Is it possible to take a break from university halfway through the year?

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TheSmithsIndeed
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#1
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#1
I ask this as a last, last resort.

I'm seriously struggling with mental health issues (suicidal thoughts are a common occurrence nowadays) and just think that if I stay at uni now, I'm going to crack.

The thing is that I'm at a really good university and I've worked hard to get here, so it would be such a shame to throw it all away and quit indefinitely.

I know that some of you might say 'man up' but I genuinely cannot take anymore of the pressure and stress. I think that it would much more beneficial if I could just take the rest of the year out to address my problems. As I'm far away from home, it would also be helpful to have the full support of my family.

So, I'm wondering whether any of you have had an experience/know of anyone who has been able to do this?

I'm aware that I'll be in debt and that this all depends upon the university, but any information/advise would be much appreciated.
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toronto353
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#2
Report 9 years ago
#2
(Original post by TheSmithsIndeed)
I ask this as a last, last resort.

I'm seriously struggling with mental health issues (suicidal thoughts are a common occurrence nowadays) and just think that if I stay at uni now, I'm going to crack.

The thing is that I'm at a really good university and I've worked hard to get here, so it would be such a shame to throw it all away and quit indefinitely.

I know that some of you might say 'man up' but I genuinely cannot take anymore of the pressure and stress. I think that it would much more beneficial if I could just take the rest of the year out to address my problems. As I'm far away from home, it would also be helpful to have the full support of my family.

So, I'm wondering whether any of you have had an experience/know of anyone who has been able to do this?

I'm aware that I'll be in debt and that this all depends upon the university, but any information/advise would be much appreciated.
It would be up to the university and I would look to speak to student services and your tutor to get their advice and support on this. I know someone who did a similar thing due to illness and she got the time off and then just carried on the next year as normal, but as I say, it's really a more uni specific thing where you'll have to inquire about their policy. My feeling is that they will allow you the time off and then allow you to return when ready, but I can't give any specific information because your university may have a different policy.
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arbaaz
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#3
Report 9 years ago
#3
wow its as if your describing my life in your post! im in the same position as you. first year student, at a good uni, got fantastic teachers, made lovely friends, yet i've got mental issues too and they're killing me as well. i want to defer my second semester as well so tomorrow im going to talk to my tutor tomorrow and see if i can defer my second semester then continue the rest of the year in jan 2013. i just need a year to sort myself out after so many years of continutous education. take some time out to myself and figure out what i want to do in life.
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dani2511
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#4
Report 9 years ago
#4
Talk to your head of School. My sister's just gone through this whole process - She started this year (her second year) having had her best friend murdered in Poland, gone through surgery and got engaged... it all became a bit too much for her to cope so she spoke to them and they've given her the rest of the year to gather herself. She's going to start her second year again in September.

Also, she's spoken to Student Finance about it and they said that her last loan payment (the Jan one) won't need to be paid back straight away, but the other payments will stop. The university will also only charge her for one semester's tuition.

Just go talk to someone about it. If you feel you really can't cope right now then that's the best thing to do.



Wow... I could have constructed that reply a bit better... Sorry. Exam revision is messing with my head >_<
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bishbash72
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#5
Report 9 years ago
#5
Universities are usually pretty cool with you taking a year off. You would have to start the year you are doing now again, but other than that it's all very straitforward.
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glf2110
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#6
Report 9 years ago
#6
You will be probably be due to pay all your tuition fees for the year but this will depend on what your uni charges but this will be covered by the SLC as you were in attendance on 1st December (SLC important date). This will also count as your additional year of funding. The maintenance loan that you have received so far will be recalculated and you will prob have to pay back the excess from when you leave. I recommend that you contact the SLC to discuss full implications. You may also not receive any further bursary payments from your uni if you receive one.
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mrs.k.wilkinson
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#7
Report 9 years ago
#7
As above, talk to your University but I have a good friend who was suffering and DIDN'T talk to anyone so ended failing her first year ... she is now having to resit as as an external student so talk to someone because there are procedures for this kind of thing

Good Luck ... I know how the stress of uni, work, kids, etc. can really pull you down (mental health sufferer for many years now).

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TheSmithsIndeed
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#8
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#8
(Original post by arbaaz)
wow its as if your describing my life in your post! im in the same position as you. first year student, at a good uni, got fantastic teachers, made lovely friends, yet i've got mental issues too and they're killing me as well. i want to defer my second semester as well so tomorrow im going to talk to my tutor tomorrow and see if i can defer my second semester then continue the rest of the year in jan 2013. i just need a year to sort myself out after so many years of continutous education. take some time out to myself and figure out what i want to do in life.
I just wish that I could just get through the rest of this year as it's so awkward asking to quit halfway through! My other problem is that I don't have an official diagnosis on record. I visited the doctor once who confirmed my conditions but chickened out of seeking treatment....so it's all a bit of a mess really.

