COLLEGE ATTENDANCE INTERRUPTED ADDENDUM - PLEASE CRITIQUE

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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kissy
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COLLEGE ATTENDANCE INTERRUPTED ADDENDUM - PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby kissy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:26 pm

Hi, I'm currently putting the finishing touches on my applications and haven't really given too much thought / spent any time on addendums. I have a relatively low GPA (2.8x), but a decent LSAT (169). I'm seeking any helpful advice as far as polishing up this addendum goes ... it's for a section on the applications where you're asked to please explain any interruption in your college attendance that lasted more than one term. This is an extremely rough draft, something that I put together during my lunch break today in ten or so minutes, and I'm looking for any and all tips / pointers / critiques / etc. I'm not sure if this helps or not, but the focus of my PS is more or less based on this very experience, so I go into much greater detail regarding emotions and the like...

"I was forced to take a five-term break in between my freshman and sophomore years at Union College due to an academic performance that was deemed unacceptable by the college’s administration, my own family, and most importantly, me. I found it extremely difficult to adjust to Union’s schedule, and was informed by my parents after my first trimester, during which my GPA was considerably lower than even my worst grades from high school, that they would absolutely not be sending me back for my sophomore year. My parents’ reasoning was both straightforward and hard to dispute – my lack of effort simply was not worth the $40,000 a year investment. Going into the second trimester of my freshman year of college with the knowledge that I would not be returning the next year made it practically impossible to motivate myself to improve, and I gradually began to miss more and more classes; an immature decision which resulted in my receiving three D’s, and subsequently being informed that I would be placed on Academic Probation. I all but gave up during the final trimester of my freshman year, withdrawing from two of my classes and simply not attending the third. I received a letter from the Dean of Students towards the end of the term which confirmed that I would not be able to return to Union for the first term of my sophomore year, regardless of my parents’ decision."

Thanks!

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jlnoa0915
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Re: COLLEGE ATTENDANCE INTERRUPTED ADDENDUM - PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby jlnoa0915 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:30 pm

I would be hesitant in sending that. All it explains (as I see it) was that you had a hard time adjusting to the schedule and then quit/gave up on yourself. Both of which are not qualities I would assume an adcom would look at favorably (opinion). I would go into why you had the troubles and explain further what happened.

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kissy
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Re: COLLEGE ATTENDANCE INTERRUPTED ADDENDUM - PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby kissy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:35 pm

I agree, obviously, and am very worried about that. The point I'm trying to convey is that returning to school simply was not an option, my relationship with my parents was damaged quite significantly because of my mediocre [and that's an understatement] performance .. to the point that striving for better grades did not seem to have any concrete benefits (at least in the immediate future) to me. Furthermore, my grades were so low because of absences, not a lack of intelligence or anything like that, but I don't know how to explain that without making myself seem like a horrible candidate...

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jlnoa0915
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Re: COLLEGE ATTENDANCE INTERRUPTED ADDENDUM - PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby jlnoa0915 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:43 pm

kissy wrote:I agree, obviously, and am very worried about that. The point I'm trying to convey is that returning to school simply was not an option, my relationship with my parents was damaged quite significantly because of my mediocre [and that's an understatement] performance .. to the point that striving for better grades did not seem to have any concrete benefits (at least in the immediate future) to me. Furthermore, my grades were so low because of absences, not a lack of intelligence or anything like that, but I don't know how to explain that without making myself seem like a horrible candidate...


I would then ask why you didn't go to a community college once you left Union, and more importantly what changes you made to fix your situation and prove that your past was a fluke and not representative of you as a potential law school student (just playing devils advocate).

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kissy
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Re: COLLEGE ATTENDANCE INTERRUPTED ADDENDUM - PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby kissy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:49 pm

jlnoa0915 wrote:
kissy wrote:I agree, obviously, and am very worried about that. The point I'm trying to convey is that returning to school simply was not an option, my relationship with my parents was damaged quite significantly because of my mediocre [and that's an understatement] performance .. to the point that striving for better grades did not seem to have any concrete benefits (at least in the immediate future) to me. Furthermore, my grades were so low because of absences, not a lack of intelligence or anything like that, but I don't know how to explain that without making myself seem like a horrible candidate...


I would then ask why you didn't go to a community college once you left Union, and more importantly what changes you made to fix your situation and prove that your past was a fluke and not representative of you as a potential law school student (just playing devils advocate).


I go into all of this in much greater detail in my PS, but to make a long story short, my parents more or less kicked me out of the house (my father's exact words were, "You're not living here with us, I suggest you join the Israeli army."), so it wasn't so much "quitting" as it was I truly believed myself to be up against insurmountable odds. I chose instead to move to California and live with a friend from high school, where I got a job and worked for approximately six months .. and made the decision to reconcile with my parents right after being offered a $45,000/yr position (something very tempting to a nineteen year old). Upon returning home, I further proved my maturation and responsibility by working as an electrical technician with one of my father's friend's company (which is actually relatively well-known and extremely successful, I worked on a project that involved ConEdison in NYC and Brooklyn, obviously the ad com won't know that a large part of me getting the job was my father's relationship with the President). I'm just not sure how much to divulge here, because I do not want my PS to come across as redundant.

So yeah, community college simply wasn't an option. Oh and I returned to and graduated from Union. Thank you I appreciate the insight this is definitely helping :)
Last edited by kissy on Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jlnoa0915
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Re: COLLEGE ATTENDANCE INTERRUPTED ADDENDUM - PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby jlnoa0915 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:52 pm

Those are the kind of answers I would be looking for as an adcom (once again speculating). Depending on how much you went into your situation in your PS I might make the addendum brief. Myself for example went to an engineering school for a semester then left for the Marines. My addendum was two sentences long explaining that I was active duty military and not in school and used my ps to tell the majority of the story.

Hope that helps.

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kissy
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Re: COLLEGE ATTENDANCE INTERRUPTED ADDENDUM - PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby kissy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:58 pm

I see what you're saying, for me the main thing is definitely going to be finding the balance between a sufficient amount of detail and not restating things I mention in my PS. I do not want it to be any longer than a paragraph, because like I said, this is my PS in a nutshell.

pollaclc
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Re: COLLEGE ATTENDANCE INTERRUPTED ADDENDUM - PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby pollaclc » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:06 pm

you werent ready for college at x age-->your grades were not high enough-->you did other productive things while you matured/became ready for college. when you were ready you went back and succeeded.

but in sentence form. less is more. highlighting and expanding upon where you went wrong is not the way to go.

edit: btw did you ever go into the army?

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kissy
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Re: COLLEGE ATTENDANCE INTERRUPTED ADDENDUM - PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby kissy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:10 pm

Unfortunately I did not, I moved back home, worked for another seven months and then re-enrolled at the start of the next trimester.




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