Just a quick question - PS Topic

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sab0tage
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Just a quick question - PS Topic

Postby sab0tage » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:54 am

Do you think it is a bad idea of using recovery from substance abuse as the central organizing theme of a personal statement?
Too much info? Betraying an weakness?


Full Disclosure: I have already written/submitted my PS(s) and I did exactly the above mentioned. Just want to see what others opinions are.

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fatduck
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Re: Just a quick question - PS Topic

Postby fatduck » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:03 am

this is a tough one...i struggled with the same question myself. i overcame heroin addiction, and it's not something i'm particularly private about in my daily life. i ultimately decided not to mention it in my PS, though i alluded to "dark times" so to speak in my past. i was just afraid someone might see it as an incurable character flaw. and in many ways it is...i would certainly never risk taking a vicodin, you know?

i wouldn't worry about it, though. i think it's an acceptable subject, and it's important to write about something that's legitimately important to you. remember that the PS has a limited impact on your overall admissions chances, and that in general adcoms want to see that you have faced challenges, even ones you may have brought on yourself. best of luck.

cartercl
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Re: Just a quick question - PS Topic

Postby cartercl » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:05 am

Not enough information to make that determination at this point. I suppose it depends on the circumstances surrounding your addiction and how you wrote your PS. Was there some sort of family crisis/death that lead you down this path, or was it simply a case of rebellion? Do you even discuss the factors that caused you to start your initial drug use in your PS?

sab0tage
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Re: Just a quick question - PS Topic

Postby sab0tage » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:28 am

cartercl wrote:Not enough information to make that determination at this point. I suppose it depends on the circumstances surrounding your addiction and how you wrote your PS. Was there some sort of family crisis/death that lead you down this path, or was it simply a case of rebellion? Do you even discuss the factors that caused you to start your initial drug use in your PS?


One does not become an addict overnight, so I think it is really difficult to pinpoint one particular event in nearly all circumstances. In my case, I pretty much just liked getting high. So to answer your question, I didn't discuss the circumstances that led me to excessive drug use. I did mention what my life looked like right before I got sober, then went on to mention what I did and do now to maintain sobriety.

fatduck wrote:this is a tough one...i struggled with the same question myself. i overcame heroin addiction, and it's not something i'm particularly private about in my daily life. i ultimately decided not to mention it in my PS, though i alluded to "dark times" so to speak in my past. i was just afraid someone might see it as an incurable character flaw. and in many ways it is...i would certainly never risk taking a vicodin, you know?

i wouldn't worry about it, though. i think it's an acceptable subject, and it's important to write about something that's legitimately important to you. remember that the PS has a limited impact on your overall admissions chances, and that in general adcoms want to see that you have faced challenges, even ones you may have brought on yourself. best of luck.


Thanks man, I appreciate the reply. I actually am not really concerned about it, my cycle has gone better than expected. I was more just interested to see what people think, being that I received a few conflicting pieces of advice before I submitted my apps. Oh, and congrats on not doing heroin anymore, that is a good thing.

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fatduck
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Re: Just a quick question - PS Topic

Postby fatduck » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:30 am

sab0tage wrote:Oh, and congrats on not doing heroin anymore, that is a good thing.


this we can all agree on :P

LSATclincher
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Re: Just a quick question - PS Topic

Postby LSATclincher » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:10 pm

I wouldn't do it. If you disclosed a legal issue about drugs, hopefully it's general enough to where the adcomms might think it was only a one time issue. Don't give them any more information to build a negative opinion of you.

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gobuffs10
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Re: Just a quick question - PS Topic

Postby gobuffs10 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:11 am

I was curious about this as well, as it was a contributing factor to my poor GPA, and I have done really well since getting sober. My concern was that if I get dinged, they already have an opinion formed of me for next cycle. Conversely, I have read that the more of a reach a school is, the riskier you can be on a PS...

sab0tage
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Re: Just a quick question - PS Topic

Postby sab0tage » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:31 am

gobuffs10 wrote:I was curious about this as well, as it was a contributing factor to my poor GPA, and I have done really well since getting sober. My concern was that if I get dinged, they already have an opinion formed of me for next cycle. Conversely, I have read that the more of a reach a school is, the riskier you can be on a PS...


My cycle has gone well, I used it as a obstacle overcome type situation and I don't know if it helped but it doesn't appear to have hurt me. I decided to use it because it is something I am proud of and applying to law school in and of itself was a huge deal considering where I was before I got
sober.
Good luck and congrats on getting sober. Best fucking decision I ever made, that's for damn sure.

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gobuffs10
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Re: Just a quick question - PS Topic

Postby gobuffs10 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:40 am

sab0tage wrote:
gobuffs10 wrote:I was curious about this as well, as it was a contributing factor to my poor GPA, and I have done really well since getting sober. My concern was that if I get dinged, they already have an opinion formed of me for next cycle. Conversely, I have read that the more of a reach a school is, the riskier you can be on a PS...


My cycle has gone well, I used it as a obstacle overcome type situation and I don't know if it helped but it doesn't appear to have hurt me. I decided to use it because it is something I am proud of and applying to law school in and of itself was a huge deal considering where I was before I got
sober.
Good luck and congrats on getting sober. Best fucking decision I ever made, that's for damn sure.


Yeah, I know what you mean. At one point it didn't look like I was going to graduate. The reason I was considering using it in a PS is because I went from a 1.9 and being a dropout to getting clean with a 3.6. I wrote one but didn't end up using it. Maybe I'll hold it for next cycle.

Congratulations on your new life. Getting clean is a lot easier when you can't get much lower.




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