Is Writing About Depression and Substance Abuse on a College Application Essay a Bad Idea?

Question by Lucy: Is writing about depression and substance abuse on a college application essay a bad idea?
I posted this question earlier, but was hoping to get a little more feedback.

I am applying to the University of Maryland: College Park and I REALLY need an amazing essay. I consider myself to be a strong writer, but I’m struggling with a topic. Here is the prompt:

Please describe your past academic experiences and your reasons for wishing to enroll to Maryland at this point in your academic career. Students who have been out of school for several years, or who have a personal circumstance that affected performance, may wish to address that situation in their essay. Your essay should be no more than 300 words.

My whole life I have struggled with clinical depression. This led to substance abuse problems, and I recently got out of rehab. Now, I am 3 months sober and VERY committed to my sobriety. Is writing about these experiences a good way to show what I’ve overcome and what I’m capable of now, or does it look like I’m making excuses to explain my GPA and seeking pity from the admissions office?

Please help! Any advice/insight is greatly appreciated.

Best answer:

Answer by Gee
Yes, try not to mention it, it could be seen as an excuse.

What do you think? Answer below!



Dr Tom Cargiulo Director Maryland Alcohol + Drug Abuse Admin – Created on November 2, 2010 using FlipShare.


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