How MUCH crazy does it take for a college to be like, 'Whoa!'?

<p>My entire academic career has been one long stream of crazy. I was abused, I was anorexic, my druggie father filed for bankruptcy and my family lost EVERYTHING, so now we live in government subsidized housing... but all of that stuff made me stronger. And that's what I'm focusing on in my additional information and essays and stuff. That it made me stronger. Because all of those things defined me. I would not be who I am without them.</p>

<p>The question is, would an admissions officer shift in his seat when I talk about 'yeah and soooooo I was like ___ pounds and blabbity blabbity blahhhh' IF I redeemed it with 'so this is the unique perspective I have on life now that I nearly LOST it' and 'this is how I see poverty from BEING in poverty and living around it?' I mean, my transcript reflects all of the stuff that happened. I AM smart. I'm gritty, too. I'm actually more like gravelly. And I see what happened to me as something that HAPPENED to me, not as a lifestyle choice, not as... any of that... it's not my fault and I'm not proud of it but I'm not begging for pity, you know? I just don't want the admissions officers to think I'm crazy because my life is. My life experiences within memory don't even permit me to write about what other people typically write about.</p>

<p>What do you think? Should I be raw?</p>

<p>I am gritty, I am gravelly sounds like an interesting idea. What is the distinction you are drawing between gritty and gravelly and what details from your life argue for gravelly?</p>

<p>I wouldn't advise giving raw details. Knowing that you were a life-threatened anoretic could be important and revealing; knowing the exact number of pounds you were down to is secondary and seems more aimed at shocking rather than revealing. The same could be said imo about abuse, about your father's drugs. </p>

<p>
[quote]
I'm not begging for pity, you know?

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</p>

<p>Discuss what you are, not what you aren't. Richard Nixon famously said "I am not a crook". If you say "I'm not begging for pity" you've planted the words begging and pity in the minds of your readers.</p>

<p>Looking at the sinewy, gritty nature of what you just wrote, I doubt that admissions officers are going to think that you are crazy. Don't hand them that idea either.</p>

<p>"And I see what happened to me as something that HAPPENED to me, not as a lifestyle choice, not as... "</p>

<p>You have to balance those "happenings" with real descisions or choises you've made. I would emphasize the latter ie. why/how did those things make you who you are? The essay's energy will not come from its ability to shock... and no one will be imperssed unless you emphasze specific choises you made--and show how you changed...</p>

<p>Also, don't present your father's drug addiction or your anorexia. etc. as negative or as "the world being against you." Be emotionless/objective. You want to reader to preceive those circumstances, not precieve your perception. You have to distance yourself there, otherwise you will loose credibility when you talk about how it shaped you.</p>

<p>Just my opinion.</p>