Anyone up for a PS read? Serious "family issues" and ADHD

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Anyone up for a PS read? Serious "family issues" and ADHD

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:38 am

I'm posting this under anonymous, but I am hoping someone will take the time to look this over and give feedback.

My personal statement is mostly addressing my low GPA due to a few personal losses and undiagnosed ADHD from when I was a kid. I do have another that I feel might be better, but the approach is different and I haven't finalized it to my liking yet.

I am going to change the order, I think because I think it doesn't flow well, but I'm having trouble deciding how much to share and how to share it so it addresses, doesn't overshare and doesn't come off as excuses.



Though I have always been one to have my head in a book, I seemed to not have issues in school until I needed to do things outside of school. I was never able to focus on my tasks, instead getting distracted and turning what should have been a one-hour homework assignment into a night-long event. Even in class, I felt I always had to slow down so as to stay on the same pace as everyone else. I tend to learn quickly, languages especially, and it seemed we spent a week going over the same thing when I felt we should have spent a day or two max.
When I got to college, I felt that I would be in my element, as I loved learning (and still do). I was excited to have the opportunity to absorb knowledge and ideas regarding a variety of subjects. What I encountered, however, was difficulty. I was on my own for the first time and had to adjust to the college life, like all other students. My time management skills, prioritization skills were minimal at best and I was never able to stay on task outside of class to do my assignments or readings in a timely fashion. I have been extremely lucky in that I have had teachers and professors my entire life being willing to accept things late and/or give me extra time to complete things because they knew I was good for it in the sense that most of them seemed to understand what I myself did not figure out until six months ago.
I had never dealt with or sought help in dealing with the personal losses I had endured and it came to a head once I got to college. Between the ages of nine and 21, I suffered the loss of both of my parents, two of my grandparents and a maternal aunt who had been my caretaker after my parents passed away. I spiraled into a deep and severe depression. I played it off and felt that since I was minoring in psychology, I could self-diagnose and since I knew what the symptoms and treatment was, I would be able to “work through it”. This was far from the case as the depression left me in even worse shape than before. I was distraught after I received news that I was placed on academic probation due to my overall GPA. I immediately knew that my future was likely doomed if I was not able to successfully graduate and to do that, I needed to fix my situation. I immediately contacted an advisor and started tutoring and attended workshops on skills I needed.
Finally, in April 2016, almost six years since I graduated college, I went to see a psychiatrist and a therapist who diagnosed me with adult ADHD and major depression. ADHD symptoms include difficulties maintaining attention, executive function and working memory. After finding out the symptoms of ADHD and how they affect you, I cried. I had long thought that I had personal shortcomings and would do better if I just tried hard enough. I wept for the opportunities lost and the time I missed out on, struggling under the weight of this disorder, I failed to live up to my potential.
I immediately began treatment which includes a combination of medication, cognitive behavioral therapy and skill-building. Previously, I had been putting off studying for the LSAT again as I was unable to set a study schedule and stick to it, even after purchasing an online course. Even after a few weeks of therapy and working on short- and long-term strategies and solutions, I began to excel at work, make goals for going to law school once again, set-up a study schedule for the LSAT and attend an LSAT prep class. I am prepared for and eagerly await the rigors of law school because by the time I am done, I will have obtained a large amount of knowledge that will allow me to perhaps help someone or to enact policy change or to simply help someone navigate a transaction. I am moving forward with the tools necessary to achieve success and would like to use at least some of my experience and skills to allow someone else to avoid or deftly handle their own experiences.
As a law student, I know I will be undertaking a stressful, work-centric endeavor and I am eagerly looking forward to it. I know I am capable of being a consistently successful law student and then lawyer. I have been given the tools that allow me to, at the very least, be on par with others. I no longer have to feel as if I'm always good enough and whether others have some secret handbook or map to navigate through life. I do consider myself to be an intellectual due to my desire to attain more knowledge and they study of law will aid in the fulfillment of that desire.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Anyone up for a PS read? Serious "family issues" and ADHD

Postby Mr. Archer » Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:29 pm

Sorry for everything you've had to go through. Because your situation affected your GPA, I think you should explain things to prospective schools. But this reads more as an addendum about GPA than a personal statement.

