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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: March 2003 Archive: Arrested
By convict lol on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 01:08 am: Edit

When I was a freshman in high school I was hanging out with the wrong type of kids and ended up getting myself arrested. Since i was a juvenile at the time, i did not get in much trouble, and my record was esponged after a plea bargain.
Since the arrest my life has changed. I found a new group of friends, my outlook on people has changed, and my grades have improved. I am not a junior with a 3.8/4.0 average and a 1410 sat

Would this be somehting i shoudl write about in a college essay since it truley has changed me. Or would i be disclosing info that i shouldnt by doing so

By Mom on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 01:11 am: Edit

Why risk it? Unless the application asks if you've ever been arrested, don't voluntarily offer the information.

By go for it on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 01:17 am: Edit

do it. it will be a great essay topic. that shows that you are really changed by the arrest. the admission officers will understand that you are a changed person and that your a good kid.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 01:22 am: Edit

I wouldn't do it. In a hyper-picky admissions environment, someone might figure, "Why take the risk?"

As anecdotal support, there's the incident of the marijuana-laced brownie in THE GATEKEEPERS.

By do it on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 02:58 am: Edit

If this is one of the important moments in your life, in the sense that you have changed very much since the incident, you really should write about it for your essay.

Many people write about struggles and so forth, but what you have experienced is definitely a real turnaround--colleges will definitely not dock you for what you did years in the past, as long as you have sincerely shown that you've turned over a new leaf. Instead, college will actually want you for your life experiencs and how you have triumphed over them. Seriously, if you can honestly say you have turned over a new leaf (excuse the repetitiveness), then go ahead, you really should put it in the essay.

P.S. You have to put all such incidents in your application, don't you? Otherwise you may get in trouble for withholding information. The essay would be a great place to explain the arrest.

By hope this helps on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 04:39 am: Edit

i did the same thing. In 7th grade i got caught and was in serious trouble, though i didnt get a police record or anything. It scared the shlt outta me, and i really did change!

I wrote a story about it for my essay, and my counsellor liked it so much shes getting it published in the school literary magazine (under the name 'Anonymous,' of course).
I sent it to all my schools, on my counsellors advice.

By goddess on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 05:31 am: Edit

I agree with "do it."
Just do it!
That would be the perfect essay topic.
BTW, where are you applying this late?

By cookie on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 10:22 am: Edit

Yeah, you should so do it. GOOD LUCK!!!!!

By Raj on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 10:58 am: Edit

BE VERY CAREFUL. Play safe if you want . Write an essay on it for some colleges and another essay for at least half. Too RISKY to write it in all.
I donít think you have to disclose it unless it is drug related offence . Ask your guidance Councilor.

By convict lol on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 12:31 pm: Edit

I'll be quite frank with you guys, when I was a freshman i got mixed up with the wrong crowd, some older kids, the peer pressure to fit in with the group was unreal. 4 of us where walking home one night and one of my older "friends" starting an altercation with another group of kids who passed by us. It turned violent and being the brainwahsed jerk that i was, i went over there and grabbed a kid for him. This allowed for him to punch the kid, but as soon as it happened I felt terrible and walked away. Apparently as I was already blocks away, they took $5 from the kid. So now police show up at my door at 1am, and i get charged with assault and robbery(i wanst even there for that!)
To make a long story short, I had excellent attornies we got the charges dropped from to felonies to wreckless assault ( a class 3 misdemeanor) all i got was basically a slap on the wrist; stay out of troubel for a year and my records would be esponged which they were.

Now this is defintyl not something I woudl be forced to disclose, especially since all juvenile records are sealed and they are not called crimes they lable them as "offenses" and thats besides the point becuase they literly delted my file off record after the year was up. Say on a job application for example, where it asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime, I am allowed by law to answer no.

So my point is disclosing this information in an essay would be completly voluntary.
The inncident has changed my life, I have better grades, started some community service and clubs, better friends ect basically overall im a better person. It even rejenerated my interest to study law. The whole court process was actually intriuging for me, my lawyer couldn't belive how I was knowledgable enough to actually help him prepare parts of my case. I will be interning at a law firm my senior year. (yes im only a junior thats why no applications yet, im just planning ahead)

I can see how an ivy league university adcom might frown upon this, but what about a large urban university (chicago, nyu, boston ect) ?

