Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:16 pm

I absolutely hate the last paragraph, but can't seem to formulate it how I want it to be. Thanks so much in advance!


Tears stung my eyes as I shrugged off my heavy winter coat. My face was already raw from waiting for an hour in the cold wind, and the wetness running down my cheeks only made the sting more real. Four weeks had passed since my father had picked my brother and me up for a visit. One short phone call later, my mother sat us down and broke the news to us. She herself was fighting back tears as she attempted to explain to a five-year-old and a seven-year-old that their father no longer wanted to see them.
From that moment on, the sweeping effect of my father’s abandonment slowly permeated every aspect of my life. Phone wars raged on between my parents; late at night I could hear her through the wall, screaming into the reciever. I would simply lie in bed and pull my pillow tightly over my head, hoping to smother out the wretched sounds that invaded my ears.
As the weeks creeped by, my five-year-old brain worked it’s hardest to wrap itself around the situation. Like most kids do, I watched TV and Movies and read children’s books. A constant parade of the perfect nuclear family passed before my eyes. Of course they had their issues, but in the end the dad would smile, grab his kids in a tight hug and tell them how much he loved them. Yet before he finally walked out, all my father seemed to do was drink himself into oblivion and leave both physical and emotional scars on my mother. It was not until years later that I truly appreciated how much pain she endured to ensure he would never lay a hand on us.
Time wore on and I began to slowly forget about my father. I was young enough when he left that I had few lasting memories of him beyond the horrors that still invade my dreams to this day. Yet, the effects of him leaving were inescapable. The most everpresent hardship I struggled through was a simple lack of money. We were not just tight on money. We literally lived paycheck to paycheck. More nights than not my dinner consisted of cheap pasta or rice, with butter or a simple tomato sauce. And it seemed that just as many nights my mother simply went without. Beyond the monetary struggles, we also struggled as a family to stay close. I felt a constant distance between myself and my mother and brother. Whenever I tried to reason why it was that way, I could not come up with a solid answer.
This reasoning became a facet in my life. I began to try to find logic behind everything. Why was my family so different from the perfect families that were presented pop culture? Why would a father suddenly stop loving his children? Why did this lack of love leave me distanced from those who were still in my life? I needed to know the answers. But they could not be found. There was no reason for such terrible things to happen to someone. There was no logic to be found.
I still struggle today to come up with a reason for why my childhood unfolded as it did. I credit that constant struggle to find an answer as the source of my seeking out the sense behind everything that happens. It is one of the reasons I chose to become a Mathematics major in college. Numbers make sense; there are rules that dictate how they act and interact with each other. Everything happens with purpose and reason and this drive to find purpose behind everything has helped me to grow into the studious person I am today. I will use every avenue possible to achieve the end goal I am seeking, and the same will apply throughout the next three years of my life. My drive for logic will ultimately be the drive the pushes me to learn the law, and perfect how I practice the craft to the best of my abilities.

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Re: Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Postby Ramius » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:07 pm

This needs way more work than just on the last paragraph. I think you need a whole new topic here, regardless of how much impact your father leaving had on you as a child. It was undoubtedly traumatic and growing up poor as a result is a sad, sad tale, but therein lies the problem. Do you want the reader to feel bad for you? Trust me that no school will admit you out of pity, and that's the only emotion this PS elicits from the reader. I get no sense of perseverence, no sense of personal triumph, no sense of growth, no sense of really any positive quality in you as an applicant. If you don't want to scrap the whole topic, you at least need to scrap this version and start over with a more positive message in mind. You can and absolutely should show how difficult times became with your father leaving, but that should be short in comparison to the amount you dedicate to showing how much you grew, persevered and became a success despite this adversity. I want to see things in you as an adult, not as a five year old. Unless you can reasonably tie this story to positive qualities in you as an adult and keep the focus much more heavily on those qualities, then you can't use this topic.

Just because something in your childhood had a major impact on you as an adult doesn't mean that should be your PS. Childhoood events should rarely be used as the topic of your PS in fact. The only times it is really effective are when you can relate the things you've done as an adult directly to your childhood. For instance, if you were abused as a child and went on to work heavily in a home for abused children, it'd be a good segue for the topic. Other than connections like that, it's probably not a great idea to use it. Think long and hard about the positive image you want to portray to the reader and craft your statement around that image. Create an image of you for me so I feel like I better know you. Give your numbers and resume a third dimension it can't get from anywhere else.

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