The part about high school isn't necessary and doesn't do much for you besides foreshadowing issues completing work outside of school. A lot of people feel high school classes are slow. When you transition to discussing college, I don't think you help yourself by saying professors let you turn in late assignments. That shows you got extra time and also got a bad grade. If you discussed personal issues with your professors, that would change things somewhat. But you don't make that clear. You're saying the professors could just sense your personal issues/ADHD, which doesn't make much sense.

You're also discussing LSAT prep. I understand why you've included it because you're trying to show that with treatment you can be disciplined. But I would generally say not to mention LSAT prep in a personal statement. The school has your LSAT score, so how you prepared doesn't really matter.

The lack of details about time in college and between college leaves some questions unanswered. What year did you start tutoring, and how did tutoring affect your grades? Did you have trouble at work because of your issues the last six years?

It might be best if you just give a shorter, straightforward explanation of your family issues and ADHD in an addendum. The addendum can highlight why you performed poorly in college and why the GPA doesn't reflect how you would succeed in law school success given your recent diagnosis/treatment.

Good luck.

albanach

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Re: Anyone up for a PS read? Serious "family issues" and ADHD

Postby albanach » Sun Oct 09, 2016 5:28 pm

Archer is correct. This needs to be a third of the length and an addendum, not a personal statement. This first section reads like a series of red flags to admissions officers highlighting all the areas you need to be strong in to succeed in law school as areas you have struggled.

You don't tell us what your GPA is, so it's hard for anyone to guide you. No personal statement or addendum is going to erase a low GPA. The biggest challenge I see is that you haven't demonstrated that your new techniques have shown they can work in a college setting. What's your LSAT score - is it markedly different from what you might expect to see alongside your GPA?

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Sprout

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Re: Anyone up for a PS read? Serious "family issues" and ADHD

Postby Sprout » Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:05 pm

albanach wrote:Archer is correct. This needs to be a third of the length and an addendum, not a personal statement. This first section reads like a series of red flags to admissions officers highlighting all the areas you need to be strong in to succeed in law school as areas you have struggled.

You don't tell us what your GPA is, so it's hard for anyone to guide you. No personal statement or addendum is going to erase a low GPA. The biggest challenge I see is that you haven't demonstrated that your new techniques have shown they can work in a college setting. What's your LSAT score - is it markedly different from what you might expect to see alongside your GPA?

This. Make it shorter and highlight what you've learned what you're doing now and why it works for you and you want to utilize it for blah blah etc etc. Dont give the admin people too many red flags. It sort of blows but you need to be careful with how you spin stuff like this, or even disclose it, to admissions. I agree with albanach.

edit: you might also want to change topics, tbh, :/ depending on how you feel after editing, etc. do a few re-writes and go from there.

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Re: Anyone up for a PS read? Serious "family issues" and ADHD

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:12 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

I will write a couple addenda, but I was struggling to decide what to write about. So I chose to do this.

My GPA is low and I'm waiting for my sept score. I have another basically written, I'm just having issues trying to show/tell the admissions people why it's not impossible for me to be successful in law school. That was the point about including the lsat prep. Since my diagnosis and treatment is still new (just 6 mths), it's hard to say how much of a difference it's made especially since I'm not currently in school. I have had issues with work directly related to the adhd and they've since improved or gone away completely.

I know ugpa is important, though I have been out of school for 6 years and I have work experience since then working in a top 25 law firm and assisting a professor with research. My gpa also has an upward trend after starting tutoring.


I will edit based on your feedback. It might end up being a rewrite.

Thanks again



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