So you now know what i did, should i still write about it or no? Any suggestions would be great and i appreicate all the past comments

By MaritimeEnthusiast on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 01:30 pm: Edit

I don't know if you should do it or not. But if you decide to go for it, make sure to divide it well: 1 line explaining what happened, and the rest of the essay discussing how you've changed since then.

By a on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 02:09 pm: Edit

My advice: your essay could screw you at some schools. It could also be the type of story that would make you stand out. So, what to do? Ask yourself this: is there another essay topic that I could do well on? Are there other standout aspects of my app? Is this the only thing about my app that will make me sound unique? If you have other things, don't send it. In "The Gatekeepers," a fascinating look at the mega-selective Wesleyan University (a liberal arts college of 2700 with 27% acceptance rate and 1410 average SAT score), a pot essay caught the eye of one officer. Because of this, and other factors, he rallied for her. The other officers, however, denied her admission because of the pot. The pot kept her out in a sense, but if she hadn't written about it, she, in all likelihood, would have been ignored and rejected. IF you chose to include it, apply to MANY schools. Some will reject you because of it, while some will love you simply because of it.

By clintonian7643 on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 02:16 pm: Edit

given the nature of the incident, you should absolutely not write about it. it's great that you turned it around, but still, it's too risky. if you really want to try it, use it as an essay at a school you're not sure you want to go to, and see how they respond to it. i wouldn't send it to your top choice schools, though, until you know how other schools respond. it's a huge risk.

if you do write about it, leave the gory details out. just say, "wrong crowd, wrong place, wrong time" without the details.

By convict lol on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 02:28 pm: Edit

What if i were to write a bold, dynamic pre-intro paragraph were i explain how I kno that i am not forced to display this info but i will anyway becuase while i am ashamed of what i done, i am not ashamed of the ultimate outcome blah blah blah.. sorta like challenging the adcoms to accept this as a part of me

By sadf on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 05:00 pm: Edit

Don't do it. Brainwashed? That's a stretch. Write about something else!

By wer on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:22 pm: Edit

only send in this essay for REACH schools.

and don't listen to the retard, aka thedad.


By convict lol on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 12:29 am: Edit

So the overal conception is not to do it or what? lol ahh split opinions are killing me. I could always butter up the inncident and talk about it in minimal detail if that would be more appropiate? Ahhh i dont know waht to do, the rest of my life is pretty cut and dry; typical kid from white suburbia
The only other possible topic that has a chance of impressing anyone is how my modeling career instiled great confidence within me. But i don't think i can't write as convicing of an essay on that topic

By convict lol on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 01:04 pm: Edit


By lawyer on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 02:03 pm: Edit

I would pick another topic to write about. Surely you can find something else that "changed your life." Don't advertise your arrest by writing about it. Leave that part of your life behind you and move on. You don't want it to haunt you. The reason why juvenile records are sealed is precisely to allow young people who have made mistakes to move on.

By lawyer on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 02:06 pm: Edit

I should add that if the application asks whether you have ever been arrested, you may have to disclose your arrest. Check with someone about that.

By convict lol on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 02:16 pm: Edit

No, first of all it is illegal to ask "have you ever been arressted" because you are still innocent after being arrested. the question they are abided by law to ask is "have you ever been convicted of a crime" which I once again, by law, am allowed to answer no to it since it was only a juvenile offfense. Key word being "offense". You are uncapable of commiting a crime untill you are no longer considering a juvenile in your state. That is why juvenile offenders only go to family court and not criminal. This was already documented by my family court judge as well.
But thats besides the point because I am not even a juvenile offender. I recieved and ACOD. Withc is a conditional discharge of the offense, meaning "you dont do __ for this __ long and we pretned this never happned"
In my case it was don't get in trouble for a year, whihc i fullfilled and now my case is erased, not even a sealed record

By oneopinion on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 05:33 pm: Edit

I'd recommend that you read Gatekeepers and study the pot brownie incident. I didn't read it. But I can see that your story might be very different from that person's. In pot brownie's case, did the incident happen a long time ago? Did she get caught? How did she respond to getting caught? Would anyone be left with the impression that she thought it was funny? Your situation happened (relatively speaking) a long time ago. You felt remorseful immediately (pot brownie might have only been sorry that she was caught - you were sorry for what you did and didn't need any judge to tell you it wasn't right). You learned a huge lesson in responsibility and had your moral values tested at an early age and you've used it to your advantage. I'm guessing you'd probably be safe. Why don't you start working on your essay now - look at Gatekeepers - and think about alternatives just in case. You might get something out of documenting your experience anyway - enter it in a writing competition, for example.

