Medical GPA Addendum Question

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petedc
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Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby petedc » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:25 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm going to be applying this coming cycle and I have a question about writing my GPA addendum. I'm a STEM/Poli sci major KJD with 3.76 GPA and a 177 LSAT. I got a 2.84 GPA my first semester of college after suffering severe anxiety attacks during my final exams week,(I couldn't eat, sleep and would sob uncontrollably during my exams). I had been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder two years prior to this incident and was not in therapy at the time. Since then I have attended therapy weekly and have pulled my GPA up considerably,(have never got below a 3.85 for my other four semesters). Would it be appropriate to write a medical GPA addendum in this case? If so, do law schools require documentation to corroborate your story? Obviously I don't want to out that I have anxiety disorders to adcomms if I don't have to.

cavalier1138
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:05 pm

You have a 3.76. You don't need an addendum.

petedc
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby petedc » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:36 am

cavalier1138 wrote:You have a 3.76. You don't need an addendum.



Really don't want to leave the adcomms guessing as to what happened,(i.e I don't want to give the impression that I partied way too much 1st semester and my grades suffered etc...). I'm writing one regardless. My question is whether I should bring up the medical issue or just be general and attribute it to something else,(i.e hard time adjusting etc.).

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bearsfan23
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby bearsfan23 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:55 am

cavalier1138 wrote:You have a 3.76. You don't need an addendum.

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rpupkin
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:10 am

petedc wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:You have a 3.76. You don't need an addendum.

Really don't want to leave the adcomms guessing as to what happened,(i.e I don't want to give the impression that I partied way too much 1st semester and my grades suffered etc...).

They're not going to guess. They're going to look at your 3.76/177 and move on to your softs. If you're worried about HYS, I don't think it's going to help your chances to tell them that you're a K-JD who is prone to anxiety attacks.

cavalier1138
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:38 am

petedc wrote: I'm writing one regardless.


Then why did you make a thread asking if it was a good idea to write one?

Npret
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby Npret » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:52 am

petedc wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:You have a 3.76. You don't need an addendum.



Really don't want to leave the adcomms guessing as to what happened,(i.e I don't want to give the impression that I partied way too much 1st semester and my grades suffered etc...). I'm writing one regardless. My question is whether I should bring up the medical issue or just be general and attribute it to something else,(i.e hard time adjusting etc.).

Don't do anything that will make it less likely you will be admitted. Calling attention to mental health issue is not going to help you get admitted. It might not hurt you but it definitely won't help. It's not necessary so don't do it.

petedc
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby petedc » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:09 am

Npret wrote:
petedc wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:You have a 3.76. You don't need an addendum.



Really don't want to leave the adcomms guessing as to what happened,(i.e I don't want to give the impression that I partied way too much 1st semester and my grades suffered etc...). I'm writing one regardless. My question is whether I should bring up the medical issue or just be general and attribute it to something else,(i.e hard time adjusting etc.).

Don't do anything that will make it less likely you will be admitted. Calling attention to mental health issue is not going to help you get admitted. It might not hurt you but it definitely won't help. It's not necessary so don't do it.



Yeah I totally get that. I wasn't going to go more specific than "medical issues" . I'm going to write an addendum,(with or without the medical piece), just so I won't leave questions in the adcomms mind.

petedc
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby petedc » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:10 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
petedc wrote: I'm writing one regardless.


Then why did you make a thread asking if it was a good idea to write one?


Question centers on whether I should frame it as a medical issue or not.

cavalier1138
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:12 am

petedc wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
petedc wrote: I'm writing one regardless.


Then why did you make a thread asking if it was a good idea to write one?


Question centers on whether I should frame it as a medical issue or not.


You shouldn't frame it as an issue at all. An addendum saying that you had a "tough time" adjusting is pointless, and an addendum highlighting psychological issues is going to have a negative effect. You have a fine GPA. Nothing good will come from an addendum on this subject.

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lawlzzz
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby lawlzzz » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:35 pm

It might not be necessary with your gpa, but I don't believe it will hurt you. I've been told to not let the adcomms assume anything about you, especially something negative. Frame it as just "medical issues" if you don't want to disclose your anxiety disorder. I don't remember if a letter from your dr is necessary, but I included one with my addendum anyway. I struggle with a chronic condition, which at the time drs said was "just anxiety." I specifically disclosed what I thought was "just" anxiety disorder, and I don't believe it hurt me. It's sad that mental health issues still have such a stigma on them and are not seen as legitimate as physical ailments. (Personally, I believe mental health issues very often have a physical ailment as the root cause, like in my case...) Instead, they're usually seen as some kind of "failing" on the part of the person suffering from them, like it's somehow their "fault," or they just have a "tough time adjusting." But that's another discussion. lol. Good luck to you!

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lawlzzz
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby lawlzzz » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:56 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
petedc wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
petedc wrote: I'm writing one regardless.


Then why did you make a thread asking if it was a good idea to write one?


Question centers on whether I should frame it as a medical issue or not.


You shouldn't frame it as an issue at all. An addendum saying that you had a "tough time" adjusting is pointless, and an addendum highlighting psychological issues is going to have a negative effect. You have a fine GPA. Nothing good will come from an addendum on this subject.


"Tough time adjusting" :roll:

See the latter part of my comment above.

Eta: I just realized you kinda got that wording from OP. :mrgreen:
OP, I don't think it'd be a good idea to frame it that way. If you're going to write an addendum, frame it the way it is -- as a medical issue. Again, whether you want to be specific about it is up to you.

cavalier1138
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:03 pm

lawlzzz wrote:"Tough time adjusting" :roll:

See the latter part of my comment above.


You mean the part where you mention the general societal stigma against mental illness? Yes, that is precisely why I think that the OP would be monumentally stupid to call attention to this.

If this isn't framed as a medical issue, then it can only be framed as a generic hard-time-adjusting-to-college issue (unless you have some brilliant third option). And it doesn't need to be framed as an issue at all, because the OP has a fine GPA. You're just flat-out wrong about it not being a potential negative. Telling an admissions officer that you are prone to anxiety attacks is not a recipe for success.

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lawlzzz
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Re: Medical GPA Addendum Question

Postby lawlzzz » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:27 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
lawlzzz wrote:"Tough time adjusting" :roll:

See the latter part of my comment above.


You mean the part where you mention the general societal stigma against mental illness? Yes, that is precisely why I think that the OP would be monumentally stupid to call attention to this.

If this isn't framed as a medical issue, then it can only be framed as a generic hard-time-adjusting-to-college issue (unless you have some brilliant third option). And it doesn't need to be framed as an issue at all, because the OP has a fine GPA. You're just flat-out wrong about it not being a potential negative. Telling an admissions officer that you are prone to anxiety attacks is not a recipe for success.


I missed one of OPs comments so thought that wording came from you...

I think it's kinda harsh to call this "monumentally stupid" though. It's a potential negative if the adcomms think it's still an issue. (I never said it wasn't a potential negative, btw. I just said that I don't believe it will hurt OP, just based on my experience.) But the addendum can also mention that it is being treated and under control. It could actually also be a potential positive, given how well OP did after treatment -- a story about persevering and succeeding despite dealing with a health issue. So it could go either way. It really depends on the adcomm.

The OP seems to have made up his mind, though. If anything, it might be best to not be specific about what the medical issue is.




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