How do I incorporate depression into my application? HELP

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: May 2003 Archive: How do I incorporate depression into my application? HELP
By Rockofeller (Rockofeller) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 09:02 pm: Edit

Hi all. I'm a high school junior with high college aspirations. My GPA fell 2nd semester soph year and 1st semester junior year from depression. I think it will be quite a bit higher this semester. I was wondering how I can prove to colleges that I am a great student and that I have overcome my problems? Some proof I have been overcoming it:
- got a B in USHistory AP last semester and am getting an A this semester
- got award most imrpoved student IN US history AP out of 70 students.
- will probably get a 4 on 5 on ap test
- last to this semester gpa improving from 3.0 to probably 3.8
Should i write my essay about it? or what? Thanks!

By Zerostylus (Zerostylus) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 09:25 pm: Edit

no make all your essays positive and jolly.

By Ndhawk (Ndhawk) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 09:37 pm: Edit

essay would be the only place possible, make sure that its well-written and deep, don't write it about depression but how you overcame it and make sure you keep it positive and if you make reference to the depression do it in flashback form

By Batman (Batman) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 09:37 pm: Edit

I think you need to be somewhat honest about your experience, but spend most of your work highlighting your positive features. The fact that you've overcome some real diversity can be a very powerful component of your application if you work it the right way. Don't try to win their sympathy, just show them how much stronger you are now by having overcome past problems.

By Rockofeller (Rockofeller) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 11:30 pm: Edit

I want to prove that the best reflection of me is my junior spring and senior fall, and basically to not look much at the grades from soph spring and junior fall. Otherwise, i think my "low" unweighted gpa will keep me out of all my top college choices.

By Jenniferpa (Jenniferpa) on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 08:35 am: Edit

You're obviously determined to write the essay on this subject: when you posted this question before, most respondents indicated that this would be a bad subject for the essay. I still believe that this is NOT a good subject for the essay. This problem should be addressed by your GC reference. In fact, if it's not addressed there, and you write about depression, or overcoming it, how is adcom to know you're telling the truth? The problems with this essay subject are numerous. 1) You run the danger of sounding whiney. 2) This sort of subject runs the risk of turning into the "how I overcame adversity" essay which is deadly. 3) If you attempt to cover the issue with humor, you risk offending any reader who has had a brush with this problem. Finally, and most importantly, the essay is suppose to tell an adcom something about yourself that will not be evident from the rest of the application. Do you really wish to be defined as "the depressive"? You are missing a golden opportunity to present your personality and all the qualities that will, hopefully, make the college of your choice wish to admit you. Depression is not unique, nor is overcoming it. Please look inside yourself for another subject that uniquely defines you.

By Theasrhs (Theasrhs) on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 11:26 am: Edit

My d's GC wrote her a great recommendation that put her freshman second semester, and sophomore year dip in grades into great perspective -- with humor and a message of personal growth. She did not have to discuss her bouts with depression at all.

There is a story in "The Gatekeepers" about what happened to a very talented young woman who decided to write about an episode in her high school career that risked alienating the very people she was hoping to reach, even though it was meant to illustrate (and did) an episode of incredible moral growth. The story did, in fact, alienate the admissions folks. Writing about depression is the same sort of risk. Dealing with long-term depression is indeed an example of success, and successfully overcoming adversity. But much of the world still sees it as a liability (or "whining"), just as it sees any other physical or mental disability as either a potential financial or legal liability -- or just plain uncomfortable to deal with.

This attitude underlies the reasons we needed the Americans with Disabilities Act. Overcoming and/or living with mental and physical disabilities is not something most of corporate America wants to deal with, and thus, dealing with it had to be legislated.

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