Please help, having a hard time with the personal statement.


C/O 2019
Dec 22, 2011
I'm very sorry for your loss. That sounds so difficult and I can't imagine how that must feel.

In my opinion, unless it directly ties into your narrative about why you want to be a veterinarian, I would not include it. Your family history is not anyone's business but your own. It is not expected for you to discuss your family or why you didn't apply last cycle. If you were to be asked about your family in an interview, just prepare a canned answer and practice until you can spit it out without triggering an emotional response. Just my 2 cents. Hope it helps. Good luck!


Illinois c/o 2019
5+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2013
This is a really personal topic for me but I feel I could benefit from some unbiased advice....I'm having a really, really hard time writing the explanation statement... I took a year off after graduation to gain experience and so I was supposed to apply last cycle, for admission to the class of 2019. But during the summer of 2014 my father passed away and my mother came close to dying as well, spending over a month in the hospital (for reasons not related to my fathers death ) needless to say, I found myself unable to finished the application in time. The problem is, I cant seem to write a coherent version of the events without going into a dark hole. The death of my father was particularly hard because he died of a chronic but curable disease. He chose not to follow conventional treatments and I spent the last 10 days of his life by his side, fighting the urge to do something but choosing instead to be brave and respect his choice. There are no words to describe how hard it was, and there are those even in my own family that blamed me for not forcing him to undertake treatment. My father was a doctor btw, he understood perfectly what he was doing. But it is all too personal, I don't want to go into detail but at the same time saying he just passed away does not feel right. At this point I decided to not even write about it, but the only thing that concerns is what would happen if it comes up at interviews? like if they ask about my family or why I didn't apply last cycle and I just break into tears mid interview... Im usually a very strong person but the topic of my father crushes me in seconds.
what should I do? this is the only thing holding me back from sending my application. Sorry for the long post :(
I am so, so sorry for your loss.

It is completely your decision as to how personal you want to get on the application. I really don't think they'd ask why you didn't apply last cycle. A lot of schools also do closed-file interviews, so your essays and application wouldn't even come up. If they do ask, you could choose to say something along the lines of "I was dealing with some very intense family issues" or just say "I wanted to take an extra year to make sure I was the best applicant I could be."

Asking about what your family is like is not a typical interview question. I'd think the only reason why your family would come up is if you made them a central part of your personal statement or explanation statement (for the record, you certainly don't need to justify not applying last year with an explanation statement).


Illegal in all 50, Unlynchable Wolf
Gold Donor
5+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2013
The doll factory
Veterinary Student
I doubt the fact that you didn't apply last cycle would even come up - they have no way of knowing that you planned to apply last year at all. And as far as personal things like your family history, I've never heard of that coming up unprovoked in an interview.
Jul 4, 2015
Thanks everyone, that makes me feel a lot better. I felt pressured to fill that explanation statement and kept getting mixed advice from friends/family. Sometimes you just need advice from helpful "strangers" :)