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Prospective
October 12th, 2011, 14:56
I've had a bit of a bad time through my undergraduate degree, taken longer to complete it than I would have liked and got a few more fails than I would have liked. I've partially had some ongoing mental health issues that I've dealt with through counselling, but I've never had a formal diagnosis.

In my final year I've come good and been achieving high results.

My questions are:
-How much will this count against me? How heavily are academic results (and failures) weighted against the rest of the application- if my essay is kickass and everything else is in order would I even be considered for an interview?
-Should I mention the mental health issues I've had, or are they no longer relevant? Especially since I was never diagnosed with depression and anxiety or on medication for it.
-Should I talk about my results directly in the application or just ignore it? I'm worried that talking about it will draw attention to it, but that if I don't I won't have a chance to justify myself.

I'm especially interested in hearing from people that got in with bad results or a patchy academic history, or if you know of anyone that has.

jwkelley
October 12th, 2011, 15:37
My questions are:
-How much will this count against me? How heavily are academic results (and failures) weighted against the rest of the application- if my essay is kickass and everything else is in order would I even be considered for an interview?
-Should I mention the mental health issues I've had, or are they no longer relevant? Especially since I was never diagnosed with depression and anxiety or on medication for it.
-Should I talk about my results directly in the application or just ignore it? I'm worried that talking about it will draw attention to it, but that if I don't I won't have a chance to justify myself.
.

It will weigh against you but a lot less if you have other things like a good essay, other decent grades or experience of some sort. I had a rather patchy academic history but had stuff to compensate for it.

I would say answer the questions truthfully for what they ask. If it ask you if you ever saw a councilor then yes. If they ask if you were diagnosed dont worry about it.

For something like that i would leave it out unless you feel it really needs to be explained. The essay i feel should really focus on what you can bring to jet and less about mistakes of the past.

Prospective
October 12th, 2011, 15:51
Thanks, that's reassuring as it kind of aligns with the way I was already thinking.

I'll stick to my strengths and mention other things only if they are asked. My understanding of Japan (having lived there for 18 months) is that it's the best way to go about things. Follow the letter of the law, but keep things to yourself in most circumstances.

I'm just a bit insecure about my grades, but I know I'd make a good JET (right combination of teaching ability, cultural sensitivity and experience). I just need to show that in the SoI.

Cytrix
October 12th, 2011, 21:13
Seriously, they only care about your grades to prove that you have your degree thus you can get your visa.

My uni results were SHOCKING (like 4 papers failed and the rest all low in the C's and B's...yayyyyyy depression and insomnia) and I still got in! Don't stress out about it

Prospective
October 12th, 2011, 23:01
Cytix- that's kind of example I wanted to hear :^_^:

word
October 13th, 2011, 10:19
My transcripts were also awful; there were a few semesters I spent drinking and smoking myself into complete bliss, and my grades reflected my immaturity. Seriously AWFUL. I sort of addressed this in my SoP, but it was a tiny part of a single sentence, if I recall rightly (if you are interested in how I handled this, PM me, and I'll see if I can't get you more accurate info). The fact that you improved toward the end will probably help (I was the same way). The others are correct; if your SoP and app are really excellent, the grades won't really matter.

I would not mention mental health issues. Period. If you've worked through them (especially without professional assistance or drugs), then you don't need to worry about it.

Cytrix
October 13th, 2011, 10:51
If it wasn't formally diagnosed definitely don't mention the mental health issues!

I never mentioned my grades at all in my SOP and nothing ever came up about them. My letters of reference were awesome so that's all that really seemed to count on that side

FamilyMart
October 13th, 2011, 10:52
don't think i saw a single "A" on my transcripts. still got accepted... somehow.
no need to stress about the grades, or even try and make excuses for em.
just focus on a bomb dot com SOP and kill your interview!

Prospective
October 13th, 2011, 12:10
Speaking of references would two from two different academics at Uni be okay, or is it better to have one from an academic and one from another person?

word
October 13th, 2011, 12:13
Both of mine were from different academics. Go with whichever reference has a fancier title and stationary.

Cytrix
October 13th, 2011, 13:32
E for Enveloppeeeee

Yeah I say go for the fanciest sounding titles. I ended up with both from my work (principal and Head of Department) and they each had a gorgeous string of letters after their names.

Froren
October 13th, 2011, 16:05
Both of mine were from academics from the same departments but different universities, it seemed to be fine.

