Hey everyone, I am projected to graduate in December with a degree in Poli Sci from a small state school. My dream has always been to attend a great MPP program, and I've spent a lot of time working towards that.
I currently have a 4.0 with 2 withdrawals (1 from overcrowding my schedule first semester freshman year, the second I dropped second semester sophomore year after going to the hospital). In addition I have had several internships and fellowships, as well as 3 independent research projects published and presented. I am an Eboard member of a political group on campus. I have not taken the GRES yet because most MPP programs want to see some full time work experience first. My GPA is unaffected by semesters abroad, though the credits and course names do appear. I spent one semester in Washington DC where I got all As, and another in Ireland. Here lies the problem.
I am unsure of how to state this politely because its integral to the post. I was sexually assaulted during this time, and when I sought help from my study abroad institution, I was blamed for the event (extremely, almost stereotypically so) by the therapist to whom I was assigned. This, coupled with the fact that I was alone and away from home, left me depressed and I let my grades fall to an A2, a B2, a B3, and a W.
I'm really, really nervous about how this will effect my chances of getting into a good grad school. I have spent a lot of time trying to understand what happened - one of my research projects was even about the treatment of women in Ireland.
Do you think any of this could be explained in an essay? I really want to stress that I'm not looking for a free pass and I do take responsibility for my grades. I understand that there are probably many people who have been in my situation or worse and have handled it better. I just want to know if this is the kind of thing a good school would care about or be willing to hear. If not, are my chances destroyed?