Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Duramax80
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Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby Duramax80 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:45 pm

I have yet to come across a topic concerning my individual predicament, however I assume there are others out there like me. I hope you TLS gurus can help me and those like me who are sure to follow...

Anyways, I graduated undergrad with an incredibly low GPA of 2.68. This was due to a combination of things, however, the primary factor in my poor performance was my social anxiety. I was wondering if I should elaborate on this in my personal statement, as it is without a doubt keeping me from admittance from my top choice schools. However, during my junior year, I took hold of my disorder, and conquered it with a FEROCITY OF A THOUSAND SUNS. All kidding aside, I really did transform myself into a new person, almost like a rebirth into the academic world. After defeating my disorder, I managed to earn a spot on the Deans List honor roll, with a 3.75 spring semester, 3.5 fall semester, and a 4.0 in the summer classes I took before I graduated. It is important to note that my LSAT score was a measly 159, but Im not looking to go to Harvard haha. I really just want to go to Mercer, who weighs applicants GPA's at an unprecedented level. Would I be at a disadvantage in describing the difficulties I overcame due to my disorder? I feel as if the AdComms may look at me as a liability, even though I fought through and came out a better person and student.

Can anyone help me? I can PM you a copy of my PS, still in draft form due to the aforementioned reasons. This board has been a wealth of knowledge thus far, and I hope that trend can continue. Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for anyone who drops by to donate their .02... Lord knows I need it.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby moneybagsphd » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:54 pm

Wait, is your cumulative UGGPA 2.68? Because your grade trends don't really matter, although an addendum might help. You can probably get in without explaining your GPA since you're above Mercer's 75% LSAT. That said, this is a good PS topic for a better school. Retake, get a 165+ and don't go to a TTT.

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Duramax80
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby Duramax80 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:15 pm

Thanks for the input, and I retook the LSAT in December, and I do not feel like I did well at all. I took every prep test LSAC offered, took a Princeton Review course, and busted my ass on a daily basis. I was prep-testing at an average of 162 with a low of 156 and a high of 167. LG was my strong suit, but on the Dec administration, I struggled with the 3rd game and had to guess on 4 of the questions on the last game. Also, I found myself guessing on several LR questions, something I'm not used to doing, and Im not even getting into the RC section, which made me want to punch LSAC in the face, haha...but seriously. I estimate that I missed 6 on each LR, 6 on LG, and about 10 on RC. That equates to about -28, raw score of 73, and with a -11 curve, leaves me with a 159...again.

My cumulative GPA was 2.87, but the LSDAS GPA is a 2.68. I was really hoping my ending trend could offset my rough start, and with the 7 F's I received for attendance policies for being too scared to go to class, I figured an explanation was in order.

Even though I am above Mercers 75% LSAT (by 1 point), my GPA falls WELL below the 25% of 3.05. Knowing my chances at being accepted to law school were slim upon graduation, I began working at a law firm as an unpaid intern, and am now a regular volunteer at my local library. My LOR's are pretty strong as well, but I figure my main problem area is my GPA, which I hoped to resolve in my PS. Would anyone mind reading through it? With the incredible numbers and writing styles I have seen on this board, you guys (and girls) are my best and most respected source of information.

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cinephile
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby cinephile » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:24 pm

Really your best chance of acceptance at Mercer or anywhere else is to retake the LSAT and score much higher to off-set the GPA.

Also, I don't think this is the kind of overcoming obstacles essay that would help sell you to the school. Although it could help explain the grades, it might make your reader fear that in a new, high pressure situation a former weakness could return.

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Duramax80
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby Duramax80 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:38 pm

Could I perhaps demonstrate that this weakness will not return? I am working to convince the AdComs that my past is my past, and the weakness I fought through is something I look back on, and the struggles that I endured only pushed me forward and made me a batter person and student. This is the truth, but the problem is that it is proving to be difficult to convince others of this. Any advice on how I could show that I have succeeded in overcoming my anxiety with no chance of "relapse"?

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cinephile
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby cinephile » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:42 pm

^ Well, if there were some distance between you and your GPA, like several years that'd be helpful. If you could show that you worked in a career that required strong communication skills and you've been successful in this career, that's help.

Really if you want to explain your GPA, write a short addendum explaining overcoming social anxiety. Just thought of something, have you had therapy/medication that have helped -- that might be effective to show that you've overcome it.

Leave you PS for an opportunity to sell yourself. Focus on your strengths here.

