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    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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    (Original post by LanaDelReys)
    Hi, I want to apply to Cambridge to study HSPS and I'm interested in the sociology and social anthropology courses.
    (see below)
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    (Original post by LanaDelReys)
    Hi, I want to apply to Cambridge to study HSPS and I'm interested in the sociology and social anthropology courses.
    OK, sorry to read about all the challenges you have faced, and yes you should use Cambridge's ECF to notify them about your MH and all other circumstances.

    And, I'm sure you are aware that Cambridge is a very intense academic environment and they can only support you so far. You really need to assess carefully if it is the right place for you...

    Your PS is not really so important for Cambridge but the super-curriculars you have are probably more that most. Don't worry about trying to do even more, just focus on your academics - and your MH.

    The bottomline is they will still need to be academically assured you are capable of achieving the typical offer (A*AA for humanities & arts). If you think you are, and you think Cambridge is the right place, then apply
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    (Original post by LanaDelReys)
    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
    Cambridge has a splendid support system for students who experience mental health problems, so you can be assured they will help you to deal with the problem if it occurs. However, it's also very important you do everything humanly possible to sort out the problem before you start and hopefully keep it under control while you're there as their courses are extremely intense and demanding, you really want to avoid the situation that you need to cope with it while having to deal with your mental issue at the same time. It's a very tough life there even for someone without any mental issue.
    I know someone who suffered very severely during the first year at Cambridge because of his mental issue which he had been hiding from everyone but it manifested in a very bad way because of pressure of work, etc. And this is someone who'd always had immacurte academic records throughout his school days.

    There're many students with various kinds and degrees of mental issues, so no need to worry if you might be discriminated because of the issue. They're used to and good at dealing with students with such problems.
    But it's very important the college you apply to (and end up at, if you're pooled) know your problem, so that they can assist you in case you need help.

    So in short, if you decide to apply to Cambridge, please make sure you understand how intense and demanding your life will be there and do make sure, please, you feel confident enough your problem is reasonably under control before you start.
    Please don't jump in before you're sure of it.
 
 
 
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