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Key Words for Extenuating Circumstances Form? watch

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    Hi, I'm trying to fill out an extenuating circumstances form for uni first year exams but I'm not sure how to phrase things so things are taken seriously. My situation is a bit complicated.
    I have been recently bereaved (early March), one of my close friends from school that I'd lost touch with in the last two years. However I'm not sure that's relevant. I think my grief is over.

    My main issue is I had a really bad depressive episode in February and was asked if I wanted to interrupt my studies, but I didn't want to. I went to the uni psych who offered me meds which I refused but she referred me for CBT. My first CBT appt was two weeks ago (haven't had a session since because the counsellor has been ill fml).
    3 weeks ago I wasn't coping, I was doing better than early feb, but I felt the need to go on antidepressants (realised something had to change or I wouldn't be able to complete my degree). So I was put on citalopram. This is going well but I still can't concentrate and it makes me really sleepy. I still have some really really low days.

    Meanwhile my brother has been going through a major depressive episode since last year. (FYI, I'm 19, he's 16 soon.) He has psychotic episodes now and then and really violent visions. I won't go into much more detail than that as I don't think TSR allows discussion of that type of thing? (I've seen posts be removed for sensitive content I think?) Basically he is too ill to be in school, and they're talking about him doing exams at home maybe, that's the kind of seriousness we're talking.

    So with all this going on, I've been doing my best to revise for exams but as they approach I'm realising I may fail them, simply because I don't have much energy and my memory and concentration aren't great. (My ability to do stuff fluctuates dramatically day to day.)

    I really don't want to interrupt my studies, because I may pass this year (the grade this year is 1/10th my final degree grade). However if I have to resit w/o EC then I would have my mark capped at a pass, but I think my medication will really be helping me come the August / September exam session, and I could probably do a lot better than a pass. (I'm predicted a first based on my coursework and assessments earlier in the year.)
    But basically I only have a tiny box on the EC form to summarise this, so what would be the key words to emphasise to summarise my situation? What would make the powers that be think, yeah we need to cut her some slack?
    Thanks for any help xxx (I'm on anon because of details about my brother.)
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    Please can someone help me out? I'm so lost, and I'm not stingy with rep
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    Generally what you need to do on these sorts of forms is stress how your studies have been affected. You don't need to go into detail about what's causing you to fall behind, but rather what your academic difficulties actually entail. Go into specifics about how much you've been able to revise, whether you've been able to concentrate, how the lack of energy has affected you etc
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    I have no idea, never experienced anything like that in life but your story really touched me, stay strong, stay prayed up, i hope things get better... ❤️✊🏽

    like maybe explain that you are taking the antidepressants and explain how your home ‘environment’ is disturbed due to other family members who have ‘violent and aggressive episodes’ .. really not else sure about what else to say..
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    (Original post by Sataris)
    Generally what you need to do on these sorts of forms is stress how your studies have been affected. You don't need to go into detail about what's causing you to fall behind, but rather what your academic difficulties actually entail. Go into specifics about how much you've been able to revise, whether you've been able to concentrate, how the lack of energy has affected you etc
    That really helps, focus on impact. It's just so difficult because I have a really complex family health background (stuff I haven't even included in my original post), so I find it really tricky to sort the irrelevant from the backstory.
    I'll see if I can bullet point it out. 👍
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    (Original post by _aristotle)
    I have no idea, never experienced anything like that in life but your story really touched me, stay strong, stay prayed up, i hope things get better... ❤️✊🏽

    like maybe explain that you are taking the antidepressants and explain how your home ‘environment’ is disturbed due to other family members who have ‘violent and aggressive episodes’ .. really not else sure about what else to say..
    Thanks, yeah those are some good phrases! See I'm dyslexic / dyspraxic and autistic too so I find it really difficult to word myself succinctly. Honestly every little helps at this point! Thank you! x
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    That really helps, focus on impact. It's just so difficult because I have a really complex family health background (stuff I haven't even included in my original post), so I find it really tricky to sort the irrelevant from the backstory.
    I'll see if I can bullet point it out. 👍
    Have you checked the form for any advice? This is a really important matter so I don't want to tell you the wrong thing, but yes in my experience the people who review EC forms are far more interested in the impact than the backstory
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    (Original post by Sataris)
    Have you checked the form for any advice? This is a really important matter so I don't want to tell you the wrong thing, but yes in my experience the people who review EC forms are far more interested in the impact than the backstory
    It's a pretty vague part of the form, it says "Nature of EC" and then elaborates "Please explain what has happened and how it has affected your assessment" but the box is less than a third of A4 page, so there's just no way I can explain everything that "has happened" as they put it. But focussing on impacts more would make sense.