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JoeMo
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby JoeMo » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:52 pm

A few things:

1) there is a strong possibility that schools like Mercer auto-ding with your GPA. But there are also times when they do not.

2) Write a PS about something else, something more in the realm of what a PS should be. You seem to have a good grasp of writing skills and could probably write a good PS. It does not have to be about overcoming struggles but about whatever. I really can't help with topic choice since I don't know you.

3) Write an addendum, in the addendum explain your social anxiety and your grade trends. Perhaps talk about what were those key factors that helped you overcome your social anxiety and why you're sure that you can now keep it under control in high pressure situations.

also, are you a URM? because that could make all the difference in the world.

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Duramax80
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby Duramax80 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:05 pm

I am not a URM, Im your cookie-cutter white boy, as rare as a fat lady at White Water. I dont have much to write about that could make make stand out and illustrate myself as a worthy candidate. I was hoping my PS could revolve around anxiety, and if I successfully displayed that it was a chunk of my history, I would be in the clear. Honestly, I have very little else to write about, and like I said before, I really need to explain my GPA. Concerning an addendum, I dont think I could convey my message adequately in such a small piece of writing; hence my focus on anxiety in my PS. That being said, I dont know much about writing an addendum, which I plan to fix within the next hour. All I have read about them is that they should only be a few sentences of which explain a particular facet of one's application, like a DUI or something small... not a large portion of one's undergraduate performance.

I could write about being an intern at a law firm and observing how attorneys operate in a legal environment, including factors such as the skills I developed during my stint there. However, the skills I developed are simply objectivity, legal writing, proficiency in conversation, organization, and the ability to relate to people of significantly different demographics- nothing special. Besides the skills I sharpened behind the phones and desks, I could elaborate on how many people I saw struggling with their lives and coming to the firm for help. It may perhaps display a desire to assist others through painful and sometimes disastrous situations, but I was an insignificant intern, and I fear that such a desire may appear disingenuous. Needless to say, Im stuck.

postn0bills
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby postn0bills » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:32 pm

I think the topic is OK to write about as long as you frame it well. For example, is there a major contributing factor to the development of your social anxiety? Write about overcoming that, and as a result, social anxiety, but make sure to focus more on where you are now and how you got here, and what it has to do with your desire to go to law school.

charliep
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby charliep » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:38 pm

i bet u did better on the december lsat than you think

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JoeMo
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby JoeMo » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:45 pm

An addendum can be up to one page and you can use it to explain any part of your application that might pose a problem for an adcom. Such as a DUI, A low GPA, several LSAT retakes, etc... In fact, if you have all the above you can send addenda for each.

If you're going to write about your anxiety in your PS just make sure that you don't come off frantic. Take a sort of celebratory stance on how you overcame it and how much better you feel now that you have etc...

Don't get caught up in this "woe is me, I'm socially inept and for that you must love me" (not saying that's the impression you give me, just that it's a very easy trap to fall into)

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cinephile
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby cinephile » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:51 pm

Duramax80 wrote:I am not a URM, Im your cookie-cutter white boy, as rare as a fat lady at White Water. I dont have much to write about that could make make stand out and illustrate myself as a worthy candidate.


I find this really troubling, like the only thing worth talking about is race/gender/SES or some other obstacle.

Duramax80 wrote: I could write about being an intern at a law firm and observing how attorneys operate in a legal environment, including factors such as the skills I developed during my stint there.


This sounds like a much better idea, but you don't have to limit yourself to the literal skills you learned in the office. Did anything interesting ever happen while you were there that you could spin into a story? Can you describe any point in time where you had to take initiative, think on your feet, adapt to a new situation, develop leadership?

I used to work in a regular, boring office building. One day, an angry ex-boyfriend of one of the employees stopped in the lobby demanded to see his ex-girlfriend. The receptionist saw him as he entered the building, and she handled it calmly and listened to his concerns, trying to diffuse the situation and keep him from entering the main work space area. We didn't have security, but she was successful and convinced him that he didn't want to cause any trouble and got him to leave.

I think my point is weird things happen in offices all the time, and you learn from these experiences and discover new strengths. Everyone has a story.

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JoeMo
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Re: Personal statement regarding Social Anxiety

Postby JoeMo » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:36 am

I agree that everyone thinks you have to have a troubled past to write a good PS. Most people don't have that sort of experience to write about and have to write about more "vanilla" subjects but all you have to make sure is that you write well.




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