Did I doom my graduate school application by mentioning my illness?
December 26, 2012 9:38 PM Subscribe
I need reassurance about incoming graduate application admissions decisions, whether positive or negative. I had a period of academic and job under-performance due to struggles with mental illness and on advice from friends mentioned this in my personal statements. I am now reading on numerous websites I should not have mentioned mental illness at all. Did I doom my application?
posted by Hey nonny nonny mouse to education (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I felt it necessary to mentioned the struggles with illness because the period of poor academic and job performance was so long and egregious it could not be explained away with immaturity, having a rough start, needing to find my passion, etcetera. Especially since my first attempt was in the same field I am pursuing now. I had one paragraph where I acknowledged my poor performance, containing one sentence where I stated it was due to untreated mental illness, then said I pursued treatment and found professional success afterwards.
It was followed by extensive discussion of my specific research interests and experience in the field. My most recent grades are decent, my recommendations and test scores are very good, I have a good deal of practical and professional experience compared to other applicants and some connection with established professionals. If I land an interview I feel I can interview well, discuss the subject intelligently, and do not come off as deranged.
I am anxious I will not reach that point, as I have not heard back from anyone and interview offers are already rolling in to fellow applicants.
If you have had a position in graduate school admissions what is your honest take on application with a brief mention of mental illness to explain extreme early difficulties? What if it was followed by solid performance and credentials after receiving treatment?
I have always been hypersensitive about appearing crazy to people as a result of my illness. I mentioned it in my application as I have been more comfortable with the diagnosis recently, but feel I may have overshared.