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Should I talk about having ADHD in a personal statement for grad school applications?

kbentson

I am applying to grad schools right now, and I keep running into questions like "What does the admissions committee need to know while considering your application?" or "Tell us the part of your story that is not in the application documents." Which I am interpreting as a kind of personal statement. 

I have been diagnosed since kindergarten. It has greatly influenced my life and continues to be a major struggle. However, I also believe I think and design in a way that's unique from a lot of people on account of my ADHD. Should I mention that here though? As discussing overcoming obstacles might be a good thing to do. Or should I just try and explain that I do things differently from other people, as I don't want my ADHD to get a negative interpretation, and make it seem like I'm an unfit candidate or like I'm only using it to garner sympathy or something.

I am just not very certain about the best way to approach these questions, so any input would be greatly appreciated.

 
Jan 1, 22 12:38 pm
trashbandicoot

No. 

Jan 1, 22 1:59 pm  · 
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mm1

Don't do it unless it has impacted your academics greatly that you have to explain yourself. Focus on talking about your future, how you will use your time at their program, interests within the field, etc. 

Jan 15, 22 6:22 am  · 
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proto

I have a kid who also has this superpower. While I see no reason to hide it, I’m not sure I’d make it a focus of his applications either.

Perhaps see how your first draft reads after letting it sit a week to percolate — is it hitting the right notes for enhancing your approach to design {uniqueness}? Or is it sounding like a sympathy device?

Jan 15, 22 11:14 am  · 
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x-jla

“I also believe I think and design in a way that's unique from a lot of people on account of my ADHD“.    Talk about the ways in which you think and design that is unique from a lot of people —without adding the diagnosis. 

Jan 15, 22 12:12 pm  · 
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