For most of university, I usually got around a ~3.5, with my GPA in my fourth year being around a 3.8.
However, during the first semester of my first year, I had some medical issues that made it really challenging to focus on school. Because of that, my GPA that semester was around a 1.7.
This one semester 4 years ago is completely destroying my GPA. Because of it my cumulative GPA is around a 3.35 instead of the 3.6 it should be.
I'm applying to PhD programs right now, and I'm afraid that most grad schools will take a quick look at the 3.35 and immediately dismiss my application because it's so low... I've done as much as I can to mitigate the effect of it, including doing quite well my fourth year, publishing a research paper and doing several research internships throughout university.
I was hoping for some advice on the best way to deal with this. I'll definitely mention this in my SOP, but I don't know if that will be sufficient. I'm also not sure how many details I'm expected to share about the medical issue. It's obviously very personal and I'd prefer to not share too much, but if I absolutely need to I guess that's okay...