right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Essay tips: writing about an abusive relationship?

TheMerryBerryTheMerryBerry 28 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
Hello everyone! I'm currently in the process of filling out applications and obviously the essay is the major component. When asked about a growth experience, my main thought that I actually think I could write a lot about without being cliche is an emotionally abusive "relationship" I was in during my sophomore year. I dont want to make myself seem like I was boy crazy or anything, but it would explain my low grades during one semester as well. Is this risky? Do you think it gives off the wrong impression? Thanks for any advice!
20 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Essay tips: writing about an abusive relationship?

  • TheMerryBerryTheMerryBerry 28 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Also, please do not take this post as a measure of my true writing abilities. My writing is much better in more formal contexts/situations
    · Reply · Share
  • CenterCenter 2204 replies66 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    No-bad idea.
    · Reply · Share
  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    100% do not do this. Have you read the esssy tips at the top of this forum? Read them. The essay is not a time for airing dirty laundry or discussing things you probably should be talking to a therapist about. Don’t take the prompt so literally. Pick something that makes them want you on campus. And I don’t really see an upside to trying to explain away a senester of bad grades for this reason — TMI for admissions, IMHO.
    · Reply · Share
  • TheMerryBerryTheMerryBerry 28 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Got it, thank you guys
    · Reply · Share
  • WeLoveLymanWeLoveLyman 244 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Really bad idea. Your essay shouldn't be about low grades, and it definitely shouldn't be about teenage romance. Find something that focuses on your positive attributes.
    · Reply · Share
  • TheMerryBerryTheMerryBerry 28 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    To clarify, it was more about dealing with the mental issues of someone somewhat close to me with really no focus on romance and how I grew from said experience. Still going to take all your guys' advice and not use the topic, but I still wanted to clarify
    · Reply · Share
  • bjkmombjkmom 7939 replies158 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Your essay is supposed to give them more of an insight as to why you would be a great addition to their student body.

    I'm glad you decided not to use it.
    · Reply · Share
  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3321 replies75 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Just to follow up on what others have said: You want to show them that you're an interesting (in a large sense of this term) person to have on campus as part of their community. One test of this might be to ask yourself, Would you invite yourself to a party after reading an essay on X topic?
    · Reply · Share
  • TheMerryBerryTheMerryBerry 28 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks! That advice is the most useful one I've heard!
    · Reply · Share
  • MassmommMassmomm 3859 replies79 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think you can write on just about any topic, as long as it is masterfully done. And that is the kicker. Most 17 year olds do not yet have the skills to finesse such a sensitive topic. That's why people recommend safer topics. I like the "party test @Dustyfeathers proposes.You could also ask whether you'd want to be that person's roommate, since colleges want you to be a good fit. Don't be scary, and don't be dull.
    · Reply · Share
  • TheMerryBerryTheMerryBerry 28 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'm thinking about writing it and writing a second back up essay. My writing is hit or miss, but when it hits I have received a lot of praise for it. When it's a miss it's usually underwhelming more than anything. I feel like I gave the wrong impression on the focus in the original post, as my main focus was navigating an actively suicidal person who was close to me. I'll definitely look at it through the viewpoint of the roommate thing though, thank you!
    · Reply · Share
  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    Praise might not match how it would be received in admissions. You aren’t actually going for a gut punch here. I’ve read plenty of essays I would praise for writing and impact, but consider inappropriate for admissions. Keep your purpose in mind. Write that essay for a blog or your journal or some other reason. It isn’t good admissions fodder.
    edited August 2018
    · Reply · Share
  • TheMerryBerryTheMerryBerry 28 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    The previous poster was commenting how writing ability would affect the impact which is why I mentioned praise.
    · Reply · Share
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama 2661 replies30 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Suicide is really hard to write about. I think that its a tough topic, but I would not use suicidal thoughts of a boyfriend to explain your bad grades. (it might explain his though ) It just seems like a depressing direction for a college essay. It makes you look bad if you hung around with a suicidal person instead of studying, as a 10th grader, so for sure do not use this as an excuse for bad grades, and find a happy topic to discuss. Like what you LOVE to do or study, or anything positive. It might also lead people to question your judgement. Like why was this other person not getting professional help? Around here, the first sign of suicide, and we call school counselors, and therapists, we don't expect 10th graders to solve that on their own. Adults should have intervened, and its sad that no one intervened on your behalf.
    · Reply · Share
  • Nocreativity1Nocreativity1 1092 replies54 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think you have received clear and consistent advice not to write an admissions essay about an abusive relationship. It was in direct response to your question. Whether you decide to listen is entirely up to you but why ask?
    · Reply · Share
  • TheMerryBerryTheMerryBerry 28 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    That's fair, I see why a positive topic might be better. I was going for the "overcoming difficulties" approach but I guess I risk that still ending up to dreary. Thanks
    · Reply · Share
  • TheMerryBerryTheMerryBerry 28 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'm sorry I'm confused, what was in direct response to my question? This is the only comment I've seen from you on this thread. And I have been listening to the advice and decided to refrain from the topic. A few people said it could be pulled off but would be difficult so I mentioned having it as an option but still writing another essay. I don't see how any of my comments gave off the impression that I'm not taking the advice? Sorry for the confusion but yes I am listening to the advice I've been given
    · Reply · Share
  • Nocreativity1Nocreativity1 1092 replies54 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    You had suggested in post 11 that you would dual track and still write the essay about overcoming an abusive relationship in spite of overwhelming suggestions that this is a bad idea. Again it's your application but you seemed intent on convincing us that your writing abilities would over come the subject matter.

    Hemingway required 130 pages to effectively discuss overcoming lost youth and a fish in Old Man And The Sea. You have 800 words to introduce yourself, I wouldn't waste it on overcoming a sophomore boyfriend.
    · Reply · Share
  • TheMerryBerryTheMerryBerry 28 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I wasn't trying to convince anyone that my writing would overcome subject matter, I was just explaining my writing ability because it was mentioned by a previous commenter. I was not meaning to imply that I will submit this option of the two, just that I might write both just in case. Sorry if I gave off the wrong impression
    · Reply · Share
  • Nocreativity1Nocreativity1 1092 replies54 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    No need to apologize in essence we are butting into you life...albeit on an invited basis. Good luck!
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity