I had a close friend die in a car accident the middle of my freshman year. I received two F's and a D that semester- two hard science classes and an economics class. I do think that the sudden death impacted me emotionally but I do not want it to come off as an excuse, or rather as a reason instead of an excuse.
I have had three years of 3.8 - 4.0 semesters to finish off and it reflects in my year to year grade statement but because of that semester, my LSAC GPA is right below 3.4.
Address or no...
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I am writing a similar addendum. I think it's important to note, and can be approached in such a way so as not to sound like an excuse or pity plea. Mine is fairly matter-of-fact, and simply asks that the admissions committee understand that my lower grades are the result of a difficult circumstance and that my other grades are reflective of my academic capabilities.