Should I Tell The Committee That I Was Raped?

by Judge Josh on October 23, 2014

Rape is a very difficult subject for anyone to talk about, but it’s real, it happens, and when it does it derails lives.  This courageous young lady was raped, but she got help & battled back – and is now ready to move forward.  But how should she deal with what happened to her?

Hey Josh,
I am currently a sophomore in college and I have a question that I hope you can help me with.

I’m happy to try.

Last year after thanksgiving I was raped at a party, I was scared and ashamed that I was even in that predicament; because I am not the type of person to go around people so easily… I had never even kissed a boy till college or done anything with a boy for that matter. However after the event I was too ashamed to tell anyone so I kept it to myself and as a result my grades suffered from it.

That’s just awful.  I’m very sorry this happened to you.  It’s a shame that there are people in this world who can be so callous with their actions that they think nothing of ruining another person’s life for their own gratification.

I went from a 3.9 to a 2.5 gpa quickly and that was just my first semester, second semester I tried to get over it and act like nothing was wrong and still my grades suffered and I ended my first year of college with a 2.5 overall.  To be honest I was nervous all the time and afraid to leave my room even to eat, because I thought I would see HIM.  Still it wasn’t till the summer that I told my parents what happened to me and began to go to counseling, so slowly I started getting better.

I’m glad you decided to get help.  All too often I hear negative connotations when it comes ot people seeing a so-called “shrink.”  Counseling can mean a world of difference in your life.  I’m happy ot hear it gave you some relief and a return to some sort of normalcy.

Now I’m back at my current university for a semester and I am trying to transfer to Smith College, Barnard College, Mt. Holyoke (all women colleges) but I’m afraid that they’ll reject me.

My question is should I tell the committee about what happened to me my first year?  Because I don’t want to seem like I’m looking for sympathy or pity, nor do I want it to seem like I’m trying to run away from my current school. Its just I have plans for my future and my current university does not have the needs I require as a student to feel safe in my environment, academic and social setting. I don’t want to come off as pitiful because I’m not nor do I want to seem angry (even though I am a little). I want to move on from this even in my life but at a school where I know I can accomplish my goal of be coming a Rhodes Scholar to go to Oxford University after I graduate from college. If you could give me any advice on how to approach this with the admissions committee that would be great.


Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have received a letter like this.  Or the second.  I believe I have addressed it at least once before, but each situation is different, and if I can help someone who has gone through awful shit like this, then I am more than willing to write about it 100 times.

Honestly – why don’t you just say EXACTLY what you just said to me?  I don’t think it sounds pitiful at all.  It’s true that you had a bad thing happen to you that would affect anyone in a negative way.  If you don’t tell them that, then the drop in GPA looks like you slacked for awhile, which is certainly not the case.  If you were in a terrible car wreck that hurt your GPA over time, you wouldn’t have any problem telling them that, right?  I know it’s not easy to talk about, but from a “I sound like I’m whining” aspect – that shouldn’t be a concern.  If anyone thinks you are whining – to hell with them.

Why?  Because you are also going to tell them the rest of what you just said – that you’re strong, that you’re a little angry (justifiably so), and that your goal is to become  Rhodes Scholar & head off to Oxford.  Tell them how you plan to do that.  Tell them you have healed and that you are using this horrible incident in your life as motivation to overcome even the most devastating circumstances.

You were raped.  What happened to you is an explanation of your GPA drop, not some feeble excuse.  If any of those schools doesn’t understand that, then I’m not sure the environment at that school is as safe as you are wanting it to be anyway.

This is a delicate subject, and I am sure that many of you have opinions on it, both in line with mine and not so much.  Please share your opinions to help this young lady out!


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