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Author Topic: Should I include this in my personal statement?  (Read 1447 times)

stbjm02

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Should I include this in my personal statement?
« on: September 17, 2008, 12:34:04 PM »
I have finally overcame addiction after about 7 years. My grades were average during my active addiction and now I have been getting 4.0s. DO you think this would be a good topic to center my personal statement on: How I overcame addiction and triumphed and what I learned in the process? Or is this more of an addendum issue because I do have some arrests I need to explain, although I have never been found guilty.

blueskies6

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Re: Should I include this in my personal statement?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2008, 06:43:25 PM »
If you have arrests for drug possession/distribution, you're going to have to discuss it at some point in your application, whether it's in your PS or an addendum.  If your arrests are not for something drug-related, and there's no way they would know you're a recovering addict, I wouldn't bring it up.  I agree with Johnny- they're conservative and it would be really risky to do. 
But, if your arrests are drug related, you have to talk about it anyway.  I don't think it matters all that much if you do it in your PS or an addendum, but if you have a better story for your PS, I would go with that one for sure, and save the  drugs for an addendum.
Also, I'm gonna give you the same advice as I'm giving my younger sister (who also has a possession arrest/no charge)- take some time off and do something to show them that you've moved past this part of your life.  Work at a rehabilitation center, do peer counseling, something to concretely show that you have learned from your past and have truly changed.  It's great that you're making good grades now- but I think really you'll be fighting an uphill battle and you need more than good grades to make up for your arrests.
I'd be happy to answer any other questions you have about this via PM, but I think what I said already is pretty much my best advice.
awkward follows you like a beer chasing a shot of tequila.

JQuann

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Re: Should I include this in my personal statement?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2008, 07:19:26 PM »
A rule of thumb for admissions essays is to avoid the three D's: death, divorce, and drugs. But people can break rules of thumb. At that point, it's a high-risk/(maybe) high-reward proposition.

augusta

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Re: Should I include this in my personal statement?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2008, 08:54:22 PM »
  Work at a rehabilitation center, do peer counseling, something to concretely show that you have learned from your past and have truly changed.  It's great that you're making good grades now- but I think really you'll be fighting an uphill battle and you need more than good grades to make up for your arrests.

I second this. It's one thing to tell them you've overcome your past. But if the past isn't all that far behind you, don't expect them to be convinced by what you say. You'll need clear evidence to demonstrate the truth of it.
3.67/Oct. LSAT

stbjm02

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Re: Should I include this in my personal statement?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2008, 12:15:55 PM »
I think I will apply and if not accepted where I want to go I will take some time off and maybe go into the Peace Corps of something. Can you apply twice at the same school after being rejected?

blueskies6

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Re: Should I include this in my personal statement?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2008, 12:20:44 PM »
Yes you can. The peace corps is great- but not exactly the way I would go in your situation.
Good luck
awkward follows you like a beer chasing a shot of tequila.

pirouette06

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Re: Should I include this in my personal statement?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2008, 12:32:53 PM »
You might want to check out Montauk's book, it includes a great PS from a recovering addict. I think you can talk about addiction in a PS, but I agree with one of the other posters, you must show and not just say that you have actually learned something from the experience.

blueskies6

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Re: Should I include this in my personal statement?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2008, 12:34:21 PM »
Oh ps...if you reapply just with taking time off you don't really increase your chances of getting in. You usually need a higher LSAT score to really help you, from what I understand.
awkward follows you like a beer chasing a shot of tequila.

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: Should I include this in my personal statement?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2008, 12:46:44 PM »
Oh ps...if you reapply just with taking time off you don't really increase your chances of getting in. You usually need a higher LSAT score to really help you, from what I understand.

Not if the applicant was rejected because of a personal flaw, in which case making a compelling case for overcoming it will  do wonders.
YLS c/o 2009

blueskies6

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Re: Should I include this in my personal statement?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2008, 12:50:09 PM »
True, which goes back to my statement that peace corps isn't really they right way I don't think. Yeah it shows he's a good person, but has nothing to do with whether he overcame his drug problem.
awkward follows you like a beer chasing a shot of tequila.