I am taking a bankruptcy course in law school. I cannot distinguish the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13? Are they different?
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy have a major similarity and a lot of differences. The similarity is that they can both be used by individual consumers. However, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is for individuals only, which means a business cannot file Chapter 13. A business can file under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The easiest way for me to remember the differences in these two Chapters was to always remember that Chapter 7 = liquidation and Chapter 13 = wage earner. If an individual, or business, were to file Chapter 7, this is basically a statement to the Court and to creditors that the individual has no income and is seeking to liquidate assets to pay debts. Because there is a sort of presumption of "no income," one must qualify for Chapter 7. If one does not qualify, they may be looking at Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which requires a monthly payment towards debt for a period of 3-5 years. This is why it is viewed as a "wage earner" bankruptcy. There is income present to pay some, but not all, of the debt. There are other procedural differences (Chapter 13 requires a Plan of re-organization to be filed), but the most important difference is liquidation vs. re-organization/re-payment.
What are the specific rights given under the Constitution of the United States? I am having trouble remembering them specifically.
It can be difficult to remember the specific rights granted under the Constitution, especially since some seem not particularly relevant to today's society. It helps to remember that we usually focus heavily on the Amendments 1-21. The smaller numbered amendments are those that were enacted farther back in history. They establish rights that were important to the founders of our country who separated from England because they lacked certain freedoms and who drafted the Constitution as a response to this. These first 10 amendments are called the Bill of Rights, and include the freedom of religion, speech, and press; the right to bear arms; the right to not have soldiers staying in your home without consent; the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures; the right to trial by jury; the right to a fair and speedy trial; the right to due process under the law; the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment; and the right of the people to shape the federal government. After the Bill of Rights, amendments are added as a means of addressing injustices felt at different times in our history, for example, abolishing slavery (the 13th Amendment) in 1865 or setting term limits for the President of the United States (the 22nd Amendment) after the long presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. If you think of the Amendments in terms of where they lie in history, it may help you to remember them more specifically.
I plan to study environmental science, and I traveled to Southeast Asia over the summer. How do I take this experience and transform it into more than a typical "I saw the world" college admissions essay?
Traveling to Southeast Asia is a unique experience, but college admissions can be competitive, and you may be in an applicant pool with several other well-traveled individuals. Instead of describing how traveling in Asia helped you mature and see how different people live, which might be the typical route someone would take, you should focus on what was unique for you in that experience. For example, you mention wanting to go into environmental science. Southeast Asia probably has a different geography and/or ecosystem than where you live in the US. Describe a particular experience that exposed you to this ecosystem, what you learned about your own environment from this, and how it inspired you to continue learning through an environmental studies program.