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Personal Statement- To disclose or not to disclose?

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AnonyMousely

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Forgive me, this is a little lengthy.

I began undergrad in 2006 and am finally graduating in June. It took me a long time to finish undergrad because I was assaulted a couple times in my freshman year, and it mentally and physically wrecked me. Instead of doing the right thing and temporarily leaving school, I foolishly decided to stay and keep registering in courses, despite it being too difficult for me to attend classes. I became depressed and withdrawn, and my academics took a noisedive. My 3.7 gpa dropped to a 1.9. I was put on academic probation for two quarters, and, at the beginning of my sophomore year, was dismissed from the university after failing to raise my gpa. So I waited two quarters, reapplied, and was readmitted to the university. Again, this was premature. My gpa did not improve, and after two more quarters of academic probation, I was dismissed again in my junior year.

At this point, I was mentally drained and couldn't bear the thought of returning to campus. I finally went to my primary care physician for medical attention (my first time seeking care for the chronic pain that developed after the events). I sought therapy, and took a full year off to heal. During this healing process is when I realized I wanted to become a physician. My primary care physician is the person who motivated me to get back on my feet. From 2010-2016, I have done extensive grade repair, raising my gpa to a competitive level for medical school admission. I never reapplied to my home university after the 2nd dismissal, but I took full course loads during summer sessions there. During the non-summer semesters, I also took courses at multiple JCs and universities. I have a total of 14 transcripts. I was able to build enough credit and transfer them all to my home university, and I will be graduating from there in June.

Yes, I made an egregious series of errors by not removing myself from academia. It took me years of reinvention, but I have finally made myself competitive for medical school. BUT, I'm at a loss for how to explain my troubles (foolish stubborness, declined gpa, 2 IAs) and my reinvention in my personal statement. I do not want to make excuses for my behavior, but I sincerely need help trying to paint my situation in a more positive light.

Please help?

TL;DR: It took me 10 years to complete undergrad. Was assaulted, gpa tanked, 2 IAs for poor academic performance. Years of reinvention later, competitive to apply for med school. Don't know how to address all of this in my personal statement...
 
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Huggy

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Try to focus on the outcome of all of this And stay positive. You've obviously reached a great point in your life to be considering to apply to medical school. Reflect on where you are now and the lesson, skills, and knowledge that you've gained from these experiences. Do not make excuses, recognize your mistakes and acknowledge things out of your control. Do not delve into details, you don't want to turn into a pity-party essay.

Write a rough draft, make it as long as you need. Then work your way down to around 5300 characters with spaces.

Take advantage of the personal statement readers list. I will also be glad to read yours as well, I'm currently working on mine as well.

I'm very sorry for your story and congratulations on the transformation.
 
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gonnif

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Try to focus on the outcome of all of this And stay positive. You've obviously reached a great point in your life to be considering to apply to medical school. Reflect on where you are now and the lesson, skills, and knowledge that you've gained from these experiences. Do not make excuses, recognize your mistakes and acknowledge things out of your control. Do not delve into details, you don't want to turn into a pity-party essay.

Write a rough draft, make it as long as you need. Then work your way down to around 5300 characters with spaces.

Take advantage of the personal statement readers list. I will also be glad to read yours as well, I'm currently working on mine as well.

I'm very sorry for your story and congratulations on the transformation.

I strongly agree with @Huggy on this. You have gone thru alot and have been coming back
 
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AnonyMousely

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Try to focus on the outcome of all of this And stay positive. You've obviously reached a great point in your life to be considering to apply to medical school. Reflect on where you are now and the lesson, skills, and knowledge that you've gained from these experiences. Do not make excuses, recognize your mistakes and acknowledge things out of your control. Do not delve into details, you don't want to turn into a pity-party essay.

Write a rough draft, make it as long as you need. Then work your way down to around 5300 characters with spaces.

Take advantage of the personal statement readers list. I will also be glad to read yours as well, I'm currently working on mine as well.

I'm very sorry for your story and congratulations on the transformation.