I'm also dreading telling my parents and friends.

Anyway, best of luck with everything and thanks for the reply x
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TheSmithsIndeed
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#9
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#9
(Original post by toronto353)
It would be up to the university and I would look to speak to student services and your tutor to get their advice and support on this. I know someone who did a similar thing due to illness and she got the time off and then just carried on the next year as normal, but as I say, it's really a more uni specific thing where you'll have to inquire about their policy. My feeling is that they will allow you the time off and then allow you to return when ready, but I can't give any specific information because your university may have a different policy.
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I'll book an appointment with my tutor. She's already vaguely aware that something is wrong (I've had to drop a subject due to stress), hopefully she'll understand.
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TheSmithsIndeed
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#10
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#10
(Original post by dani2511)
Talk to your head of School. My sister's just gone through this whole process - She started this year (her second year) having had her best friend murdered in Poland, gone through surgery and got engaged... it all became a bit too much for her to cope so she spoke to them and they've given her the rest of the year to gather herself. She's going to start her second year again in September.

Also, she's spoken to Student Finance about it and they said that her last loan payment (the Jan one) won't need to be paid back straight away, but the other payments will stop. The university will also only charge her for one semester's tuition.

Just go talk to someone about it. If you feel you really can't cope right now then that's the best thing to do.



Wow... I could have constructed that reply a bit better... Sorry. Exam revision is messing with my head >_<
Gosh, that's so much to go through, I hope she's okay! I guess my main fear is that because my excuse is more or less...invisible, they might not understand how unwell I'm feeling. Thanks for the info anyway
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arbaaz
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#11
Report 9 years ago
#11
(Original post by TheSmithsIndeed)
I just wish that I could just get through the rest of this year as it's so awkward asking to quit halfway through! My other problem is that I don't have an official diagnosis on record. I visited the doctor once who confirmed my conditions but chickened out of seeking treatment....so it's all a bit of a mess really.

I'm also dreading telling my parents and friends.

Anyway, best of luck with everything and thanks for the reply x
same! it is awkward! i'm going to see my tutor this week to talk about it. so worried! yeah i don't know how my parents are going to react when they find out that ive deferred the year, no one else they know has done it. i don't want to be the black sheep but if i carry on like this i know i'll get a 2.2 in the end of the year or fail. out of curiousity, what year you in?
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TheSmithsIndeed
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#12
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#12
(Original post by arbaaz)
same! it is awkward! i'm going to see my tutor this week to talk about it. so worried! yeah i don't know how my parents are going to react when they find out that ive deferred the year, no one else they know has done it. i don't want to be the black sheep but if i carry on like this i know i'll get a 2.2 in the end of the year or fail. out of curiousity, what year you in?
My first which is why I feel all the more stupid for this . I'm afraid that the university will just see me a burden really. How do you even go about asking a tutor this?! I'm so embarassed about this sort of stuff
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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#13
Report 9 years ago
#13
(Original post by TheSmithsIndeed)
I just wish that I could just get through the rest of this year as it's so awkward asking to quit halfway through! My other problem is that I don't have an official diagnosis on record. I visited the doctor once who confirmed my conditions but chickened out of seeking treatment....so it's all a bit of a mess really.

I'm also dreading telling my parents and friends.

Anyway, best of luck with everything and thanks for the reply x
A confirmed diagnosis should be enough: you don't have to be on a therapy list or anything.

Just explain to your tutor what's been happening in your life and ask whether you could go away and come back in September/October, or next January if that is easier. They should be able to make arrangements for you. You're not being a nuisance to anyone by asking this and it doesn't make you weak at all. Reaching out for help takes strength: otherwise you wouldn't feel nervous now!

Best of luck :hugs:
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arbaaz
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#14
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#14
(Original post by TheSmithsIndeed)
My first which is why I feel all the more stupid for this . I'm afraid that the university will just see me a burden really. How do you even go about asking a tutor this?! I'm so embarassed about this sort of stuff

i'm a first year student too! trust me the uni won't see you as a burden because they want you to do well, they have recruited top lecturers to teach you and are spending money on you for you to do well, they don't want you to fail. plus it would look bad on the unis ranking if lots of students flunked out.
tbh i have no idea how i'm going to ask this. i've only met them once. i suppose it's just a question of gritting your teeth and saying, "look, i really need time out, to get myself together and figure what i want to do with my life, and i was wondering if you could advice me if this is possible

if my uni says no i have no idea what i'm going to do.
i can't drop out, no way but there's no way i want to come out with a 2.2/fail because for the career i'm aiming for it would be detrimental.

yeah stuff like this is embaressing, there needs to be a little more awareness about mental illness and stuff.
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TheSmithsIndeed
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#15
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#15
(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
A confirmed diagnosis should be enough: you don't have to be on a therapy list or anything.

