First draft, need some help reviewing.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Bruingrad2014
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:46 am

First draft, need some help reviewing.

Postby Bruingrad2014 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:37 pm

Many boys growing up admiring their father, hoping one day they will be just like him, but my experience was quite different.

I was about eight years old when my dad took my brother, cousin, and me out for a whale watch in Newport Beach. He had been drinking on the way there and once we arrived he topped off with two more tall cans of his classic Budweiser. Even at a young age I foresaw what was going to happen, my dad would soon be making a fool of himself and I would hide away in the cabin until it was all over. This time was even worse. On the boat he continued to drink and was even insulting the young teacher of an elementary school class who had taken out her students for a field trip. All I wanted was for the boat to return to harbor as quickly as possible, but, unfortunately, that failed to make anything better. My dad forced us to walk around the Balboa peninsula while he continued to further inebriate himself. Finally, he decided to take us home, but was still as drunk as he had been throughout afternoon. Luckily we were pulled over by highway patrol, and, as I got older, I realized that if he did not stop my father we might not have ever made it home. Riding in the back of that police car is an unforgettable experience that I doubt will ever leave my memory; my brother sobbed the entire way and I did my best to assure him everything would be fine, but I truly had no idea.

This is definitely not the only memory I have of my alcoholic father, I could write pages about sitting idly by as he snorted lines of cocaine off a broken mirror to crying in my mother’s arms as he got chased out of a baseball stadium by the police. However, this is not about him, but how he I decided I would do everything in my power to never be anything like my father, if he even deserves that title. About a year after that incident, my mom kicked him out of the house, and my brother and I were living off the sole support of her hard work. My mom was an inspiration, she worked countless hours to assure there was a food on the table, even if she unable to cook it for us. Growing up in a household with a single parent was difficult, but it forced me to learn responsibility sooner than most.

Just before my senior year of high school my mother lost her job. This greatly changed my plan for the immediate future. Instead of applying to universities I decided to attend community college in order to work and become self-sufficient. Balancing school and work was a difficult adjustment, but I was determined to be the first in my immediate family to graduate college. During the first semester of freshman year my grades suffered, but instead of being discouraged I was inspired to work harder and eventually transferred to UCLA. My father had always been happy with the bare minimum in life, but I would not settle. I had a desire to better myself and not fall into the alcoholism that consumed his life since before my birth. When graduation was approaching I was torn in deciding whether or not to invite my father. I knew he was proud of me, but I was still resentful because the pain he had inflicted on my family. In the end, I invited him and it was the best decision of my life. I only asked him for one thing, to stay sober, and he kept his promise. Ultimately he deserves recognition, but I doubt he will ever know my motivation for life is to never end up like him.

Attending law school has been a dream of mine as long as I can remember, and, even though I know it will be difficult, I am confident in my ability to thrive. My entire life has been plagued with difficult challenges; however, I am glad they happened because they shaped me into the person I am today. Law school will just be another obstacle, but instead of being nervous I am motivated by the road ahead. Failure is unacceptable and I will not stop until I achieve the goals I set long ago. I will not be my father, I will set a better example with my life, and hopefully my achievements will continue inspire those close to me.

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lawschool1741
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:32 pm

Re: First draft, need some help reviewing.

Postby lawschool1741 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:56 pm

This story has huge potential; however, IMO you let it fall a bit flat.

Grammar appears okay. Although, I would change several of your introductory clauses to steer away from "I..I..I.." Even though this is a personal statement and is most definitely about you, it does get tiresome.

To me, your first sentence is a great end to your second paragraph (with some tweaks). Again this is completely opinion-based, but it might catch the reader's attention more by starting with something like: 'As tears streamed down my brother's face, the blue and white flashing lights seemed to bounce off the windows into eternity. (insert storyline). Whale watching with my dad had always been an adventure to say the least, but this exact moment has been etched into my psyche for decades. Many boys growing up admiring their father, hoping one day they will be just like him, but my experience was quite different - and it shaped my life forever.'

Not necessarily a honed intro, but this structure seems to pop more.

Other than that, I would continue to refine your conclusion as it comes off as a bit cliche (even though it may be 100% true to your story).
Last edited by lawschool1741 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bruingrad2014
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:46 am

Re: First draft, need some help reviewing.

Postby Bruingrad2014 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:03 pm

thanks a lot I aopreciate the advice. The conclusion was very difficult for me because I'm not really sure how I wanted to wrap it up and apply it to law school.

Bruingrad2014
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:46 am

Re: First draft, need some help reviewing.

Postby Bruingrad2014 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:47 am

.

JustDuke
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:27 pm

Re: First draft, need some help reviewing.

Postby JustDuke » Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:21 am

Bad stuff. Degrading somebody in your PS is never a good idea.

But congratulations on making something out of your life. My mom was also an alcoholic, and the rest is even worse. They didn't get to see my graduation.




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