Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

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89vision
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Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby 89vision » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:02 am

Good or bad topic? The school says they look favorably upon a candidate overcoming obstacles.

justinp
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby justinp » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:16 pm

Bad topic.

The prime directive in apps is to avoid anything that makes the adcomm question your judgment or character.

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Perdevise
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby Perdevise » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:25 am

I think it might have potential, but it has to be treated very carefully. The guide to Personal Statements here recommends mentioning something like this briefly and vividly and then moving on quickly to show your inner qualities by rising above it.

masked kavana
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby masked kavana » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:44 pm

I put it in both my PS and DS.

Mentioned briefly in both, stated that I completed drug treatment and moved on from there.

I stopped almost 15 years ago so that may have something to do with it.

Just make sure to show that you learned from the experience.

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gaud
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby gaud » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:46 pm

It could be a good topic but you need to make sure it's been far enough back in your past. Far enough to where adcomms will not think the problem may resurface

joshceo
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby joshceo » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:29 pm

Assuming you truly overcame your addiction, it's probably the most defining story of your life at this point, and to conjure up a more "suitable" topic would probably result in a less authentic story. Tell your story and emphasize your recovery rather than the darker days of your addiction. Some schools with hate it, some will love it, so apply to a good selection of schools.

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sunynp
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby sunynp » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:41 pm

No don't write about being an addict. You must have other things to write about.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby Elston Gunn » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:12 pm

My clueless opinion:

Write two PS's. One for your reach schools, and another for your target and safeties. I agree with the poster above that no other story is likely to be as meaningful or authentic for you, but I also agree with those that think it's a big risk. For reach schools, you want to make one adcomm fall in love you--give them a chance to by writing a great, authentic ps about overcoming addiction. At the others, your goal is to avoid making one adcomm really hate you--write a less risky ps about something more traditional for them.

Best of luck.

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BiglawOrBust
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby BiglawOrBust » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:14 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:My clueless opinion:

Write two PS's. One for your reach schools, and another for your target and safeties. I agree with the poster above that no other story is likely to be as meaningful or authentic for you, but I also agree with those that think it's a big risk. For reach schools, you want to make one adcomm fall in love you--give them a chance to by writing a great, authentic ps about overcoming addiction. At the others, your goal is to avoid making one adcomm really hate you--write a less risky ps about something more traditional for them.

Best of luck.


This!

I like the risky PSes for reaches idea.

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89vision
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby 89vision » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:02 pm

Oh, this isn't for a PS! Sorry. It's for an optional additional statement. Also, I have a C&F addendum where I explain two stints to rehab, 1 for oxy and coke, the 2nd for heroin. This happened a couple of months ago. Is that to recent? I basically was addicted to some form of opiates every year of undergrad, screwed up the LSAT because of it, too.
Last edited by 89vision on Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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89vision
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby 89vision » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:30 pm

masked kavana wrote:I put it in both my PS and DS.

Mentioned briefly in both, stated that I completed drug treatment and moved on from there.

I stopped almost 15 years ago so that may have something to do with it.

Just make sure to show that you learned from the experience.


15 years, that's awesome.

milljp02
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby milljp02 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:04 pm

I wrote about it my past with alcoholism and so far I don't think it's hurt me (although I've only heard back from 2 of my 12 or so schools). As one poster pointed out, it has been a central issue in my life - I've been sober 4 and a half years though, with a bunch of recovery-related service work. Nothing personal to the OP, but if I was fresh out of rehab, I don't think the story and, more importantly, the lessons learned from it would be taken quite as seriously by the adcomm. If you think it's important and you can write about it effectively, go for it, but if it turns into a drunkalogue (or high-alogue) I'd reconsider.

Just my two pennies, good luck with everything and hang in there!

BeaverHunter
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby BeaverHunter » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:48 pm

89vision wrote:Oh, this isn't for a PS! Sorry. It's for an optional additional statement. Also, I have a C&F addendum where I explain two stints to rehab, 1 for oxy and coke, the 2nd for heroin. This happened a couple of months ago. Is that to recent? I basically was addicted to some form of opiates every year of undergrad, screwed up the LSAT because of it, too.


I'd avoid this. You won't be taken seriously. How can you claim to have overcome substance abuse when you were in rehab "a couple months ago" and have slipped up in the past? Not trying to be a dick, but its a legitimate concern and hey, you put it out there. Why would you volunteer this information? If you were a bit further removed it could be considered character building in some contexts, but certainly not here. Please tell me you didn't tell schools about screwing up the LSAT because you were high...

JasonR
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby JasonR » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:31 am

89vision wrote:Oh, this isn't for a PS! Sorry. It's for an optional additional statement. Also, I have a C&F addendum where I explain two stints to rehab, 1 for oxy and coke, the 2nd for heroin. This happened a couple of months ago. Is that to recent? I basically was addicted to some form of opiates every year of undergrad, screwed up the LSAT because of it, too.


Yeah, it's way too recent. But since you apparently already have to disclose the stuff for C&F, you might as well try to put a good spin on it. Hard to believe anyone is going to take you seriously if you were in rehab just a couple of months ago...for the second time. Not trying to be harsh, but that'll be a huge problem.

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89vision
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Re: Overcoming Obstacles- Substance Abuse?

Postby 89vision » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:34 am

BeaverHunter wrote:
89vision wrote:Please tell me you didn't tell schools about screwing up the LSAT because you were high...


Why would I disclose that, if that were the case? I didn't give much more than the facts and outcomes in the addendum, and left it with "I'm continuiung to address it."




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