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Should I mention my health issue in my SOP?


vasanth6009619 2 / 3  
Aug 10, 2012   #1
Hello, I am currently in the process of writing my Statement of purpose to apply for a Masters program in electronics in one of the top universities in the UK. I believe my grades are good enough to get me an admission in the university but my case is a little "unique".

I completed my 12th grade in 2007 and joined a local university in India for my undergraduate course. After two years, I was diagnosed with Epiliepsy and a few other health problems. I had to discontinue my course for a while and later joined another UK university for my undergraduate course on the advice of a doctor. My health has gotten better and I don't seem to be having any problems so far.

So, my question to you guys is this:
Should I mention my health issues or should I just leave it out of my SOP? And if I do leave it out, won't the university notice the 3 year gap between my 12th and undergraduate course? How would that affect my chances of getting into the university?
ah_zafari [Contributor] 40 / 672 148  
Aug 10, 2012   #2
Should I mention my health issues or should I just leave it out of my SOP? And if I do leave it out, won't the university notice the 3 year gap between my 12th and undergraduate course? How would that affect my chances of getting into the university?

I think you should not mention your health problem. In the SOP you can lie. U can write about a fictional difficulty. For example, you can talk about financial problems, or talk about your father's illness and these sort of things. And then connect this unreal problem to your goals in life and why you want to study in the UK.
porkbunsrule - / 7  
Aug 10, 2012   #3
I do not see why you could not write about your personal experience. I think your fears are very real, and I indeed encourage you to further reflect what you are most comfortable in conveying to others, particularly regarding this important step forward. I think that is the first thing to consider. However, I think you have a beautiful narrative to tell by way of the experience. To return to your studies after the diagnosis? I think that shows great character and strength - material that is DEFINITELY fodder for admissions essays. On a more technical note, all universities are required by law to have accessible and equitable health services for students who may have particular needs. If they do not, then do you really want to go to that program? Again, I take your point and empathize with your fears around what talking about your personal experience may or may not do with regards to your chances for admission.

You have control over what and how you want to communicate to the readers. You can go into as much or as little detail as you want. Again, this is about YOUR comfort level without compromising your needs and goals. While (I believe) only the most cognizant of readers would take up the question of what happened during the 3-year gap, the essay should be about YOU - not because you want to answer 'what happened during those 3 years.' People who have struggled have a lot to teach us - what it means to suffer, to mourn, to fight, to try, and in the end, to do the best. I think you have a lot to talk about.

Good luck!
faruqiumair 3 / 8  
Aug 11, 2012   #4
I think you don't need to write about it.If your academic records are good enough, concentrate on those to show your interest in your field of interest.
mrogerscarruolo 1 / 5  
Aug 11, 2012   #5
I think it would show courage and strength, great qualities in an individual and career professional, with incorporating them, but it's all about doing so in a correct manner. Like, including how it has help not only strengthen you as a person, but your passion for continuing your educational advancement. That sort of thing. Good luck!!
OP vasanth6009619 2 / 3  
Aug 15, 2012   #6
Thank you all for the suggestions. I will try to include it within my SOP and see if it reads well.
skeays 1 / 7  
Aug 15, 2012   #7
I would not mention it unless your condition is something related to your coursework or your reason for pursuing a certain field.
admission2012 - / 481 90  
Aug 16, 2012   #8
Hello Vasanth,

You should absolutely include that in your statement of purpose. Since this condition has been apart of your life for some time, at times influencing the decisions you have made, leaving it out would be leaving out a major source of your strength and courage. Remember that a statement of purpose is designed to allow you to provide the application reviewer with more details about yourself. Details that might not be covered anywhere else in the application package. As such, the SOP is the perfect place to include something like this. We can help you craft an amazing SOP that highlights your strengths and courage and why any program would be enhanced by offering you admissions.
geovlas 1 / 2  
Aug 19, 2012   #9
Hello from me too,

I believe you should include it in short as to justify your studies timeline. I think it could be a positive factor in your letter if you just focused on the good things the whole thing added to your personality. I d suggest that you shouldn t mention that you are fine so far, since it would attract attention to the difficulties it cause in a future case where you wont be fine. So, keep it reference-free from any link to the past, make it sound like a health adventure that gave you great things as a personality.
amitt - / 80  
Aug 19, 2012   #10
Don't mention. Essay forum is excellent in learning English/essay writing/ but who are these people/strangers to decide your fate.
rajanigandha 1 / 4  
Aug 19, 2012   #11
I think u should mention but briefly...Give importance how u again focus on your study.By writing this way which i think that it will provide positive attitude u have.


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