By convict lol on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 07:50 pm: Edit

oneopinon, thanks a lot for the thoughtful post. I'm going to start writing as soon as I finsih all this other damned treachorous school work. Screw the adcoms, this inncident will always be the epicenter of my change to a better person, if they can't accept me for that, then i don't even want to go to their school. I'll post the essay when its done (god knows when that will be) ahh got to get back to work

By Quink (Quink) on Saturday, March 01, 2003 - 09:49 am: Edit

DO NOT mention it at all! Juvenile records that are expunged do not exist - the memory exists only in your own mind and the minds of those involved. There are NO consequences for ignoring it completely, forever.

Any 'trouble with the law' is a red flag - IMO, you would be strongly advised to write about something else.

By Incognito (Incognito) on Saturday, March 01, 2003 - 11:45 am: Edit

to "wer"

What is your problem, anyway?

By Cookie (Cookie) on Saturday, March 01, 2003 - 12:48 pm: Edit

Do it, Convict. You got guts!

By Beasley (Beasley) on Saturday, March 01, 2003 - 01:51 pm: Edit

the sheer number of opinions on this topic of people posting on this site is a definite reflection of how unstable this topic will be with admission officers-- DO NOT USE THIS TOPIC. If you truly are changed, talk about the person you are now and ec implications and relationships and beliefs attached to the formation of you. DO NOT USE THIS TOPIC. This is not the type of "bold chance" translated by conformist mechanisms of literally produced thought. DO NOT USE THIS TOPIC.

By Incognito (Incognito) on Saturday, March 01, 2003 - 02:04 pm: Edit

yeah, I agree. This is WAY to touchy. Dont go w/it. Its too dangerous! The fact that they dont know about it is great. Just keep it that way! You must have something else (although certainly less unique) that you can talk about instead...

By Supernova (Supernova) on Sunday, March 02, 2003 - 12:52 pm: Edit

i don't know... i think it something very interesting that will make you stand out. you might even get credit for being open and honest about it. if you write the essay well enough to show that you have completely turned around i believe it can work to your advantage

By Mba_Msit (Mba_Msit) on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 03:49 am: Edit

Hi-tech reality check! I recently graduated from the UOR (Redlands CA) with my 2nd Masters. My fellow students and I placed many articles about our companies and or work experiences to the student section of the "secure web site". We were shocked to find that some of the "web crawlers" (i.e., electronic tools used by most search engines) found our articles. So, by just typing our names in the URL section on IE, many of our individual articles came up. The lesson: Most if not all of your University work product can & will become "public domain". It is my opinion that your question should be expanded beyond concerns with an educational entity. Just for fun everyone should put their names in the URL header or use a search engine and see what they find. Good luck!

By Sluggbugg (Sluggbugg) on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 10:35 am: Edit

Nope, stay away from this. Assault and battery is too heavy a charge to write about in a college admissions essay.

A good college essay topic evolves. I think you may be onto something, in terms of building up from this topic. It's great when someone has been changed for the better by the criminal justice system, but isn't that what is supposed to happen? Basically, you'd be writing about how the system worked, which is not all that original.

You have to be careful when you write about enlightenment through behavior that originated from violence or criminal behavior. Adcoms aren't interested in admitting reformed criminals, and you don't want to give them the mistaken impression that this is what it takes now for you to become a better person
What you might want to think about is what you've done since then. If you're a stronger, more productive, positive person since this experience, write about those achievements. Courage can be conveyed in other ways.

By 20fiowa (20fiowa) on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 12:48 pm: Edit

When I was 18 I was on my way to classes at my local college* My sister who is 27 and who lost all three of her children and is still adicted to drugs was liveing with my family* She sold all my jewlry for drugs* And when confronted she spit on me and pushed me and we got into a physical fight* she called the cops on me! When the cops showed up she told them I attacked her wich at more then one time i tried getting away from her* When the cop came to me* All he asked was did you push her* I said yes and that was all he wanted out of me he didnt ask me my side or what started it he just asked me if i pushed her* This landed me in jail and when i got a lawyer my laywer told me i couldnt beat it* And that it would be epsonged and just to pay the money* Now i'm 20 and went got threw some nursing classes and when I went to find a job* they made me feel out a paper on the assualt that happend 2 years ago * The bottom line it wasnt epsonged and I feel my life is ruined because of a faulty system* So no if i were you i wouldnt tell anyone* its not a good thing!!!!!

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