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    On the surface, my situation doesn't seem too bad - I've got a deferred offer from Imperial for Computer Science, and I'm on a gap year at the moment to earn some funds before heading off to uni.

    But the gap year wasn't really my choice - although my dad earns a lot, my family has a lot of debts as well, and my parents couldn't afford to send me to uni straight away. The gap year was supposed to be a chance for me to earn some money so I wouldn't be dead broke when I headed off to uni. But despite it being several months since my gap year began, due to a combination of having to pay my parents rent and several unanticipated expenses, I have a grand total of perhaps a hundred quid or so currently in the bank.

    In addition, over the past couple of months I've realised I don't actually want to do Computer Science as a degree, and even if I did, Imperial would be the last place I would want to do it at. Everything I've been reading since I deferred my offer (and admittedly should have read prior to making it my firm), from the workload to the social life, puts me off more and more. Plus, if I do go, my parents want me to stay with my aunt, an hour away from campus. I'm not sure I'm capable of managing my studies on top of two hours of travelling every day.

    I was going to reapply this year for Psychology related courses, and to Oxford in particular - I'm very interested in the Psychology and Philosophy course. But then I realised I would have to withdraw my offer from Imperial, panicked, decided not to reapply after all. Now the Oxbridge deadline has passed, and I'm kicking myself for not taking the plunge and going for it.

    I understand that a place at Oxford would have been far from guaranteed, but now if I do decide to reapply, the only universities I'd be able to obtain a degree at wouldn't carry the same prestige as a degree from Oxford. And considering that the job market is already flooded with Psychology graduates, does it make sense to give up a really employable degree from a really top uni?

    I don't know what to do. I'm limited by my A Level choices too - I took Maths, Further Maths and Physics, and I'm starting to realise I'm not interested in any of the related courses. I got good results, true, but those are my only three subjects as I ended up having to drop Chemistry (an accident left me wheelchair-bound for several months, and I was unable to access the Chemistry labs on the second floor in order to take part in the practicals).

    To top it all off, my head is in a constant fog these days. My parents are saying it's just plain old depression, but the level of detriment to my short term memory is starting to concern me - I find myself forgetting simple things all the time. My concern is that my injury earlier this year might be to blame, as I ended up with a minor skull fracture which didn't require surgery. And I'm really worried I might have compounded this with a couple of recreational substances I've been taking recently - I'm not going to go into detail, but I think the extraction process for one of them might have gone awry and left some residue solvent that could explain this deficit in my cognition. I don't know if I've actually damaged my brain, but because I'm on a gap year and I'm not competing with anyone academically anymore, it's really hard to tell.

    So yeah. There's a lot of stuff here, and I don't know what I'm looking for by posting this thread - commiseration maybe? But I'm at the end of my tether, and both my depression and mental fog is only getting worse. I'm worried I'm going to end up screwing around for the entirety of this gap year, doing nothing of importance, go to Imperial for perhaps a term or so, and end up dropping out. And then I'll be broke, without a degree, and unemployed...

    Sorry for the infodump, guys. Do with it what you will.
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    First things first. Make an appointment to see your GP. You cant do or achieve anything if your physical or mental health isn't 100 percent. This should be your priority. Then when any problems are dealt with you will be in a much clearer,better frame of mind to think things through. Good luck.
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    (Original post by markova21)
    First things first. Make an appointment to see your GP. You cant do or achieve anything if your physical or mental health isn't 100 percent. This should be your priority. Then when any problems are dealt with you will be in a much clearer,better frame of mind to think things through. Good luck.
    I went to see my GP today, as a matter of fact. Told her my worries, and she said she would refer me to the neurology department. And her advice concerning missing my Oxbridge deadline was just to "take another gap year" (which isn't really practical). But that was it. I've tried calling a couple of counselling websites to get my depression sorted (even though I'm not convinced how effective something like therapy will be, or if my problem is just depression and nothing else) and both times they said they would get back to me when something becomes available. And in the meantime, I feel like I'm going crazy...
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    (Original post by ficemansir)
    I went to see my GP today, as a matter of fact. Told her my worries, and she said she would refer me to the neurology department. But that was it. I've tried calling a couple of counselling websites to get my depression sorted (even though I'm not convinced how effective something like therapy will be, or if my problem is just depression and nothing else) and both times they said they would get back to me when something becomes available. And in the meantime, I feel like I'm going crazy...
    Well try and hang in there. At least you talked it over with your GP today. That's a positive step.
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    (Original post by ficemansir)
    On the surface, my situation doesn't seem too bad - I've got a deferred offer from Imperial for Computer Science, and I'm on a gap year at the moment to earn some funds before heading off to uni.