FamilyMart
October 13th, 2011, 16:12
i wrote one for myself, and got my friend to write my other one.

Eudox
October 13th, 2011, 16:29
I wrote both of mine and got my boss to sign one and my friend (meh, we worked together on a few projects so it wasn't as bad as it sounds) to sign the other. This was after I added their letterheads to make it look official, of course.

greengoo
October 13th, 2011, 19:59
I had stellar grades but I don't think they gave a crap. My letters were one academic and one professional... though the professional one was written by one of my best buddies at my old corporation... who was also an ex-JET. whoots.

Gizmotech
October 18th, 2011, 12:27
My grades were SHITE for first and second years, failed classes, just terrible student over all. I pulled my ass out of the fire for my core courses in years 3-5.5 (I took a long time to get out of uni) but still did shite in classes like western religion (yay breadth classes with NO relevance to my degree). I think I had a grand total of 2 A+ on my transcript the rest were b, c, and D. I got in :)

Prospective
October 18th, 2011, 17:10
Gizmo- so my 7 years at Uni (some of which admittedly was part-time) is at least feasible, then! :^_^:

Gizmotech
October 18th, 2011, 17:44
Gizmo- so my 7 years at Uni (some of which admittedly was part-time) is at least feasible, then! :^_^:

Technically it was 8 years... part time, time off, dicking around... extensive poverty. all types of fun.

MJN
October 18th, 2011, 21:22
I got straight 50% grades on a degree the mentally insane wouldn't consider academic from quite possibly the worst university in the UK, and got in.

It's not the results that count, it's how you spin them if you're even asked.

hunterofpeace
October 25th, 2011, 23:06
About the mental issues... you do have to fill out a physicians form and answer questions about that kind of thing. If you have visited a doctor for it, then you are supposed to have them sign off that you are fit to work in Japan. I mean, you can probably just lie and say there was never a problem... but I would hate for them to somehow find out and you get disqualified. I heard they were cracking down on that. Anyone here have any mental problems that they put on there physicians form and still got in? Or, conversely, did anyone lie about a mental problem and get away with it? :^_^:

Merkypie
October 26th, 2011, 00:49
Wasn't there a dude that apparently lied about his mental issues, got fired, then blew up about all his co-workers on the internets?

I would assume that if you lie, then have a major freak out in Japan, you will probably be heading home a lot earlier than anticipated.

asilverthread
October 26th, 2011, 05:18
From what I've hear he was bipolar and didn't mention that on his application. However I have also heard that what he did really didn't have much to do with his bipolar. He was just kind of an . . . a pain to deal with and had a poor character.

word
October 27th, 2011, 11:05
Or, conversely, did anyone lie about a mental problem and get away with it? :^_^:I was counseled briefly in college for "depression," and my therapist put me on Lexapro or something. The drugs had weird side effects so I quit taking them. I quit going to therapy, too, (right about the time I dropped out of school). Shortly after, I realized that the therapist had been making everything worse, and what I really needed to do was pull my head out of my arse, quit whining like a pathetic emo wanker, and get the f*ck over it. My life got a lot better, and I got back in school, graduated, and applied to JET. I didn't mention any of that mental health sh*t, because I didn't really have any mental health issues. Like many folks who are going through therapy for "depression," I just needed a swift, vigorous kick in the arse.

So, yeah. I omitted that stuff, and I made it in just fine, and I'm doing pretty well here (in my 3rd year, preparing for a 4th). I have good and bad days, like anyone else.

I would say if you're currently in therapy or currently taking "happy pills" of any kind, you shouldn't lie, because if you're incapable of functioning normally without them, then it's important for you to let the program know about it so that they can accommodate your needs. If you once went through therapy or took some sort of "happy pills" when you were a moronic adolescent dumbarse who needed someone to feel sorry for you, then realized that your problems aren't actually all that bad and you'd best grow up and get on with your life, then no, don't mention any of that, 'cause you'll be fine.

hunterofpeace
October 27th, 2011, 15:05
Yeah, I was given Zoloft and Ambien when my best friend died, but I weaned myself off of them about 3 years ago. I also used to take Concerta for ADD because I was diagnosed at 7 years old. I quit taking it when I realized it was making me a zombie and that I could function just fine without it. Unfortunately, I mentioned these things last year because I was paranoid that JET would somehow find out. I would hate to get booted for inconsistencies this year.