Addendum Help!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:40 pm

Addendum Help!

Postby lexikh » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:47 pm

Hi there!
I am a good student with good test scores. My overall GPA is 3.2 and my LSAT score is 167. However, there was a 6-month period in my life where I made a lot of mistakes. Spring and summer 2014 (my second semester of undergrad and the summer following), I was struggling with undiagnosed depression and also just started doing stupid college kid stuff. That semester is by far my worst, with an F and 3 C's. All of my grades besides that semester are A's and B's, with the exception of two C's in hard classes. That summer I also was in trouble with the police twice, once for possession of marijuana and once for shoplifting. They were both misdemeanors, I paid the tickets, and for the marijuana ticket i completed six months of drug testing and i believe it now expunged from my record. I was diagnosed with depression that summer and got the help I needed. I have had no academic or legal issues since this time period.

My questions are:
1. Should I address the GPA issue at all, or is it really not a big deal and they will see on their own that my grade trend speaks for itself?
2. Should I address all of this in the same addendum, explaining that it was just a rough time in my life altogether and I have had no problems since? or does this warrant two or even three addenda?

Thanks you for any and all help/advice you can give me!


Posts: 29
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 12:29 pm

Re: Addendum Help!

Postby cityb101 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:17 am

You'll need to address the marijuana and shoplifting in a C&F addendum. All of that should be disclosed, even if it was (or you think it was) expunged. Note what you wrote here--that you were dealing with severe undiagnosed depression, a condition which is now completely under control. You haven't had any issues since. Stick to the facts. Know that the marijuana thing won't be seen as a big deal; it's the shoplifting that raises more red flags. Especially since it wasn't that long ago, you need to ensure that the committee knows this was a phase brought on by mental illness and that it is now over. At the same time, don't make excuses. You'll probably want a sentence in which you accept full responsibility for your wrongdoing (shoplifting) and note that you regret your actions…in other words, don't just blame it on depression and pretend you had no agency.

Write a separate addendum to address your grades. You'll want to allude to the undiagnosed depression again but don't be too redundant or dramatic. Again, stick to the facts: your grades suffered during this team. With proper treatment, you saw a steady increase in your academic performance. This should be short and sweet.

I'm not sure if you're applying this cycle…but if you aren't, and are simply prepping for next year, it might be nice to get a prof who can attest to your progress. If one of your letter writers has known you for a while, you might ask if they could put in a line that alludes to your progress (i.e. "I know Alex went through a difficult time during his freshman year of college, but his work in the second class he took from me was truly exemplary; I was so proud of the transformation I'd witnessed. In that second class, he produced some of the finest work I've seen in the last 5 years--including the highest score (in a 100-person class) on a midterm exam")

Good luck!

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