had to say, and proceeded to tell me he would never respect my authority, never follow the rules, never pay his fines, etc. He vowed to make my life miserable.
The next morning I began crisis management. I called the Dean, told him we needed to talk. Called our alumni advisor, told him what happened and listened to his advice. I also gathered together my executive committee, and we voted on how I would handle the situation. The alumni advisor suggested we deaffiliate the brother who confronted me, and let the Dean handle the rest. The executive committee voted that we let the Dean handle the trouble brother and hide (to the best of my ability) the rest. Two conflicting methods of management, neither of which sounded very enjoyable.
I did what I knew I had to do. I told the Dean what I knew happened, and brought the confronting brother to chapter for expulsion from membership. Our Dean had always said he would rather find out from us than get a phone call, so luckily my proactiveness saved the brothers status on campus. That was the only positive thing that came from this though. The chapter hated the idea of getting rid of one of our own. I was crucified for bringing it up, and the motion failed. We had to punish ourselves for our actions, and had to give up access to incoming freshman for recruiting purposes the rest of the year. The three brothers, two of which were some of my best friends and pledgebrothers, never forgave me for bringing the matter to the Dean.
This experience changed my life. I still went to school the next day, went to football practice after that, and did my homework. Everything was basically the same. Life went on. Yet, I was never the same afterwards. I think harder before I make decisions now. I learned how to balance different advocated courses of action. I grew up.
I want to go to law school. Not because I have nothing else to pursue (quite the opposite), but because it is the means to an end for me. I like solving problems and critical thinking. That is my passion. I could think of no better way to marry my passion with my career than to become a lawyer. Law school is the next logical step, the means to an end, a practicing attorney. It would be an honor to attend your school as I pursue my passion. Thank you for your consideration.


Thanks for any critique

whynot123
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:00 pm

Re: Please Critique - First draft

Postby whynot123 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:29 pm

I think it's a great start! A little choppy at places... and I'm sort of confused on which brother is which...

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jselson
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Re: Please Critique - First draft

Postby jselson » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:23 pm

1) Please, please, PLEASE do not use the phrase "changed my life" - it's vague and trite. Eating lunch changes someone's life, too. Be very clear in terms of how you actually changed. I can't really tell how you changed. Did you think you handled the situation incorrectly? What do you mean when you say that you learned to "balance courses of action" better? I have no clue.

2) The diction of the PS is too informal, and the word choice isn't very sophisticated. It sounds "fratty" (no offense).

3) Avoid hyperbole. Christ was crucified. You were not. Tone and accuracy are important, especially for lawyers.

4) The last two paragraphs have almost no connection to the rest of the PS and are all tell, no show.

5) Do NOT straight-up tell the adcomm that law school is only a means to an end. You will alienate every person who reads it, since most professors and adcomms believe they are educators, not just people who hand out credentials.

6) Do NOT end with "Thank you for your consideration." This is a personal statement, not a speech.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Critique - First draft

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:42 am

1) Please, please, PLEASE do not use the phrase "changed my life" - it's vague and trite. Eating lunch changes someone's life, too. Be very clear in terms of how you actually changed. I can't really tell how you changed. Did you think you handled the situation incorrectly? What do you mean when you say that you learned to "balance courses of action" better? I have no clue.

2) The diction of the PS is too informal, and the word choice isn't very sophisticated. It sounds "fratty" (no offense).

3) Avoid hyperbole. Christ was crucified. You were not. Tone and accuracy are important, especially for lawyers.

4) The last two paragraphs have almost no connection to the rest of the PS and are all tell, no show.

5) Do NOT straight-up tell the adcomm that law school is only a means to an end. You will alienate every person who reads it, since most professors and adcomms believe they are educators, not just people who hand out credentials.

6) Do NOT end with "Thank you for your consideration." This is a personal statement, not a speech.



I think it's a great start! A little choppy at places... and I'm sort of confused on which brother is which...


Original Anon here


Thanks for the critique. First draft, first personal statement, so your insight is helpful

thenewguy
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:51 am

Re: Please Critique - First draft

Postby thenewguy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:28 pm

I like this story. I was on my eboard sophomore year of undergrad and actually could not imagine doing this. I would suggest editing the part where you relate it to law school. Maybe spin how you learned the value of facing a problem head on despite the consequences. You approached the situation in the professional and "correct" way despite some tempting alternatives. As a poster above mentioned, explicity calling it a means to an end probably is not the best route. Also, I truly believe majority of fraternity presidents would not have taken any action whatsoever.

Disclaimer: applying this cycle, not yet done my own PS.




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