Urgent: Essay explaining special circumstances

<p>Hi I am not sure if I explained my special circumstances that affect my grades correctly, any advice would be welcome.</p>

<p>"I respectfully request as you review my transcript that you take into account the following:</p>

<p>My mother was diagnosed of cervical cancer in October 2007 in Shanghai, which she moved to after I left for Princeton. She is all alone in Shanghai (and she still is) working as a house maid. Since her diagnosis, my mother’s situation has been going up and down in the past a year and a half. She had her first surgery and was then hospitalized in November 2007. In March 2008, she was reexamined and was placed into an observation period till nearly the end of April. In October 2009, she was again sent into emergency room because of poisonous food.</p>

<p>Never have I had a time when I feel so insecure and frightened before. Not being able to be there with my mother in the hospital was the hardest for me. This has affected my academic record, but now I am ready to fully devote myself to my studies. "</p>

<p>To whom is this letter directed? Are you applying to college or grad school, or trying to avoid being put on probation or asked to leave?</p>

<p>a grad school application.</p>

<p>thank you!</p>

<p>One - JMHO, but I would go to the Princeton Graduate Admissions office and ask for help with the wording of this explanation. Good luck in Grad School!</p>

<p>I think that NewHope's suggestion is excellent. You could also consult your advisor, or a professor in your field with whom you have a good relationship.</p>

<p>The explanation you wrote is unclear, aside from the fact that she had been diagnosed with both cancer and food poisoning. If you want the admissions people to take you at your word that you are now able to focus on your academics, you need to explain what has improved or changed with your mother's situation. Was she treated for cancer and now is cancer free? Was her food poisoning hospitalization due to her weakened health or was it a one time illness? Is she still in Shanghai working as a housemaid?
Explain clearly what happened, how it affected your ability to focus on academics, what is happening now, and why you will now be someone who can focus on academics. Make it factual and concise. Try writing it using a 1., 2., 3., 4. type of format to get a rough draft that is clear and then remove the numbers and edit it into a more refined statement for your final draft. But really, I think you should take the advice offered above and ask for help from the grad school admissions office or a trusted professor at your current school. Even a counselor at your school's writing center or career and counseling center may be able to help you. Good luck to you.</p>

<p>Cancer as an excuse for your 07/08 year is ok. life threatening illness over an extended time frame. Food poisoning is less so - an acute illness that is quickly resolved - should have only had a nominal effect on you.</p>

<p>If you were in High School, you would be cut a lot of slack for family illness. As you age, you are expected to gain maturity and be better able to handle life's competing demands. That's why I don't think food poisoning rises to a level of an excuse for a Junior in college.</p>

<p>While you comment "now I am ready to fully devote myself to my studies.", it raises the issue of your maturity level and ability to deal with life. What will happen to your grades if your mother has a relapse? What if you break up with your boyfriend?</p>