mist4bison wrote:I have a question regarding writing an addendum, or even multiple addendums. I have two issues that I'm considering writing addendums for, but am unsure if they are necessary or if they might even have negative effects.
1) GPA -- My LSAC GPA is a 3.5. I definitely did not do as well as I could have for a number of reasons. I started college in high school and wasn't ready, but I don't think that's worth mentioning in an addendum. I also worked at least 40 hours a week the entirety of my college career out of necessity. I had to put myself through college, meaning tuition, rent, food, etc. I also helped my family by occasionally giving them money. I also had to deal with having a tumor removed (and the subsequent medical bills) during my sophomore year. In addition to working, I also participated in extracurricular activities--a position in my sorority, Mock Trial, and volunteering. I know that the reasons I listed affected my GPA, but I'm not sure if the reasons or my GPA warrant an addendum. If I don't write an addendum, is there a box on applications where I can list my extracurriculars/jobs, aside from my resume? I'm assuming that filling in such a box would be just as good as an addendum?
2) Quitting TFA -- I was a 2013 corps member and had to quit in April of 2014, before I had completed a full year of the two year commitment. My school was being shut down the end of the year anyway and it was a pretty terrible situation (we're talking kids and teachers getting stabbed with pencils, myself included). I had already planned on quitting TFA once the school closed, but fractured my spine in February. I actually injured it at school by slipping down an outside staircase caked in ice that served as the only entrance into the building. Anyway, I took about 3 weeks to heal, went back to school, and couldn't deal with the back pain that working caused. For context, I was working a full 11 hours without sitting down, due to my school's budget constraints. I was also restraining children with severe behavioral issues, which took a toll on my back. By my doctor's orders, I was supposed to have an assistant in the classroom, but the school never supplied one. Basically, I quit because of the impact that working had on my back. I'm worried that quitting TFA, which I'm sure every adcom knows is a 2 year commitment, will look bad when I'm applying. Is it worth writing an addendum, or would it look like I'm reaching for an explanation for quitting?
Sorry for the long post. Any help is appreciated. You guys are amazing!
You don't want to overdo it with addenda, so I am not convinced that both are necessary. And my general advice is always to keep it brief if you do decide to write one.
In general, there is a lot that an admissions officer can get from your application in terms of how you spent your time during school working and with activities - the application form often asks for hours per week or something like that for work and activities.
TFA is known as a 2 year commitment, so it will be a question that the admissions folks will wonder about. I'd probbaly lean towards addressing it in your application somewhere - of it doesn't fit anywhere else, an addendum might be worth it. Keep it simple.