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Should I write an academic explanations essay?


kikidoyouloveme
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hey! 

I am not sure if I should write an academic explanations essay when applying to uoft. I am going into 3rd year this sept and planning on applying in the 2019/20 cycle. My gpa as of now is a 3.7   b/c of some really bad marks in mainly first year. I thought I was just a lazy person and lacked self-regulation/good study habits during the past few years b/c I just give up on stuff and some days I spent just staring at the wall not knowing what to do/ just being in  a really fuzzy / clueless state of mind. But recently (near the end of my 2nd year) I experienced some things and long story short I was told to see a psychiatrist and and have been taking zoloft, buspar and seroquel. I have thankfully been feeling so much better these past few months and have such a renewed drive and motivation and can actually have productive days (e.g. I just learned mcat physics in Half a week, which is something I'd never be able to do say like a year back). 

So the thing is - after reflecting more about how my mental health has changed in the past few years I've come to the thought that maybe, just maybe my failure and perceived bad work ethic in    my 1st year and a half may be due to me having this anxiety disorder and being just depressed, and not just knowing about it which prevented me from taking action. It's a very grey area I know to discern between what was or wasn't caused by my neuroanatomy. 

I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses or reframing a situation in my favour, which is why I am wondering if anyone has any thoughts or experience on this ? 

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1 hour ago, kikidoyouloveme said:

hey! 

I am not sure if I should write an academic explanations essay when applying to uoft. I am going into 3rd year this sept and planning on applying in the 2019/20 cycle. My gpa as of now is a 3.7   b/c of some really bad marks in mainly first year. I thought I was just a lazy person and lacked self-regulation/good study habits during the past few years b/c I just give up on stuff and some days I spent just staring at the wall not knowing what to do/ just being in  a really fuzzy / clueless state of mind. But recently (near the end of my 2nd year) I experienced some things and long story short I was told to see a psychiatrist and and have been taking zoloft, buspar and seroquel. I have thankfully been feeling so much better these past few months and have such a renewed drive and motivation and can actually have productive days (e.g. I just learned mcat physics in Half a week, which is something I'd never be able to do say like a year back). 

So the thing is - after reflecting more about how my mental health has changed in the past few years I've come to the thought that maybe, just maybe my failure and perceived bad work ethic in    my 1st year and a half may be due to me having this anxiety disorder and being just depressed, and not just knowing about it which prevented me from taking action. It's a very grey area I know to discern between what was or wasn't caused by my neuroanatomy. 

I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses or reframing a situation in my favour, which is why I am wondering if anyone has any thoughts or experience on this ? 

Hi. I'm glad to hear you're doing better. The short answer is no. 

The long version is simply because they probably won't care. In fact, mental illness is still quite stigmatized within the medical community. My advice would be never disclose your condition or the fact you see a psychiatrist. Especially if you get into medical school. There have been some horror stories with med students who have admitted to being bipolar and such who were given a hard time. 

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  • 6 months later...

I can't speak scientifically.

 

However, for every school I wrote an academic explanation essay I did not receive an interview while I did elsewhere.

 

I do not think it is possible to write about something that affected you so severely without still sounding like it affects you and thus it is better to just ignore it and hope that the admissions committee truly does take a holistic approach towards reviewing your application. Honestly, I get it, you can't let students in who might crack again and waste precious government resources. 

 

Unless you have a truly traumatic event, parent dying, and it isn't your depression from lack of motivation that you eventually figured out (more of a personal problem vs external event) I would avoid it. I didn't even read your post if you stated your issue, I just give this generic answer to everyone as I think it is the truth.

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