Transfer letter of intent anxiety question

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Anonymous User
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Transfer letter of intent anxiety question

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:16 am

I'm currently applying to transfer to a school that is about the same rank as my current school but for various financial and personal reasons, it would be best to attend the other. I mention in my letter of intent that I have suffered from mild but medically diagnosed general anxiety disorder during 1L and that I believe it partially responsible for my unspectacular performance in 1L. The anxiety is not the main argument about why I would like to transfer and it only takes up about 2-3 sentences in a 2 page paper. My family is pretty conservative and views a lot of illnesses like anxiety or other mental illnesses with a stigma and because the school I'm trying to transfer to has a reputation of being conservative, they are concerned that this argument will backfire. My opinion is with the recent study that got a lot of press about a huge chunk of law students having symptoms that make them diagnosable for anxiety, I don't think that it is that strange to mention anxiety. Also, I think academics usually look at things through an egalitarian lens rather than the lens that a real world boss would ("You have anxiety? Maybe you can't hack it"). Thoughts?

TL;DNR - Is mentioning anxiety in a letter of intent inappropriate if I'm only mentioning it in passing and I admit that it is only mild?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Transfer letter of intent anxiety question

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:10 am

Without reading the actual draft & seeing the reference in context, it seems like a bad idea.

metalgeek
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Re: Transfer letter of intent anxiety question

Postby metalgeek » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:01 pm

Here is the context. This is the "excuse" paragraph of my paper. My paper starts out with my history of interest of the school, the reasons why the school would be better for me, and this paragraph I am posting is a response to my grades, which were not the best:

I want to address my first year performance directly. Academically and even athletically, I have always been plagued by slow starts but buoyed by strong finishes when facing new challenges. My first two semesters at [undergrad] resulted in a mediocre 3.4 GPA. For the next six semesters, my GPA strongly trended upwards and averaged 3.82. Even as a high school cross country runner, my third mile times were consistently faster than the first mile. In light of this academic tendency, it is no surprise that the 1L exam I struggled with most (by a significant margin) was my very first – contracts. Throughout my first year, and especially in contracts, I made serious rookie mistakes despite the high quality instruction I received. However, I learned from these mistakes and am taking measures not to repeat them. I also partially attribute some of these mistakes to mild but medically diagnosed general anxiety disorder that is not uncommon among law students and, as the first law student in my immediate family, a lack of a close confidant from whom I could glean outlining strategies or even the basics of how to write an exam answer (Getting to Maybe is on my summer reading list). I believe that my anxiety, which has been successfully treated, would be reduced further at [target school] by moving out of traffic-laden downtown [big city where current school is] to [smaller target school city], an environment to which I am more accustomed, and also by neutralizing debt-related career concerns. I expect that my grades will trend upward in my last four semesters and that I would contribute in a positive way at [target school] despite my slow start.

Are these too lame of excuses? I think the obvious answer to a regular person is yes, but from the perspective of an academic on an admissions committee?
Last edited by metalgeek on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Transfer letter of intent anxiety question

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:06 pm

Do not send this with your transfer application. You made your emotional & mental stability a primary concern when unwarranted.

P.S. Feel free to send a PM if uncomfortable posting certain information.

CanadianWolf
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Transfer letter of intent anxiety question

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:07 pm

Anxieties are quite common among first semester/ first term law students; no need to obsess over a growth spurt.

Much of law school is teaching yourself to be resourceful so the reference to Getting To Maybe or any other book is also unnecessary as that type of resourcefulness is expected.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Transfer letter of intent anxiety question

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:08 pm

I'm not sure mentioning the anxiety helps you. It would make a little more sense if you were able to show that treatment for the anxiety had improved your academic performance, but saying you think it will be better, without evidence it will, isn't very convincing. Mostly I think with mental illness you want to be able to show clearly that you have addressed the problem and it's definitely in the past. The slow start-strong finish works better alone, I think.

metalgeek
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: Transfer letter of intent anxiety question

Postby metalgeek » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:14 pm

Ok, that is very helpful. I was feeling like the slow start-strong finish argument was not enough on its own and that's why I kind of started reaching for others.




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