I was planning to write about my family problems/coming from a broken family and quickly mention my depression since these topics are kind of life defining and I feel like I could write a pretty good essay on it. I was also planning on talking about how I learned and grew from my situation so that it’s not just a sob story. Do you guys think UCs are hesitant on admitting a student with family issues or mental health issues? I don’t have depression anymore but I’m scared that colleges will think I do or that I’m unhinged since I have a history of it. Any advice is appreciated! (BTW I’m a prospective transfer student from a community college).
What do you gain from it? Is that better than the risk that you won’t come off well?
I think the essays should be light and easy to read, not a therapy session. A few years ago someone wrote about shopping at Costco and got into several top schools. IMO, the AO are looking for someone who will be a happy, committed college student. They aren’t really looking for someone who has cured cancer or overcome family problems. Those things might come through in your recommendations, but be positive in your essays.
Depends upon how you present your story.
Write a draft, PM it to me & I’ll let you know whether or not your essay is likely to help or to hurt your application.
Broadly speaking, depression raises concern.
I’m conflicted because I hear different things from different people. Some people say that I should touch the admissions officer with my story but to also turn the topic around by making it a positive outcome by stating/showing what I learned from my experience. But I’ve also heard from a lot of people on college confidential especially, that I shouldn’t touch on heavy topics like deaths because it is a risk. Basically what I’m saying is that I’m as conflicted as ever.
Thank you! I’m new to using college confidential, so is there any other platform that I should message you on?
I’d also like to add in addition to my last reply to your comment that I spoke to a UCSD admissions advisor and I asked her about writing on “sob stories” and she said to make it where I mention more about what I learned from it instead of making it a straight up sob story. I asked in relation to her answer if I should stray away from sob stories all together and she said I can write about it if I, like I mentioned before, make it more optimistic instead of a pessimistic experience.
The UCSD admissions advisor is correct. “Learning & growing” from life experiences is an effective method in which to present insights.
To PM me, you need 15 posts. Otherwise I can PM you, then you respond via return PM.
I will give a critique & some suggestions.
Thank you! If you could PM me just so I can respond to your PM, that would be great. It is hard starting on essays because I’m such a perfectionist but once I feel like I have a good draft, could I contact you?
Do NOT wait until you have a “perfect draft”. I just want to read a first draft. That will show me what I need to see.
P.S. A recent Student of the Week with stellar credentials wrote & rewrote until she constructed an application essay of publishable quality. But, in my opinion, it backfired & resulted in zero acceptances to the most selective schools to which she applied. Her response to my criticism confirmed that the most selective schools–which included top Ivies–made the right decision. Why ? Because she gave them a landscape when they wanted a portrait.
In short, a perfect essay of publishable quality can be garbage for use as an application essay to the most selective colleges and universities. (To this day, the student does not seem to understand her mistakes–and that itself is a crucial mistake.)
Again, just a first draft. I do not need to see or to read a polished product as that can be easily rectified & is not what is most important.
My best advice to you at this stage is the Nike slogan.
Okay I’ll get to it, I just have to start and I’ll probably word vomit but that’s better than nothing! Thanks for your advice.