    But the gap year wasn't really my choice - although my dad earns a lot, my family has a lot of debts as well, and my parents couldn't afford to send me to uni straight away. The gap year was supposed to be a chance for me to earn some money so I wouldn't be dead broke when I headed off to uni. But despite it being several months since my gap year began, due to a combination of having to pay my parents rent and several unanticipated expenses, I have a grand total of perhaps a hundred quid or so currently in the bank.

    In addition, over the past couple of months I've realised I don't actually want to do Computer Science as a degree, and even if I did, Imperial would be the last place I would want to do it at. Everything I've been reading since I deferred my offer (and admittedly should have read prior to making it my firm), from the workload to the social life, puts me off more and more. Plus, if I do go, my parents want me to stay with my aunt, an hour away from campus. I'm not sure I'm capable of managing my studies on top of two hours of travelling every day.

    I was going to reapply this year for Psychology related courses, and to Oxford in particular - I'm very interested in the Psychology and Philosophy course. But then I realised I would have to withdraw my offer from Imperial, panicked, decided not to reapply after all. Now the Oxbridge deadline has passed, and I'm kicking myself for not taking the plunge and going for it.

    I understand that a place at Oxford would have been far from guaranteed, but now if I do decide to reapply, the only universities I'd be able to obtain a degree at wouldn't carry the same prestige as a degree from Oxford. And considering that the job market is already flooded with Psychology graduates, does it make sense to give up a really employable degree from a really top uni?

    I don't know what to do. I'm limited by my A Level choices too - I took Maths, Further Maths and Physics, and I'm starting to realise I'm not interested in any of the related courses. I got good results, true, but those are my only three subjects as I ended up having to drop Chemistry (an accident left me wheelchair-bound for several months, and I was unable to access the Chemistry labs on the second floor in order to take part in the practicals).

    To top it all off, my head is in a constant fog these days. My parents are saying it's just plain old depression, but the level of detriment to my short term memory is starting to concern me - I find myself forgetting simple things all the time. My concern is that my injury earlier this year might be to blame, as I ended up with a minor skull fracture which didn't require surgery. And I'm really worried I might have compounded this with a couple of recreational substances I've been taking recently - I'm not going to go into detail, but I think the extraction process for one of them might have gone awry and left some residue solvent that could explain this deficit in my cognition. I don't know if I've actually damaged my brain, but because I'm on a gap year and I'm not competing with anyone academically anymore, it's really hard to tell.

    So yeah. There's a lot of stuff here, and I don't know what I'm looking for by posting this thread - commiseration maybe? But I'm at the end of my tether, and both my depression and mental fog is only getting worse. I'm worried I'm going to end up screwing around for the entirety of this gap year, doing nothing of importance, go to Imperial for perhaps a term or so, and end up dropping out. And then I'll be broke, without a degree, and unemployed...

