Addendum - rape / classes

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cmxivkk

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Addendum - rape / classes

Postby cmxivkk » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:24 pm

Hi all. I have a good LSAT, but only an okay GPA, and am aiming for top-ten law schools (planning on academia after graduation). There are two explanations I could present for my GPA, and would like your take on which would be more effective.

For context, my GPA is clearly divided. I had a 3.2 average for my first three semesters (one A, two A-s, seven B+s, one B, two Cs). I then went on to average 3.8 for the rest of my college career (twelve As, eight A-s, one B+, one B).

On to the explanations:
1. I was raped my third week of college. It was a hugely traumatic experience for me and I did not seek counseling or admit in any way that I was struggling until my sophomore year. Seeking help and acknowledging (and treating) my PTSD led to a huge jump in my grades that is far more reflective of my abilities than my initial 3.2.
2. I started out college determined to venture outside my comfort zone. I enrolled in my school's invitation-only, extremely selective (and extremely challenging) humanities program for semesters one and two, and then jumped into fulfilling all my math/science requirements as fast as I could with the most challenging classes I could find. I'm a philosophy major, and my poor grades were in part due to Calculus II and III for Engineers, Advanced Physics, and Game Theory - plus the aforementioned humanities program in which I got a completely unimpressive B+ average.

Honestly, the latter explanation seems safer - but the former one is far more accurate. I'm torn. Advice?

clshopeful

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Re: Addendum - rape / classes

Postby clshopeful » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:16 pm

the second point, about being in a hard program/hard classes, seems to not be very persuasive to me. Admissions will see Calc and other tough classes, which they know are difficult.

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cherrygalore

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Re: Addendum - rape / classes

Postby cherrygalore » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:18 pm

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Last edited by cherrygalore on Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

cmxivkk

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Re: Addendum - rape / classes

Postby cmxivkk » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:21 pm

clshopeful wrote:the second point, about being in a hard program/hard classes, seems to not be very persuasive to me. Admissions will see Calc and other tough classes, which they know are difficult.


Yeah, I'd end up speaking more about the humanities program, which is notoriously difficult within my university but not as well-known outside of it. But I see your point. I just hate the idea of people thinking I'm exaggerating or seeking sympathy.

BostonOrBust

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Re: Addendum - rape / classes

Postby BostonOrBust » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:22 pm

Hello!

Checking in as a fellow rape survivor also figuring out how to address this in my apps. Interested to see what others have to say.

I think the second reason is something that happens to a lot of students and is not really a strong reason for an addendum. The first reason is a good reason for an addendum. But it would have to be done carefully-- light on the details and the suffering, heavy on the "here are the steps I've taken to ensure that I'm ready to study and won't be impacted." The upward trend in GPA is definitely to your advantage.


FWIW I'm really sorry for what happened. Congratulations for getting the support you need and for pursuing law school!

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waldorf

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Re: Addendum - rape / classes

Postby waldorf » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:26 pm

cmxivkk wrote:
clshopeful wrote:the second point, about being in a hard program/hard classes, seems to not be very persuasive to me. Admissions will see Calc and other tough classes, which they know are difficult.


Yeah, I'd end up speaking more about the humanities program, which is notoriously difficult within my university but not as well-known outside of it. But I see your point. I just hate the idea of people thinking I'm exaggerating or seeking sympathy.


I debated including my father's sudden death and my sudden status as an orphan in my personal statement for a long time because of this. I eventually included it because it is by far the most defining moment of my life and it completely changed my outlook on life.

I think you can phrase it in a way that shows what you can bring to the law school - strength, courage, independence, and the ability to persevere during the toughest of times. I would just explain that your GPA isn't reflective of your potential of a student because of such a traumatic event, but your ability to overcome it and go on to do extremely well shows your strength as a person and eventually as a law student. I went with a similar approach personally and I think it went over pretty well!

You go girl. Don't let that POS stop you from achieving your goals. I'm so sorry such a horrible thing happened to you, but I'm proud of you for overcoming it.

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floatie

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Re: Addendum - rape / classes

Postby floatie » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:54 pm

I wrote an addendum about being the "target of a hate crime" (this wording was suggested to me by an admissions person I know) since I felt uncomfortable talking about my sexual assault. I didn't go into any details, and talked about how my academic performance was impacted until I was able to seek proper help.



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