Help With Risky Essay?

<p>So I am at a small 4 year LAC right now for my first semester but am applying as a transfer for next fall. It is looking like I will have a 4.0 this semester and I had about a 3.9 in HS. My SAT I is a 2090 and my SAT II in World History is a 770 (Taking US History in December). I am applying to very competitive schools (Brown, UPenn, NYU, Amherst, Tufts, etc.) and I have heard about how important the transfer essay is.</p>

<p>Now, to make a long story short I was raped when I was young and didn't deal with it properly. I turned to drugs and became an addict. Now I have been in a 12 step program for the past 20 months and have been clean for just as long. I was afraid to go away to school right away so early in sobriety but i feel like i will be able to next fall. </p>

<p>So the big question is: Write about it for my essay or no?</p>

<p>Thank You in advance</p>

<p>anyone have any advice?</p>

<p>It is a great topic to write about. As long as you focus on your transformation, it will be a extremely interesting story.</p>

<p>SATs are low. If you have a 3.9-4.0 average, then you need to have a higher SAT I score. However, your SAT II Scores are great. You will do fine at NYU. They are very flexible with SAT scores. You have a unique essay, but I don't think you should mention drugs for it will hurt your chances. Personally, it's great, but it's very risky!</p>

<p>I would like to thank both of you for my input. Yes I am taking my SAT I again in January and am both hopeful and confident my score will improve (also taking another SAT II). I was leaning towards what you were saying ambitious4co...tell me story but leave the drugs out. It is unfortunate that I should have to do that and I don't feel right about it but I've learnt that that is the world we live in.</p>

<p>I think it is risky... but could be very effective depending on what kind of spin you put on it. From what I've learned from going to admissions meetings and talking with counselors, they're rooting for you and they want to see what you do well and not what you do poorly or have done poorly. </p>

<p>With that said, there is an undeniable bias that I think everyone has against people who are recovering drug addicts just because of the stigma addiction carries. You don't want them to see you as a "recovering addict" you want them to see you as someone who 100% overcame unfortunate circumstances.</p>

<p>So I guess I wouldn't mention the drugs because they're going to question whether or not you can be successful in their school. I guess ask yourself...</p>

<p>-Why would you mention your addiction in the first place if it was a dark part of your life and it did nothing positive for you?
-If you did learn positive things from your addiction and your struggles in overcoming that then talk about your mindset rather than what caused it, the drugs are kind of irrelevant.</p>

<p>Thank you for your advice.</p>

<p>I would want to talk about it because it is what I am most passionate about. It wouldn't be like, "I did drugs everyday and now I haven't for a while." There is so much positive to go in to...how grateful I am everyday for just being alive and having the small things, the perspective and open mindedness that I have gained, myriad lessons have been taught and a lot of wisdom gained. </p>

<p>Yes though I have pretty much decided to talk mainly about the mindset, mention substance abuse very briefly if at all.</p>

<p>Substance abuse is one of those things that is not only taboo but could affect the way you perform at their college which is what they would be worried about. Talking about sexual or physical or emotional abuse is also considered taboo by some people but it doesn't necessarily hurt your school performance in such a direct and self inflicted way. </p>

<p>Drug addiction is one of those things that an adcom might see as a legitimate sickness... and I think there really is merit in that and you shouldn't punish someone or take away their chances of getting admitted, but at the same time they might question whether or not you can handle the many stresses that come with going to a top college without relapsing because some really do believe "once an addict, always an addict." </p>

<p>Even though it sucks having to censor yourself, just to stay on the safe side I wouldn't mention it at all.</p>

<p>Indeed, thank you olivia you made a lot of sense. I think most who would be reading at will view it as a liability (especially the Ivies) while a minority may now someone who is in addiction or recovery and it could be beneficial. Thus, the pros outweigh the cons so I'll keep it out, I'll talk about the abuse though. My legitimate reason for not going to any top schools freshman year was that I was worried it might be too much and that i needed to continue to work on myself personally, thus I went to the small but respectable LAC while living at home. Because I would need to mention the abuse as the reason for me wanting to work on myself personally, I'm going to have to mention it.</p>