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Personal Statement Questions - bereavement, depression, and dropping out? Watch

    • Thread Starter

    Ok, I need some pointers with a few things for writing my personal statement...

    If I feel like I should mention the bereavement of my sister, which occurred in the run up to my Standard Grade exams and being able to achieve top grades at the same time... but should this go in my reference or statement? I had it in my personal statement last year, and my guidance teacher said it was good to have it there as I'd explained it in a way, that wasnt using it as a sympathy-card, but as evidence of a personal strength. But now I'm not so sure if it should be in the statement or not. I want to put it in my personal statement... but I don't know if it should. It's not being used as a "migating circumstance" as it didn't impact my performance.

    On a similar note, what is the best way to tackle to issue of having dropped out of my current university? (This was due to me realising it was the wrong course for me and subsequently suffering from depression - oh the irony) I feel I need to explain this in my application in some manner as to why I haven't met my potential on my current couse which kind of undermine my high grades from school and my strengths shown beforehand, and explain why this problem won't reoccur if I'm accepted, but I don't know whether this should mention this in the personal statement, or if I should ask my referee to mention it? Regardless, I need it to be explained so that they don't get the wrong impression of me.

    On the same note, would including "mental health - including anxiety and depression" under disabilities cause any disadvantage to my application? I know it would be illegal to discriminate on that basis, but I want to be sure it won't harm it in any way. I didn't put it down last year despite having social anxiety, but this year I feel it's more necessary as it backs up the reason why I dropped out and not that I simply wasn't pulling my weight.

    Also... having spent the last two years pretty much fixed on getting into my current course (within the creative arts), a lot of my extra curricular stuff was related to that, and not what I am now applying for. And obviously I have not had the time to get such extra curricular experience relating to the course I am now applying to. Would it be worthwhile mentioning the things I did for my previous course, and explaining how it shows my attitude or dedication to achieve what I want? I.e. I took life drawing classes every weekend last year to build my art portfolio, but that doesn't tie in to Computer Science at all. Should I use it to suggest I have the dedication to use up my own time to achieve my goals or something of that context, or should I leave it out completely?
    • PS Helper

    (Original post by Chrisruptor)
    doesn't tie in to Computer Science at all.
    It's not being used as a "migating circumstance" as it didn't impact my performance.
    This. So don't include it.

    Don't mention why you dropped out previously, your referee can mention that. Just focus on why you want to study comp sci now and what you have learnt in your past experiences.
    • PS Reviewer

    Your referee can mention your mitigating circumstances, but you shouldn't. And your personal statement needs to be positive, so if you talk about dropping out it needs to be in a positive way. so you might talk about study skills you've learnt, or something you did that reinforced your belief you wanted to study this subject.
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