    Sorry for the infodump, guys. Do with it what you will.
    Running through the issues as they arise:
    1. The gap year was a very good choice. There are Christmas jobs available, so get one of those, just because you only have £100 now is neither here nor there. You still have 9 months to earn money in.
    2. Why is it a good thing? because its stopped you spending money on a course you dont want to do. £15-20k per year so £50k + on something you dont want. Great it is Imperial (heard good things) but if it doesnt suit you and youd rather study elsewhere, then you are better off doing that.
    3. If you want the full uni experience somewhere else, then spend time identifying the course and Uni you want to go to.
    4. Deal with it as it is. You missed the Oxford deadline, but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You are an adult decide if its worth going for in 2018. That is your choice to make, but you just have to live with it. If it were me and I felt its what I wanted to do, then I would have no hesitation. Regret is a bit dull. All the more time to get experience to support your app. Check out other psych courses as well plus what career you want from it.
    5. Your A level choices seem pretty good. I can think of a lot more limiting choices. You really need to spend time researching to identify what you are interested in.
    6. Obviously go to your GP or contact the consultant/ aftercare team who treated you and point out your continuing difficulties.
    7. Just deal with the issues above one by one. Priority imo is medical so that you know where you stand. I think you have got yourself into a tizz about the rest. Sometimes you have to make choices. and hope for the best. Just make sure they are your decisions and that you did your research. Its really not as grim as you make out.

    Ps dont forget you get a gift year from SFE so if you went to Imperial and didnt like it in the first year, then you could drop out and apply for another course or maybe seek a transfer at end of year.
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    (Original post by ficemansir)
    On the surface, my situation doesn't seem too bad - I've got a deferred offer from Imperial for Computer Science, and I'm on a gap year at the moment to earn some funds before heading off to uni.

    But the gap year wasn't really my choice - although my dad earns a lot, my family has a lot of debts as well, and my parents couldn't afford to send me to uni straight away. The gap year was supposed to be a chance for me to earn some money so I wouldn't be dead broke when I headed off to uni. But despite it being several months since my gap year began, due to a combination of having to pay my parents rent and several unanticipated expenses, I have a grand total of perhaps a hundred quid or so currently in the bank.
    You've only just started your gap year - as others have mentioned, there will be plenty of opportunities to earn some more cash later on in the year - and many students at uni get by on earnings from part time jobs and christmas/ summer jobs so there's no huge pressure to save up thousands of pounds this year if you aren't able to


    (Original post by ficemansir)

    In addition, over the past couple of months I've realised I don't actually want to do Computer Science as a degree, and even if I did, Imperial would be the last place I would want to do it at. Everything I've been reading since I deferred my offer (and admittedly should have read prior to making it my firm), from the workload to the social life, puts me off more and more. Plus, if I do go, my parents want me to stay with my aunt, an hour away from campus. I'm not sure I'm capable of managing my studies on top of two hours of travelling every day.
    Then this gap year has already been very helpful for you by giving you the time to realise that your original course choice wouldn't suit you. No worries, there are still plenty more opportunities out there Also, try not to feel pressured too much by what your parents want/ expect you to do - it's your life

    (Original post by ficemansir)

    I was going to reapply this year for Psychology related courses, and to Oxford in particular - I'm very interested in the Psychology and Philosophy course. But then I realised I would have to withdraw my offer from Imperial, panicked, decided not to reapply after all. Now the Oxbridge deadline has passed, and I'm kicking myself for not taking the plunge and going for it.

    I understand that a place at Oxford would have been far from guaranteed, but now if I do decide to reapply, the only universities I'd be able to obtain a degree at wouldn't carry the same prestige as a degree from Oxford. And considering that the job market is already flooded with Psychology graduates, does it make sense to give up a really employable degree from a really top uni?

    I don't know what to do. I'm limited by my A Level choices too - I took Maths, Further Maths and Physics, and I'm starting to realise I'm not interested in any of the related courses. I got good results, true, but those are my only three subjects as I ended up having to drop Chemistry (an accident left me wheelchair-bound for several months, and I was unable to access the Chemistry labs on the second floor in order to take part in the practicals).
    Ok, you've missed the Oxbridge deadline - but remember, Oxford isn't the be-all-and-end-all and as you've already said, there's no guarantee you'd get an offer anyway, particularly considering how your A level choices don't necessarily match up all that well to your degree choice... Yes, it is worth thinking about how employable a particular degree is, but remember that most graduate jobs don't require a specific degree subject and there are still many graduates from supposedly "less employable" courses in good jobs. It's not just your academic studies that matter - even more important to most employers are your extracurriculars (e.g. running a society, representing uni at sport, etc.) and work experience (summer internships are great for this). So pick a degree you find genuinely interesting and will do well at, then make the most of the other opportunities available at uni to develop transferable skills like leadership, teamwork, etc.

