Outrageous Addendum?

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hippidy
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:46 am

Outrageous Addendum?

Postby hippidy » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:04 am

It's taken me 9 years to get my bachelors degree. I've had so many medical issues and personal traumas, my addendum sounds ludicrous.

- My mother was in and out of the hospital in the first couple years at school. She had multiple amputations , heart surgeries, heart failures, and other medical issues which landed her in the hospital.
- I was in a car accident where my car crashed on a mountain highway. I sustained neck, back, and head injuries. I didn't finish out the semester
- I was attempted to end a relationship with someone I knew for five years. I was sent pictures of self-mutilation, suicide threats, suicide attempts, and it took a year to find a way out of it.

During these years and semesters, I did horribly, receiving a 2.0 GPA.

However, in the semesters I have done well, averaging a 3.9 GPA for the last two years of my education. In fact, I did it while pregnant and through the first year of my daughters life.

Is there anyone out there struggling with conveying an extremely crazy personal addendum? Any advice from anyone? Thanks for reading.

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rpupkin
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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Outrageous Addendum?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:54 am

Your addendum needn't be outrageous or extraordinary.

First, don't mention the end of your LTR or its aftermath. I'm sure it was a genuinely difficult experience for you, but don't put it in your addendum.

Spend one paragraph on your mother's health issues. The two sentences dedicated to this topic in your post provide the appropriate amount of detail. Add another sentence explaining that you had to take time away from your studies to help her.

If your car accident resulted in a bunch of "W" grades (or some other conspicuous transcript anomaly) for that semester, then mention you had a car accident that required you to withdraw from school for a semester. Two sentences is plenty.

Conclude with a brief reference to your improved academic record during your last two years of your education.

That's it. If your addendum ends up longer than one page, it's too long. Good luck!

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emkay625
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Re: Outrageous Addendum?

Postby emkay625 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:55 am

I don't have experience writing an addendum, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

But I think the best approach is to present your story in a concise, simple manner without embellishment. What you've been through is dramatic—you don't need all sorts of adjectives and melodramatic language. Unembellished, straight-forward writing is the best approach. It should be no longer than four to five paragraphs, no longer than a page/page and a half:

Para 1: I understand that the admissions committee may have some questions about my academic record, given the length of time it took me to complete my degree. Over the last nine years, I have worked to balance my schooling with a series of personal challenges.

Para 2: Explain mother's health problems

Para 3: Explain car accident

Para 4: Discuss birth of your daughter

Para 5: A short conclusion paragraph where you discuss what you've learned from these experiences and state that you're excited to apply these lessons to law school.

hippidy
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:46 am

Re: Outrageous Addendum?

Postby hippidy » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:38 pm

Thank you both for the reply! I have already written an addendum, which factually states the nature of my family and personal medical experiences. I do wonder, though, why is it that an abusive relationship is not worth mentioning? I thought the intent of an addendum was to provide explanation for extreme deviation in a person's GPA. I think a 3.9 in one semester, to a 2.0, to a 3.9 in the next, warrants an explanation.

I sought counseling, moved, changed majors, all in an attempt to alleviate the struggles of separating myself from an abuser. My intent is not to argue here, but I am looking for an explanation as to why emotional traumas (including documented ones) are such a big no-no.

cavalier1138
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Outrageous Addendum?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:27 pm

hippidy wrote:Thank you both for the reply! I have already written an addendum, which factually states the nature of my family and personal medical experiences. I do wonder, though, why is it that an abusive relationship is not worth mentioning? I thought the intent of an addendum was to provide explanation for extreme deviation in a person's GPA. I think a 3.9 in one semester, to a 2.0, to a 3.9 in the next, warrants an explanation.

I sought counseling, moved, changed majors, all in an attempt to alleviate the struggles of separating myself from an abuser. My intent is not to argue here, but I am looking for an explanation as to why emotional traumas (including documented ones) are such a big no-no.


Because relationship troubles are relationship troubles, and yours doesn't fit the standard model of an abusive relationship that most people have. I'm not saying it didn't have a profound effect on your life, but it comes across as TMI.

You've got enough of a decent reason for your lower grades with the family trouble and the car accident. And you also don't need to go into as much detail as it sounds like you are in your current draft. The addendum should be concise. In all honesty, it's not clear that the addendum will ever make that much of a difference to your numbers, but if you write more than a paragraph or two on this, it's even less likely to have an effect.

hippidy
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:46 am

Re: Outrageous Addendum?

Postby hippidy » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:01 pm

Yeah I see what you're saying. Thanks :)




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