Diversity statement - talk about mental disability?

Awesomeology
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Diversity statement - talk about mental disability?

Postby Awesomeology » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:24 pm

I'm applying to UC Santa Barbara and UCLA and I've been debating if I should write the diversity statement about being autistic (high functioning). As a white, domestic, middle class man I don't really have any other traits that add to diversity. I have no idea if saying I'm autistic would help my chances or ruin them.

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Nishikata
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Re: Diversity statement - talk about mental disability?

Postby Nishikata » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:12 am

If you can mention when or in what way your autism hinders your capability or make you different from others, and how you overcome that, that’ll help you.

This diversity statement is also problematic for Asian males like me, so i do not think whites are the only ones struggling. I even thought Asian males are kinda pseudo-majority in the physics grad school, you know. Maybe being domestic white actually adds to diversity after all :D

AHipp
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Re: Diversity statement - talk about mental disability?

Postby AHipp » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:37 am

As a domestic white male, I'm also in the same place as you. I have bipolar disorder and was questioning whether I should include it or not in my diversity statement for UC Santa Cruz. I do feel like it's something that has made it more difficult for me, but I also don't want to come across as grasping for straws trying to make myself seem diverse.

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Nishikata
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Re: Diversity statement - talk about mental disability?

Postby Nishikata » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:45 pm

AHipp wrote:As a domestic white male, I'm also in the same place as you. I have bipolar disorder and was questioning whether I should include it or not in my diversity statement for UC Santa Cruz. I do feel like it's something that has made it more difficult for me, but I also don't want to come across as grasping for straws trying to make myself seem diverse.


Yeah, I don't think you should include bipolar disorder. Might hurt your application.

AHipp
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Re: Diversity statement - talk about mental disability?

Postby AHipp » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:28 pm

Just curious, why do you say that?

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Nishikata
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Re: Diversity statement - talk about mental disability?

Postby Nishikata » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:47 pm

AHipp wrote:Just curious, why do you say that?


If i understand correctly, bipolar disorder means one gets periodic heavy depression/mania mood swings. Ph.D work, is usually considered very stressful and the prof would have trouble getting results if he cannot push the grad students as hard as he wants to. If the prof pushes hard, he might be in deeper trouble if the bipolar student becomes suicidal in his depressed state. So i think It takes courage for the prof and admission committee to take the risk..

AHipp
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Re: Diversity statement - talk about mental disability?

Postby AHipp » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:55 pm

What you described are unmedicated/untreated, more severe cases. For me, it was something I struggled with, but now I manage it very well and it wouldn't be an issue at all.

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Nishikata
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Re: Diversity statement - talk about mental disability?

Postby Nishikata » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:26 am

AHipp wrote:What you described are unmedicated/untreated, more severe cases. For me, it was something I struggled with, but now I manage it very well and it wouldn't be an issue at all.


I obviously am no expert. That’s just my basic understanding. Plus a google search show in the first page that bipolar disorder can’t be cured, so pardon my ignorance.

However, that boils down on how you persuade the reader to believe your case to be harmless. They might be as oblivious as I am.

Awesomeology
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Re: Diversity statement - talk about mental disability?

Postby Awesomeology » Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:09 pm

AHipp wrote:What you described are unmedicated/untreated, more severe cases. For me, it was something I struggled with, but now I manage it very well and it wouldn't be an issue at all.


I think it could benefit you if you write about how you overcame it and how that gives you a unique perspective.
Make sure you include that it wouldn't be an issue.

AHipp
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Re: Diversity statement - talk about mental disability?

Postby AHipp » Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:36 pm

Yeah, I definitely planned on discussing how overcoming it has helped me develop better coping methods to deal with extremely stressful times, and now that I'm medicated with for it I have a strong ability to manage hectic times.




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