    Your reasons for having to drop Chemistry sound to me like very valid extenuating circumstances - universities should take this into account when considering your application. Mind you, if you're interested in psychology then it wouldn't have been very relevant anyway - an essay based subject might have been more helpful. If you are serious about pursuing a more essay-based degree then it may be worth considering spending some of your gap year studying for an essay based A level (e.g. English, history, psychology, etc.) or doing an extended project.


    (Original post by ficemansir)
    To top it all off, my head is in a constant fog these days. My parents are saying it's just plain old depression, but the level of detriment to my short term memory is starting to concern me - I find myself forgetting simple things all the time. My concern is that my injury earlier this year might be to blame, as I ended up with a minor skull fracture which didn't require surgery. And I'm really worried I might have compounded this with a couple of recreational substances I've been taking recently - I'm not going to go into detail, but I think the extraction process for one of them might have gone awry and left some residue solvent that could explain this deficit in my cognition. I don't know if I've actually damaged my brain, but because I'm on a gap year and I'm not competing with anyone academically anymore, it's really hard to tell.
    Cut out the "recreational substances" immediately and continue with your plans to see a neurologist in case there are more serious underlying problems. If your GP wasn't very helpful in terms of advising you regarding your depression/ memory problems then try and see a specialist - your mental health is just as important as your physical health and deserves treating ASAP.


    (Original post by ficemansir)
    So yeah. There's a lot of stuff here, and I don't know what I'm looking for by posting this thread - commiseration maybe? But I'm at the end of my tether, and both my depression and mental fog is only getting worse. I'm worried I'm going to end up screwing around for the entirety of this gap year, doing nothing of importance, go to Imperial for perhaps a term or so, and end up dropping out. And then I'll be broke, without a degree, and unemployed...
    Don't worry too much about needing to get something meaningful out of your gap year - if it ever comes up in a job interview you can just explain it away with "poor health", and going to university a year or two later than everyone else genuinely doesn't affect your experience there at all. If you are not 100% sure that Imperial is the right option for you, don't go - it will just be a waste of money, time and effort if you end up dropping out. Although it seems like everyone else is off to uni and getting their lives all planned out, giving yourself a couple of years to figure everything out will be so much better than making rushed decisions and regretting them later
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    It seemed like there's a lot to consider and unfortunately I don't have the answer to everything, however there is one thing I would say is really important.
    If you are not interested in the course you are studying for 3 years, it's highly unlikely you will make it through the whole degree, let alone get a 1st/2:1 which you are clearly capable of otherwise you wouldn't have an offer from Imperial. The same goes for the university- if you really do not like the environment, you probably wont do well and your health with suffer further.
    Although money is important, you still have 9 months to save and it really would be a waste of money to spend £27,000 on a degree you don't want to do.
    Hope this helped in some way.
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    It's all so messed up... I didn't want to take this gap year, and I'm having to pay my parents £200 a month as well as being expected to save for uni... I honestly don't know what their logic is...
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    There's plenty of amazing universities that you can go to that are almost as good as Oxbridge. Why not apply to those for your dream subject, have an amazing 3/4 years of studying a subject you love and a great social life, then if you do well, apply to Oxford and Cambridge for a masters degree? Just because you don't do your undergrad there, it doesn't mean you'll never get the opportunity to study there in your lifetime. If you get a first/high 2:1 in your undergrad, anything is possible.

    I'm currently on a gap year (although I've already done my BA and I'm hopefully going to be starting my M.Phil in 2017), because of mental health reasons, but I know it was 100% the right thing to do, and I now know I'll be going into my masters degree a hell of a lot happier and much more mature and able to work without suffering from panic and anxiety attacks, and feelings of extreme lows.

    And don't worry about jobs, there's still loads of time. Just try and get anything and be really frugal and you'll soon save up a good amount I always find that even if it's a **** job, it makes you much more determined to do well in your degree because you never wanna have to do it again, so just use it as a motivator to keep working/applying to the courses you really really want to do.
 
 
 
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