mental health in personal statement?Answered
This year was quite difficult for me. I had to drop honors math because it had a significant negative impact on my mental health, so I am taking 1 honors class and 2 ap classes this year. However, I want to go to more of a competitive school, so I don't want my transcript to simply show that I dropped the class without an explanation. I have read multiple articles, including the CollegeVine article touching on the topic of talking about mental health in personal statements, the majority of them saying it is not a good idea for multiple reasons. However, I want to apply as a Psych major and I've thought of a way that I could incorporate my mental health experience into why I want to learn about the brain and eventually do research into the relationship between genetics and psychology. Would it be a bad idea if I can still spin it into a positive story about my growth in resilience?
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I still wouldn't do it, mental health is still a taboo in today's society, and while it could turn into something great, it's a gamble that could turn sour as well. Most of the essay prompts you will encounter won't have a prompt that you're looking for to be able to explain your scenario (Though the common app does often have one about an experience or setback that you learned from that you could utilize.) As long as you don't skimp your future math classes and continue to take challenging courses, you dropping that one math shouldn't be too bad on your record. I do fully believe that you could make something amazing out of your experience but it is a gamble that I personally would not take.
It would not be a great idea if you talk about your mental health struggles, even in a positive light. Although regarding dropping classes, there will be a place in your application where you can explain why you did so. Or you can ask whoever will be writing your recommendation letters to do that. What would be a good thing for your application is maybe starting a mental health club at your school or doing research/interning for mental health services or psychologists.
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