@Huggy I was initially concerned about posting something so personal on here, but your positivity really helped alleviate a bit of my worry. Thank you. :)

My personal statement probably won't be ready until mid-June. Maybe I could PM it to you (and the statement readers) then?

Also, I've also been conflicted about whether I should just keep the brief explanation surrounding the IAs solely for the section where I explain my IAs, or whether I should actually incorporate this into my statement. But, I'll definitely keep it superficial and results-oriented, per your advice.

Thanks again for your help!
 

AnonyMousely

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Dont hesitate to use me a resource and reader. You story need to be told to the set the context of your application

Oy. I understand where you're coming from, but I'm a little bummed to hear that. The last thing I want is for my story to be seen as pitiful or as something that calls for sympathy, and I'm at a loss for how to explain what happened without oversharing.
 

gonnif

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Oy. I understand where you're coming from, but I'm a little bummed to hear that. The last thing I want is for my story to be seen as pitiful or as something that calls for sympathy, and I'm at a loss for how to explain what happened without oversharing.

As @Huggy said, just write it out first without regard to length or how it will be seen. Expose it all for your self. Then we can take the threads of that to shape it in an appropriate manner. You were a victim when you made those decisions about your academic career and you still may have apprehension in appearing as victim about in discussing it. Yet, you need to discuss it as the person you have become describing the victim you became and now have overcome
 
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Goro

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Very sorry to hear of this; I feel that this is best saved for your secondaries, especially prompts like "Biggest challenge overcame?" or "Anything else in your app you want to tell us about?"


Forgive me, this is a little lengthy.

I began undergrad in 2006 and am finally graduating in June. It took me a long time to finish undergrad because I was assaulted a couple times in my freshman year, and it mentally and physically wrecked me. Instead of doing the right thing and temporarily leaving school, I foolishly decided to stay and keep registering in courses, despite it being too difficult for me to attend classes. I became depressed and withdrawn, and my academics took a noisedive. My 3.7 gpa dropped to a 1.9. I was put on academic probation for two quarters, and, at the beginning of my sophomore year, was dismissed from the university after failing to raise my gpa. So I waited two quarters, reapplied, and was readmitted to the university. Again, this was premature. My gpa did not improve, and after two more quarters of academic probation, I was dismissed again in my junior year.

At this point, I was mentally drained and couldn't bear the thought of returning to campus. I finally went to my primary care physician for medical attention (my first time seeking care for the chronic pain that developed after the events). I sought therapy, and took a full year off to heal. During this healing process is when I realized I wanted to become a physician. My primary care physician is the person who motivated me to get back on my feet. From 2010-2016, I have done extensive grade repair, raising my gpa to a competitive level for medical school admission. I never reapplied to my home university after the 2nd dismissal, but I took full course loads during summer sessions there. During the non-summer semesters, I also took courses at multiple JCs and universities. I have a total of 14 transcripts. I was able to build enough credit and transfer them all to my home university, and I will be graduating from there in June.

Yes, I made an egregious series of errors by not removing myself from academia. It took me years of reinvention, but I have finally made myself competitive for medical school. BUT, I'm at a loss for how to explain my troubles (foolish stubborness, declined gpa, 2 IAs) and my reinvention in my personal statement. I do not want to make excuses for my behavior, but I sincerely need help trying to paint my situation in a more positive light.

Please help?

TL;DR: It took me 10 years to complete undergrad. Was assaulted, gpa tanked, 2 IAs for poor academic performance. Years of reinvention later, competitive to apply for med school. Don't know how to address all of this in my personal statement...
 
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gonnif

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Very sorry to hear of this; I feel that this is best saved for your secondaries, especially prompts like "Biggest challenge overcame?" or "Anything else in your app you want to tell us about?"

I dont know; a very complicated atypical background with an very uneven and long academic record needs to be put in context so they dont get screened out. To me this sounds like a case where the pattern of growth and motivation is directly and tightly tied to the trauma this applicant suffered. I am not sure you can tell the story without it
 
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