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    Basically I'm reapplying through UCAS in the next few months but I'm really worried about what to write in my personal statement/say in interviews about my "gap year".

    My gap year is hardly going to be filled with "travelling" or "exploring new things" as my family are not exactly well off and I basically took the year out as I had a complete break down earlier this year, basically gave up on myself (rejected all my offers from Uni etc.), and have been majorly depressed for about 3 years (probably longer but was not diagnosed then). I've since got myself to a slightly better place (now back on medication, seeing gp and not completely given up on my future haha) and I realise that I really did need to take the year out, as I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have coped at this point in my life and would probably have done something drastic but how can you possibly put that into a personal statement without sounding like a complete... unstable freak?

    I know you're not forced to put things like that but they are going to want to know why I've taken this year out and I really have no other reason apart from my mental health. I don't know whether to leave it out in statements and then be honest in interviews or just try and make something up? Please can someone give me some idea of where to even start approaching such a problem?!

    I have fair grades and am applying to do Physics to give you a bit of background of what I'm planning to do. I am keeping up my Maths during the year out by doing an Additional Further Maths AS level but it's hardly a reason to have a year out either.

    Please help. I don't want to give up on my future again because of this bloody illness.

    If you need any other background knowledge (to judge the situation?) then just ask.
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    Hi there! I'm no scientist but I would have thought taking a year out to do a Further Maths qualification would be a good enough reason to have a gap year, since such a course is pretty damn useful and important for a Physics degree.

    Other ideas are that you could say in your personal statement that you want to, say, study a language. You could make some bull**** up for the interview if it's this autumn and then say later on that things didn't work out?

    Alternatively, you can email the Disability Offices for the unis you are applying to, to ask for their advice. I doubt they could pass your name on to the Physics departments or anything like that, so it should be safe to do that.

    Good luck with figuring it out
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Basically I'm reapplying through UCAS in the next few months but I'm really worried about what to write in my personal statement/say in interviews about my "gap year".

    My gap year is hardly going to be filled with "travelling" or "exploring new things" as my family are not exactly well off and I basically took the year out as I had a complete break down earlier this year, basically gave up on myself (rejected all my offers from Uni etc.), and have been majorly depressed for about 3 years (probably longer but was not diagnosed then). I've since got myself to a slightly better place (now back on medication, seeing gp and not completely given up on my future haha) and I realise that I really did need to take the year out, as I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have coped at this point in my life and would probably have done something drastic but how can you possibly put that into a personal statement without sounding like a complete... unstable freak?

    I know you're not forced to put things like that but they are going to want to know why I've taken this year out and I really have no other reason apart from my mental health. I don't know whether to leave it out in statements and then be honest in interviews or just try and make something up? Please can someone give me some idea of where to even start approaching such a problem?!

    I have fair grades and am applying to do Physics to give you a bit of background of what I'm planning to do. I am keeping up my Maths during the year out by doing an Additional Further Maths AS level but it's hardly a reason to have a year out either.

    Please help. I don't want to give up on my future again because of this bloody illness.

    If you need any other background knowledge (to judge the situation?) then just ask.
    Serious depression is a perfectly valid reason to take a year out and it does seem like you're on the road to recovery, which is really good.

    For something such as mental illness affecting your progress I suggest you talk to whoever's writing your reference-they'll be able to put it in your application so you can save space on your PS for why you really want to study physics.

    I know you actually depressed, but admissions tutors prefer to have such extenuating circumstances in the reference as it doesn't appear to be excuse making on the students behalf.

    I wish you the best of luck with your recovery and application
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Hi there! I'm no scientist but I would have thought taking a year out to do a Further Maths qualification would be a good enough reason to have a gap year, since such a course is pretty damn useful and important for a Physics degree.

    Other ideas are that you could say in your personal statement that you want to, say, study a language. You could make some bull**** up for the interview if it's this autumn and then say later on that things didn't work out?

    Alternatively, you can email the Disability Offices for the unis you are applying to, to ask for their advice. I doubt they could pass your name on to the Physics departments or anything like that, so it should be safe to do that.

    Good luck with figuring it out
    Well I would sort of agree but I already did Maths and Further Maths at A level so doing an Additional Further Maths AS level, I can't imagine, would be a reason to take a year out because I've already sort of met the criteria and more? I don't know, maybe I'm just looking down on it.

    That's an idea, maybe I'll email them. It's just so horrible having to admit it to yourself, let alone other people.

    Thank you.


    (Original post by super_kawaii)
    Serious depression is a perfectly valid reason to take a year out and it does seem like you're on the road to recovery, which is really good.

    For something such as mental illness affecting your progress I suggest you talk to whoever's writing your reference-they'll be able to put it in your application so you can save space on your PS for why you really want to study physics.

    I know you actually depressed, but admissions tutors prefer to have such extenuating circumstances in the reference as it doesn't appear to be excuse making on the students behalf.

    I wish you the best of luck with your recovery and application
    I know that's probably the right thing to do, but I'm just really finding it hard that I'm going to have to admit it to my referee. I just feel like that he'll just see it as an excuse and it will put me at a disadvantage or they won't be able to explain it well and I'll just look like an idiot. Sorry if I sound like a complete **** haha.

    Thank you for the advice
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    I wish you all the best with this, and it is great that you feel recovered enough to make future plans. Depression is as valid a reason to take time out to focus on recovery as any debilitating illness, mental or physical. If this is discussed at interview, it could show that you are self aware enough to know what support you need to help you continue in your recovery. There will inevitably be pressures and change to contend with, whatever path you chose to take, and tutors appreciate knowing in advance what extra support you may need at times of stress. I wish you the very best of luck with your future. I can also recommend a book by an author called Andrew Solomon called The Nooneday Demon. It is a personal account of the author's experience of depression and also a very accessible account of depression in general and how it is on the increase (not accountable by increased diagnosis). Good luck!!
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    A suitably vague "for health reasons" should convey the message that you've not just been getting drunk in your hometown all year, and mentioning the FM qualification will help your cause too.
 
 
 
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