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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Lynne Offline
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College aplication help! - October 3rd 2011, 09:47 PM

k so there is this statement i have to make on my application:

Tell us about your academic goals, circumstances that may have had an impact on your academic performance, and, in general, anything else you would like us to know in making an admission decision.

the last line is what caught my attention..
so, last year, my junior year, i was depressed, and because of that my grades droped.. freshman- softmore year i got a 3.4, junoir year, 3.2.
so, my question is, should i mention on the application why i got a 3.2 that year? or should i not?
Part of me wants to, becasue i want to let them know that that is not my standards, and not my usual work, that i wasn't being lazy that year. but part of me doesn't want to metion it because they may think i'm making excuses.(which i am.. but a valid one)
help! espeically to anyone who is in college now or has been in before!


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Re: College aplication help! - October 3rd 2011, 10:23 PM

say it, they're not meant to think it's an 'excuse' because you can be diagnosed as being depressed. If it's just something that you felt like say 'oh i was sad one day' then they'll look at it as a line of excuses.

I have problems nerve problems in my back so i'll be mentioning that in any forms regarding my grades.

They look at it as a circumstance instead of an excuse


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Re: College aplication help! - October 3rd 2011, 10:27 PM

Lynne, the rule of thumb is that you should always explain something that looks out of place or unusual, BUT in a way that doesn't make you look more out of place or unusual! Or, put another way, if you have something you feel needs explanation, you should do it in a way that doesn't raise more concern, you simply don't know your audience and what effect revealing depression will have. The goal is to be in as much control over how the reader interprets what you've written, that's the point here, to carefully use your words to leave the impression of yourself you feel will be most positive and beneficial.

So, something like "I'm not stranger to adversity, and I've faced more than I probably ever thought I would, but in so doing, I learned the value of perseverance and focus. This was especially noticeable in my senior year, which allowed me to maintain a 3.2 in spite of considerable personal hardship." This leaves a better impression than "As you can see, in my senior year I got a 3.2 because I was depressed".


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Re: College aplication help! - October 3rd 2011, 10:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Bobby View Post
So, something like "I'm not stranger to adversity, and I've faced more than I probably ever thought I would, but in so doing, I learned the value of perseverance and focus. This was especially noticeable in my senior year, which allowed me to maintain a 3.2 in spite of considerable personal hardship." This leaves a better impression than "As you can see, in my senior year I got a 3.2 because I was depressed".
that sounds so cheesy, although it does work better.

Just don't start off any application with a personal anecdote. EVER.


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Re: College aplication help! - October 3rd 2011, 10:52 PM

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Originally Posted by chickenonsteroids View Post
that sounds so cheesy, although it does work better.
Maybe it works better because it's NOT so cheesy?


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Re: College aplication help! - October 3rd 2011, 11:41 PM

I'm not sure putting depression on a college app is a good idea. Traditionally Jr. and Sr. years are harder anyways so a .2 drop could be seen as understandable especially if you took AP classes. You could probably talk to a student life director or, as with my college, the two psychology professors were also available for students who wanted to talk. College is also a way to get to know the advisors you'll have who will help you with classes throughout college. These people can be great to talk to also or even professors within your degree.


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Re: College aplication help! - October 4th 2011, 09:56 PM

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Originally Posted by Dr.Bobby View Post
Maybe it works better because it's NOT so cheesy?
Not necessarily, going above and beyond can sound 'cheesy' but still work, like an overly dramatic performance. High school musical is a perfect example.

However, this is my opinion and you are entitled to yours.


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Re: College aplication help! - October 5th 2011, 05:01 AM

Having been there, done that... Your personal statement is NOT to be a sob story or an explanation of why your GPA dropped or why you got a D in that one class you happen to suck at.
Your personal statement is a, "This is why you want me." That being said, I woud stray away from, "I was depressed, so my GPA dropped," and turn it into, "Although I have gone through times of hardship in my life, I have always found myself able to rise to the challenge. Despite the adversity that accompanied my sophomore year, I was able to work hard...." etc. Don't make excuses. Turn what seems to be a negative aspect to a positive aspect.

When they ask you to discuss circumstances that contribute to your academic performance, it's not asking you to justify your GPA or anything of that nature... It's asking for you to explain your passions, what pushes your buttons, etc. that make you a great student. For example... When I applied for college to an elementary education program, I explained why I chose the major I did. "Ever since second grade, I worked with my mother teaching Sacramental Preparation classes at my church. From the time I was 7 years old up until now, I have felt a growing passion for the fielf of education. I live to watch children grow in every aspect - physically, emotionally and academically. Through discovering my passion for teaching at a very early age, I have never felt stronger about becoming an educator. This passion is something you do not see in every student, and it is what sets me apart from the rest." No, that's not what I said, but it's a decent example... Had I written it for an actual application, I would have made it sound much more elegant, but... I want you to see the basic idea of the things they want to hear.

You want to sound like you in your personal statement, and you want the admissions team to see why you stand out and why YOU need to be chosen over thousands of other applicants.

P.S. Looking at your spelling and grammar here, please make sure that you double and triple check your spelling and grammar on your personal statement, and have someone else review it for you before you send in your application!


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Last edited by TakeTheLeap; October 5th 2011 at 05:15 AM.
   
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Re: College aplication help! - October 11th 2011, 12:00 AM

thanks to all who have replied! not positive what i'm going to put down yet, but i apreciate all sugestions!


"Flick a swith (*snap!) I want you to give yourself permission and the power to say (*Snap!) F IT! I'm going to be happy! i'm going to enjoy my life! and I'm not going to let anyone or anything ruin my day, and ruin my life!"
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Re: College aplication help! - October 11th 2011, 04:02 AM

The first thing is to make sure you've used correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, diverse lexicon (a.k.a. vocabulary) and are not overly repetitive. It's simple but crucial, you can ask a friend, teacher or post it on here for us grammar-spelling Nazis (others have posted theirs on here or posted other assignments).

It's asking you to explain why should you be chosen over other applicants. The circumstances are meant to show something that drives you, has been a motivational factor, displays your mental aptitude, etc... . You want to advertise yourself to them, not write a soap opera of your feelings because to be blunt, in applications nobody cares about petty feelings. You're meant to state something great about yourself, something inspirational and if all you have is, "I was sad, then I got less sad", that's not going to cut it. Pretend you were reading over applications, would you choose the girl who got bummed out in grade 12 and that's why her marks are low, the girl who over-dosed on caffeine and fell down a flight of stairs, or would you pick the girl who was motivated by a doctor at the hospital she frequently volunteers at? You'd pick the last one.


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