Hi, I want to apply to Cambridge to study HSPS and I'm interested in the sociology and social anthropology courses.
At the beginning of this year, I suffered from a huge mental breakdown: I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and developed a drinking problem. I lost some of my closest friends and I broke off my relationship with a boy I was madly in love with in order not to hurt him, which backfired because it did really hurt him. Eventually, social services were called about me and my parents found out about everything and I was put on prozac in March. However, I was still very depressed and became very paranoid and agitated. I couldn't stay in lessons because of my anxiety and I constantly felt low. My aunt's cancer became terminal and doctors expected her to die right when I was about to sit my AS exams (she has surprised everyone and is still alive and is living quite comfortably and happily despite the predictions). I got to a point where I was really suicidal and had to drop my History AS level two weeks before my exams because everyone was worried about my health, stress and my unpredictable self destructive behaviours.
However, I've been feeling so much better from the start of May and right now I feel like a completely new person. I haven't felt the urge to drink in months and the depressed side of my has seemed to go away, only very slightly affecting me. I feel a lot more connected to God, have a much closer relationship with family members and I feel like I've really found who I am within these past two months, actually feeling happiness. My exams went well, nothing was a major shock to me. Now, I'm trying to get more things to do for my personal statement and university application like going to lectures, reading books and completing online courses, however I feel like I've missed out on a lot because I was forced to put everything on hold during my breakdown, including my education to sort myself out and get in a better mindset. I do have some previous experiences which would look good on my personal statement like working with the Home Office on improving the PREVENT scheme, working with local politicians, my local youth council, a homeless shelter, amateur dramatics and school leadership roles, however I still feel like I've missed out on a lot, I was pretty much out of it for almost half a year so missed out on opportunities to apply for summer schools, work placements and masterclasses. I would love to go to Cambridge and my school has always been very supportive of this, but I'm not sure if I should because of my mental health problems and missed opportunities.
I got 2A*s, 4As and 4Bs at GCSE
My AS predictions were made after my February mocks and I got AAB, but I think I have a chance of possibly getting AAA in my actual AS exams. My UMS is very strong in sociology, getting full UMS in both papers in my mocks and is quite strong in English and Geography. I'm starting my EPQ soon and my head of sixth form said I can sit my History AS if my mental health is still at this good state in October. I'm just worried about whether it would be a waste to apply to Cambridge, I have a feeling that my exams went quite well, but will Cambridge take my previous mental health problems into consideration during application? My mental breakdown was not triggered by school stress at all, I was doing incredibly well in my subjects in December and was ranked as one of the top pupils in my sixth form, but I had to prioritise my health, which may have affected my performance. Do I still have a chance and would it be recommended if I did apply? I'm also thinking of applying to UCL, Edinburgh, LSE, Durham and Kent for sociology.
Thank you for reading x
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