As the title suggests I am really considering deferring at university due to my depression and other health issues.
I've suffered with depression since I was about 14 ( I'm 18 now) and have been on medication for the past 2 years. I started on 10mg of citalopram and moved up to 20mg after about 2 months. About a month before starting uni it's increased to 30mg which it is as of now. I've had therapy in the past which i didn't find to be that useful.
My depression has been pretty severe for at least the past 2 years, i've struggle with self harm in the past although recently I have been clean for a good amount of months.
I've had other health issues as well which i don't want to go to in depth about as theyre not the main problem here however due to these i am left feeling constantly sick and tired, requiring a lot of medication, joint pain and monthly blood tests. This also has a strong impact on my depression.
Due to these health problems (mental and physical) I wasn't expected to do great at school, however I pushed through it and (whilst making myself worse) managed to secure a unconditional offer for uni. I really didn't want to turn this down after all my hard work and so accepted this whilst still having doubts about university in itself, however the course was something i thought id really enjoy so i decided to go for it.
A month or so i was supposed to go to uni I had a big health setback and major problems with my friends which again, impacted on my mental health and left me spending most of my time in bed and pretty much just not moving as I didn't see the point. I decided i was still gonna go to uni so i went to the doctors and upped my meds thinking that would help and just pushed my depression out of my mind as much as possible and kept busy sorting uni things but now im here i can't just ignore it. For some reason i thought it would go away but it really hasn't.
Its only been a week or so since i moved but im not enjoying lectures or anything. I made some (what i thought were) good friends, but turns out they were *****ing about me behind my back, and mocking my depression which again made me feel awful so I only have people who i kinda know from courses but im struggling so much to make friends with them now for fear im too negative like my other "friends" thought. The university knows and i have the disabled students allowance which grants me some help and support but honestly its really not helping and im just feeling so over my head.
TL;DR My depression is very bad to the point where i am crying every night and really thinking I've made the wrong decision as I don't think im ready for uni. I'm planning on trying to stick it out till Christmas incase "things get better" and so my parents can see I've really given it a chance but after then I really want to defer for a year so i will have finished a semester and have about 60 credits worth of modules under my belt. People who i've spoken to have told me not to drop out so i was gonna defer instead.
I'm really looking for some guidance or advice from anyone else who's gone through a similar thing or if anyone knows what will happen with student finance? they're paying for my tuition and i have a maintenance loan from them but i'm not entirely sure what happens with that? I read somewhere that if you've been at uni for 3 months before dropping out/deferring SFE will pay your tuition and you pay it back following the normal £21,000 threshold. Does anyone know what happens with accommodation? I'm with a university associates hall and I'm assuming that means I have to pay for the full year as i've signed a lease, however if someone else takes over my room i'm only liable to pay until they move in? I've looked through the tenancy agreement and can't see anything about leaving early. Is it even possible to defer part way through a year? if i finish my semester i'm hoping i can defer before the start of the next one ( i know this will count as a full year in student finance terms) Will I have to start over again if I come back or can i just start from semester 2? If I decide i don't want to come back is that ok or by deferring are you agreeing to come back in a year? With my DSA do i have to return the equipment? Most of what i have is computer software although I receive mentoring and I have a microphone and headset for recording lectures.
I'm planning on spending my year sorting my health out and maybe doing some weekend courses so I do have plans and I already think I'd be much happier back at home, not being under this stress or in this environment as i'm constantly feeling on edge and alone.
What do you think?