Just explain to your tutor what's been happening in your life and ask whether you could go away and come back in September/October, or next January if that is easier. They should be able to make arrangements for you. You're not being a nuisance to anyone by asking this and it doesn't make you weak at all. Reaching out for help takes strength: otherwise you wouldn't feel nervous now!

Best of luck :hugs:
Aw, thank you for the reply . Some nice, reassuring words were just what I needed tbh!
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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#16
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#16
(Original post by TheSmithsIndeed)
Aw, thank you for the reply . Some nice, reassuring words were just what I needed tbh!
You're welcome! I can appreciate how daunting it is as I had to tell my tutors about my psychosis in my third year of uni and the immediate question I was asked was did I want to leave completely, or leave and come back in October? (This all happened in Jan 2010) It's not the nicest of conversations to have :no: Hopefully you will get a lot of much-needed reassurance and support
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TheSmithsIndeed
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#17
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#17
(Original post by arbaaz)
i'm a first year student too! trust me the uni won't see you as a burden because they want you to do well, they have recruited top lecturers to teach you and are spending money on you for you to do well, they don't want you to fail. plus it would look bad on the unis ranking if lots of students flunked out.
tbh i have no idea how i'm going to ask this. i've only met them once. i suppose it's just a question of gritting your teeth and saying, "look, i really need time out, to get myself together and figure what i want to do with my life, and i was wondering if you could advice me if this is possible

if my uni says no i have no idea what i'm going to do.
i can't drop out, no way but there's no way i want to come out with a 2.2/fail because for the career i'm aiming for it would be detrimental.

yeah stuff like this is embaressing, there needs to be a little more awareness about mental illness and stuff.

Sorry- late reply.
I hope everything goes well for you (I'm still trying to get an appointment, sigh). Do tell me what happens (if you don't mind, of course).
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somethingbeautiful
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#18
Report 9 years ago
#18
You've pretty much got your answer from other people now, but I just wanted to say good luck and I hope things get better for you. I went through a similar experience last year and was given the option to take the year out but I carried on due to financial reasons. There is help out there and most people (esp uni tutors) are understanding.
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arbaaz
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#19
Report 9 years ago
#19
(Original post by TheSmithsIndeed)
Sorry- late reply.
I hope everything goes well for you (I'm still trying to get an appointment, sigh). Do tell me what happens (if you don't mind, of course).
heyy, went yesterday to see my tutor and she wasn't in as usual so instead went to see the financial advisor. Then went home to the parents and I very casually brought up the idea of taking a break from uni and they completely freaked out. They asked me what I was planning to do during that break and I said get a job, travel, figure out what I want to do in life, etc and they went

apparently, it's too dangerous for me to go travelling at this "young age" despite the fact that tons of people have taken gap years at 18. and I'm not allowed to go until I graduate which will be 22 at the earliest. So, I have to wait 4 years!!!

My tip for you is when your parents ask what you want to do during the time off, have a concrete plan so they don't refuse, don't just say travelling, say where you want to go, for how long, when etc.

My parents don't know about my mental illness and i intend on keeping it that way so i couldn't use it as a reason why i wanted to take a break when that is the primary reason for me wanting to do so. maybe you could tell them about yours?

so... i've got to stick it out, am gutted.... no incentive to work now and exams/cw etc in 2 weeks.!!!

best of luck and let me know how you get on!
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toronto353
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#20
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#20
(Original post by arbaaz)
heyy, went yesterday to see my tutor and she wasn't in as usual so instead went to see the financial advisor. Then went home to the parents and I very casually brought up the idea of taking a break from uni and they completely freaked out. They asked me what I was planning to do during that break and I said get a job, travel, figure out what I want to do in life, etc and they went

apparently, it's too dangerous for me to go travelling at this &quot;young age&quot; despite the fact that tons of people have taken gap years at 18. and I'm not allowed to go until I graduate which will be 22 at the earliest. So, I have to wait 4 years!!!

My tip for you is when your parents ask what you want to do during the time off, have a concrete plan so they don't refuse, don't just say travelling, say where you want to go, for how long, when etc.

My parents don't know about my mental illness and i intend on keeping it that way so i couldn't use it as a reason why i wanted to take a break when that is the primary reason for me wanting to do so. maybe you could tell them about yours?

so... i've got to stick it out, am gutted.... no incentive to work now and exams/cw etc in 2 weeks.!!!

best of luck and let me know how you get on!
To be fair you don't have to. This is your life to do with what you want so if you want to go travelling, then go for it. What point is there in sticking out the course for now when you might not like it when you could take a break, recharge your batteries then go back?
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