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Writing about rape in essay

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Replies to: Writing about rape in essay

  • londontolalondontola Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    @KKmama thank you so much for this comment, it's reassuring to know others have done this. I'm definitely trying to do exactly that, highlight strengths, and keep the whole thing sensitive.
  • londontolalondontola Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    @Happytimes2001 and @lookingforward
    I'm not worried about a survivor reading it, it's not graphic and if anything I think survivors tend to be more appreciative of the bravery it takes to talk about.
    Either way I think most admissions officers are more objective than to judge a great applicant of off separate personal emotions.
    The very reason I want to right about it is because it is very much about who i am now!!
  • londontolalondontola Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    @intparent I am also a Berkeley legacy, who grew up in Berkeley and England, and then moved 5000 miles away from home at 18 to go to college in Los Angeles and had to support myself while doing this and still maintained a 4.0gpa.
    I think for the most part I am not a candidate that people would be worried about in terms of attrition, definitely not for UCB or UCLA. ;)
  • swimmermom2swimmermom2 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    Sounds like your essay will be strong and impactful (is that a word?). Good luck!
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,040 Senior Member
    I think you're fine.
    I'm no expert on these UC essays. But since colleges are also concerned with the community as a whole, it's often good to, in addition to your own healing and renewed strength, how you now reach out to others. That can be as little as a line. Even if it's just awareness or kindness, etc.
  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 Registered User Posts: 841 Member
    @KKMAm Nowhere did I say that survivors are fragile nor imply it. I said someone might not want to relive it ( and also the only implication would be a non survivor might not want to relate to this but that is true of any essay). If you take issue with not everyone being comfortable reading about your rape or any rape that is fine. But my point as someone who is empathetic and not a survivor is, that it's a tricky topic. I think the OP has some really good reasons for writing about it. As someone mentioned it could be a great essay about resilence. I'd still lean away from this topic but the OP has cited several reasons for writing and it seems to have gotten great advice from others about how to craft it.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,375 Senior Member
    I am very sorry you suffered such a traumatic experience.

    I do not think you should write about it. It's a terrible thing to have happened, and I am not trying to minimize it. But there are SO many students out there who have suffered all kinds of awful and traumatic experiences. Many students come to this forum asking if they should write about their mental health issue, medical issue, death of a family member, abuse, parents' divorce, and more. I understand 100% that these experiences are a huge part of who a student is. Many students will write about them no matter what anyone else thinks, and that is fine.

    I strongly feel that most people are more than the bad thing that happened. I think that every student can talk about something that shows their resiliency and strength that is not just surviving the ordeal, and I think it is possible to do so without talking about the trauma itself. Are you a person who was raped and survived, or are you a strong person who loves yoga and painting? Be aware that no matter how you describe the incident/trauma/experience, it may sound as though you are trying to elicit sympathy, even subconsciously. Is it a bad thing to elicit sympathy, even if you aren't aware that you are doing it? I don't have an answer. Would it be enough to say "A crime was committed against me. This is how I coped and got my life back."?

    You came here saying you fully intend to write about it, so I do think you are looking for confirmation as much as advice. If you must mention it, I would be short and concise: "I was raped. The experience traumatized me, and this is how I worked my way back from it..." I think even three sentences is too many. I also think it's best to show an aspect of your personality that is more than Londontola, The Survivor.

    I sense that you are probably a good writer, so be careful in your approach. Give them a reason to want you on campus.

  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,040 Senior Member
    This is about adcoms, not the general public. And it sure seems OP gets the need for the right balance.
    ...

    I think the difference is OP is showing it as a point from which she (or he) turned around. And with some evidence, I assume, in the tale of how art inspired this. (And I'm recommending it go a bit wider than just OP's recovery.)

    It's a case where I wouldn't start with the rape. Rather, the abusive relationship (or difficult or any synonym.) In fact, a general statement may better, something leading with the right hint of insight, to start with that strength. Eg, (but not these rough words,) "Relationships and their effects can be long ranging." It does hint of some issue.

    Yes, try to keep it to a minimum, as the point is: You, Today.

    Unlike hs essay writing, this one doesn't need all details or to be perfectly obvious you mean rape, per se.
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