Hi all, this may be a little long, but my academic journey has been a little crazy to say the least. I'll try and keep it succinct, but bear with me!
First things first... I was always a top-achiever at school. GCSE: 10A*, A Levels AAAab (Chem, Physics, Maths, AS: Spanish, Further Maths). I was all set for applying to Medicine but then had an accident which made me squeamish just before my A-Levels, and subsequently chose to apply for Physics.
Got into Oxford to study Physics. Whilst there, I was harassed and abused by a tutor, but didn't really know who to turn to and (rather stupidly) left it unreported. I decided to complete the year, and then switched to Manchester to study Physics with Philosophy. I struggled with depression and massive self-confidence issues following my year at Oxford and never really knew how to get over it. I had some months out of studies thinking that this would help me too, but it didn't. The first two years didn't go too badly, but still not great. However, a 2:1 was still within reach. I obtained 3 out of 4 offers for graduate medicine, on condition of that 2:1 of course.
Then, in my final year, the depression and anxiety reared their ugly heads again. Badly. I suffered a panic attack in one of my major exams and generally struggled with everything else, but I kept going. I don't know how I did it, looking back, but somehow did. Albeit not well enough. I found out 2 weeks ago that after 5 tortuous years, I'm graduating (and I can't bring myself to accept it!) with a Third .
I have had tonnes of support from people who know me, including my tutor who has given me a solid reference, and know that this is in no way an accurate reflection of my abilities. But I read people sneering at and completely demeaning a Third all the time. It just makes me feel worthless, and it has been seriously tough finding the strength to go on.
At this stage, I'm just entirely lost. I have been looking into alternatives, but really what on earth could I possibly do? I have been working towards Medicine for years. It's a completely different subject from Physics and I have no doubt at all that I could succeed in it, and doing badly in my degree shouldn't theoretically stop me when I have the A Levels that I do. But in reality, it seems to.
Does anybody have any advice on whether there are universities that would disregard or excuse my degree, given I have full medical evidence spanning three years? Or those which would take me on the back of my A-Levels or entrance exam performance?
I found out Plymouth use only the GAMSAT as their academic criteria; I realise this is still an option for me, but just wondering if there are any others out there. I would even study abroad. I'm just turned 23 and I still desperately want to do it.
If it really is a closed door then I will consider being a teacher (there's such shortage in Physics that they accept Thirds); what drives me in life is really to have a job that centres around the welfare of others (I'd be miserable in an office!) and combines an academic challenge. I have taken some steps to secure work experience in a school as a more realistic plan, and I've been told I'd be a really good teacher, but the truth is I'm still always dreaming for a shot at med school.
I'd really appreciate any advice or kind words at all. It's been a real tough ride, but got to keep going! Thanks! x
VERY unusual situation - any help appreciated! Watch
- Thread Starter
- 12-07-2014 20:55
- 12-07-2014 23:35
Is there no opportunity for you to resit any of those summer exams and bump your grade up? A 2:1 obtained with resits is frowned upon, but with your reasons and evidence it would probably be overlooked.
- 12-07-2014 23:48
I can't help unfortunately beyond suggesting you check whether any medical schools abroad may accept you purely on the basis of your A levels perhaps? Also contact as many graduate medical school admissions staff individually as you can and ask whether they can accept a third with extenuating circumstances, even if it seems online that they explicitly won't - it's always worth checking. Alternately if it is what you really want you could always work for a few years and save up to help fund doing a 5 year course, as some 5 year courses may not even look at the degree as you already have the required A levels, I would guess.
You seem to have been through a lot though, I really hope you manage it and that they are lenient! Best of luck!