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ADVICE NEEDED: Unsure about university vs gap year watch

    • Thread Starter


    I have already received all of my university offers, including one from Oxford. However, even though at the time I applied (and for much of my life) I wanted to go here, now I feel unsure. I'm having doubts about the subject and worry that I'm going to spend 3 years of my life working really hard to obtain a good degree for a field that I'm no longer sure I want to go into. I'm also worried that this will mean I will have to sacrifice other things which are important to me (perhaps more so than would be the case for my other unis due to the amount of work at Oxford). However, I feel that Oxford is basically the perfect university for me and that I would be very well-suited to their teaching style, university life, etc., and even though I liked the other universities I have offers from, I feel like I'm less passionate about them, which combined with my uncertainty about the subject, makes me even less sure about wanting to go to these unis. Therefore, if I decide to go to uni, I would want it to be Oxford, but this would mean I would have to go this year, since you can only defer your offer for a serious reason (illness, bereavement, etc) and if I rejected it I think it's unlikely I would be able to get another offer next year/in the future.

    I have not applied to study music, but this is a huge passion of mine and would be what I would pursue if I were to take a gap year (which again would make it less likely for me to get a second offer from Oxford since this isn't work experience or something which is related to my course). Music makes me happy and is what I enjoy, and I feel that a gap year would not only allow me time to focus on something I want to follow in life but could also provide me with a break from all the stresses etc I'm currently feeling. This is not to say I want to take a gap year to basically laze around and do nothing, but I feel that I have been struggling to cope with my mental health for a while and this has been made considerably worse by a somewhat traumatic event the summer before Year 12 and also from the stress of A-Levels. I have always been someone who works very hard to achieve and maintain good grades, but frequently at the expense of myself and my own wellbeing, and this has taken a toll on me emotionally and mentally. I have also found that due to the pressure of school and my perfectionist nature which makes everything take longer, I have very little time to do things I enjoy, meaning I feel like I've missed out on having time to do these things (e.g. pursuing music, spending time with family and friends) which a gap year would allow me time for and I feel like this could be beneficial for my health and happiness. Then again I don't know if basically burning yourself out to the point of mental exhaustion is really a valid reason to consider taking a gap year (among other reasons).

    I didn't mean for this to get so long haha but basically, I'm worried about my choice of course (which I'm having doubts about whether I'm truly passionate about it) and don't know whether I'd rather do music (which I have never had doubts about being passionate about, I just didn't apply to study it because I was worried that it would turn my main hobby into something I would enjoy less in some way idk). I would ideally take a gap year to spend time pursuing my music (which I haven't really had time to do) and then see where I'm at rather than immediately going into studying at university for 3 years and then doing my music afterwards with a degree that isn't relevant, or going into a job which I'm not sure I'll want and then not have much time for music at all. However, if I do this that means rejecting Oxford since I can't defer it and would be unlikely to get another offer in future and I'm worried that I will massively regret this. While I can defer my other offers more easily, Oxford is the university that I most want to go to and feel most suited for, and I'm not so sure about the others anyway especially for the course I've chosen. I haven't really spoken about this to anyone since everyone is just assuming that Oxford is the obvious choice for me and I feel like it'll be a big deal if I say that I'm considering rejecting it and not going especially considering my past academic achievement and dedication to studying. Also, the gap year for music is a lot riskier, because even though I have musical ability etc and am already qualified enough to teach instrument lessons meaning I could support myself financially, trying to pursue a career in the music industry is a lot more of a risk than taking up an offer from Oxford, which I know is a great and very well-respected university, and getting a degree from there is likely a much safer route to take, I just don't know if I want to take it.

    Honestly I don't really even know what I'm asking for here haha but if anyone does have any advice or anything I would really appreciate it because I'm so unsure of what to do and it's really stressing me out.
    • Thread Starter

    I don't know if commenting will boost this in the forums but I'm assuming it does so please offer advice if you have any
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