PS first draft

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PS first draft

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:37 pm

Alright, this is my first attempt at writing my PS. Although my adviser/mentor has looked it over for me once, I think it still needs a good bit of work before being sent off. Any tips/suggestions/critiques?

When I young, my parents told me that if I wanted something, I would have to go out and get it for myself. Of course, by the time I was ready to graduate high school, I knew I wanted to go to college. Circumstances had prevented my parents from being able to graduate from college and they both had to drop out to find work. Their dream then became to see my younger sister and I graduate from college, make better lives for ourselves with the opportunities that they did not have. My parents’ hopes for motivated me to pursue excellence and to try my best in everything I do.

Because I was aware of the sacrifices my parents made, I worked as hard as I could in high school and as a result was consistently near the top of my class. When I graduated, I hit the ground running and was accepted early to [Insert UG Here], the only school I wanted to go to. Although I knew that the higher private school tuition would make my college journey harder, I knew that I would get the best education available to me at UG. I went to work as soon as I could, taking a job in the campus dining hall and even moving in early in order to get a head start on making money. I accepted the dining hall job because it offered me the most work hours each week, unlike my peers, who were able to choose take jobs that were more relevant to their majors and eventual career paths. It was difficult to see my friends getting experience that would likely help them get jobs after graduation while I was stuck serving them food, just because they did not really need to work the same way that I did.

During my second year my parents reluctantly informed me that they could not contribute financially to my education anymore. I knew I was going to have to fall back on the lesson that they tried so hard to teach me as a child – if I wanted something, I was going to have to work hard to get it. I began researching options to attend other schools, but the prospect of transferring out of UG to a more affordable school devastated me. I had grown to love the school, the campus, my professors and friends I had there and I knew it was unlikely I would receive a better education anywhere else. Though I knew it was going to be extremely hard, I was determined to finish my college career at UG.

Over the next two years, I chose to make some sacrifices that allowed me to remain at UG. I did not get to have a “normal” college and social life compared to the majority of my peers. While my friends enjoyed plenty of time for going to parties, sporting events and other extracurricular activities, I spent most of the time I was not preparing for classes working one of my three jobs in order to pay my bills. I did not get to live on campus; instead I had to commute back and forth, which made it even harder for me to participate in student life on campus. I never resented my friends or my situation though. I knew that a quality education was more important than a busy social life and that how well I performed at UG would determine what I would be able to do after college. I owed it to myself to not only make the most of opportunities that were given to me and to ensure that I was did not lose these opportunities either. Despite the challenges and long hours, I remained on the Dean’s List during my sophomore and junior years. I will not only be the first person in my family to graduate from college, but I will do so with honors. I also found time to pursue my personal interests, like horseback riding, and to further my career goals with an unpaid internship at my county’s District Attorney’s Office.

Working my way through college taught me a lot about myself and the wisdom of my parents’ encouraging words to me. The things we want the most in life require hard work and dedication. I realized that although nothing in life will be handed to me, I am more than capable of accomplishing anything I put my mind to, that I can handle a heavy workload and that I thrive in stressful situations. My decision to attend law school comes from this understanding and the fact that I truly believe my experiences in college and in life have prepared me to succeed both in law school and in the career that will follow.


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Re: PS first draft

Postby Rt887 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:55 pm

The PS isn't bad for a first draft but it for sure needs a lot more work. One thing that really stood out is that it in no way elaborates on why you want to go to law school in the first place, despite the fact that this is essentially what the last paragraph is about. Its great that you earned everything you accomplished on your own, but that in itself has no bearing on why law school is the right choice for you. Try to make the connection clearer, or don't make it altogether.

There's also grammar stuff, mostly the fact that the flow is stifled by sentences that serve as lists I did A, B and C. Try to break those up and the whole thing will flow much better. This being one quick example:

While my friends enjoyed plenty of time for going to parties, sporting events and other extracurricular activities, I spent most of the time I was not preparing for classes working one of my three jobs in order to pay my bills

A lot of sentences also feature the same words twice and kind of don't make sense grammatically (like the one above), so try to focus on that. What worked best for me is to just insert each paragraph into a separate word document and focus on each individual sentence. I think this will allow you to focus on individual sentence structure and how it fits within the paragraph.

I would focus on these things for now. If you want feedback on the next drafts feel free to PM me. Good luck!

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Re: PS first draft

Postby Ramius » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:18 pm

This wasn't a horrible PS, but there is something off in your tone that struck me negatively as a reader. I think it was the constant descriptions of how friends and other students had it so much better than you, yet you worked so hard to still be successful despite this huge roadblock in your way. It is never a good idea to project your opinion of how other people had it in order to contrast how hard your life was. You don't really know what's going on in other people's lives and you are in no position to claim you had it worse. It comes off as simultaneously "woe is me" and holier than thou. You absolutely want to showcase your abilities, and using how hard you had to work both in and out of school to succeed is a good plan to accomplish that, but you should get rid of everything that references anyone else negatively like that. Tell me about your life, forget about others.

Until that aspect is fixed, I would always read this type of statement with a critical eye and it brings some bad with the good.

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Re: PS first draft

Postby lastsamurai » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:04 am

I completely agree with the two previous posters. There's too much "my parents" and "my friends" language. Tell us about you! Also add some complex sentences - a few prepositional phrase leaders could work wonders on your story. I'm also one who likes a bit of drama in the essay or something to keep me interested the whole way through. By the time I got to your last paragraph I noticed that I wasn't paying full attention anymore.

That said, you have an interesting story and should be able to tweak the tone a bit to make it a very solid PS. Good luck!

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Re: PS first draft

Postby fringles » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:47 am

agree with other posters. also want to add a comment or two though.

this ps doesnt show why you will succeed in a class full of hard workers, because thats all you show. a majority of kids at top schools got to where there are because of crazy hard work too. avoid being just one of those applicants who will say they will work hard.

in sum, just want to say that you dont have to waste all your ps space explaining that you csn work hard. consider throwing in some other themes too

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