    I also don't know whether my brother's disruption should be emphasised more or less than my own depression? My family live in the same city as my uni and my gp told me I had to live at home while on medication but that means my brother and I are both at home, but equally I'm at risk (have difficulty with selfcare and isolation) in halls so... Rock and a hard place. I guess I'm rambling a bit at this point, it's just a really tricky thing to explain!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    It's a pretty vague part of the form, it says "Nature of EC" and then elaborates "Please explain what has happened and how it has affected your assessment" but the box is less than a third of A4 page, so there's just no way I can explain everything that "has happened" as they put it. But focussing on impacts more would make sense.

    I also don't know whether my brother's disruption should be emphasised more or less than my own depression? My family live in the same city as my uni and my gp told me I had to live at home while on medication but that means my brother and I are both at home, but equally I'm at risk (have difficulty with selfcare and isolation) in halls so... Rock and a hard place. I guess I'm rambling a bit at this point, it's just a really tricky thing to explain!
    Yeah it is really difficult to work out to how communicate everything effectively, and it sounds like you have an awful lot that has happened. Is there someone in student support or counselling at your uni that you could speak to about this? They're on your side and will be able to advise you how to fill out to form to make the best case for yourself.
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    (Original post by Sataris)
    Yeah it is really difficult to work out to how communicate everything effectively, and it sounds like you have an awful lot that has happened. Is there someone in student support or counselling at your uni that you could speak to about this? They're on your side and will be able to advise you how to fill out to form to make the best case for yourself.
    We have a student "wellbeing" centre (handles disabilities and mental health), I guess I could ask for some advice from them? I'm up at uni tomorrow for a revision lecture but I'm not sure I'd be able to get an appointment with them before my first exam (next Tuesday) and I want to give the form to my gp tomorrow so she can complete the evidence section. I just really want to have handed it in before my first exam so they don't think I'm trying to apply retrospectively when this is something I've been considering for a while. (EC's seem to be quite strict about timeframes from what I've gathered.)
    I'll email them, but prepare a version in case I can't get help from them.
    Thanks again for your help, I tried to discuss it with my family but obviously it's not the easiest thing to discuss when it affects all of us!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    ............
    How about something like


    I have a complex family health background, which creates empathy but little ability for my family to offer practical support or respite. In February I had a depressive episode. I was asked if I wanted to interrupt my studies, but declined, and I was offered medication by the University psychiatrist which i also declined. On reflection, these were perhaps not the best decisions, but they reflected my feelings at the time. I accepted the offer of CBT, but the course only began 2 weeks ago, and I have only had one session to date, so I have not yet, gained any measurable benefit. I am also, now taking medication, but I am currently finding the side-effects quite significant. They do not completely stop the low moods, but they give me considerable fatigue and memory issues. These fluctuate greatly from day to day, which I find very difficult to prepare and plan for.

    Meanwhile, I am very worried about my younger brother, who has quite serious mental health problems significant enough to keep him off school through is GCSE year. I worry greatly about his well being and his future qualifications and life options.

    I am now struggling to work out whether it would be better to complete the year, even if with lower grades than my potential, but risk a capped resit or withdraw. I still have a strong desire to complete my exams as normal, because I hope the combination of medication and CBT will have begun to have a positive effect by September. My challenge is keeping that optimistic mood going, through the low days, the tiredness, the lack of concentration and memory issues I seem to have currently.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    How about something like


    I have a complex family health background, which creates empathy but little ability for my family to offer practical support or respite. In February I had a depressive episode. I was asked if I wanted to interrupt my studies, but declined, and I was offered medication by the University psychiatrist which i also declined. On reflection, these were perhaps not the best decisions, but they reflected my feelings at the time. I accepted the offer of CBT, but the course only began 2 weeks ago, and I have only had one session to date, so I have not yet, gained any measurable benefit. I am also, now taking medication, but I am currently finding the side-effects quite significant. They do not completely stop the low moods, but they give me considerable fatigue and memory issues. These fluctuate greatly from day to day, which I find very difficult to prepare and plan for.

    Meanwhile, I am very worried about my younger brother, who has quite serious mental health problems significant enough to keep him off school through is GCSE year. I worry greatly about his well being and his future qualifications and life options.

    I am now struggling to work out whether it would be better to complete the year, even if with lower grades than my potential, but risk a capped resit or withdraw. I still have a strong desire to complete my exams as normal, because I hope the combination of medication and CBT will have begun to have a positive effect by September. My challenge is keeping that optimistic mood going, through the low days, the tiredness, the lack of concentration and memory issues I seem to have currently.
    Thank you! I feel like I may have to cut it down a bit more than that to fit it on the form, but that's p much on the nose! What I've requested is that if I am required to resit a module that it not be capped at 40% (I read the whole conditions booklet on ECs and it seems this is something that is possible).

    Thank you so much this honestly helps so much!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you! I feel like I may have to cut it down a bit more than that to fit it on the form, but that's p much on the nose! What I've requested is that if I am required to resit a module that it not be capped at 40% (I read the whole conditions booklet on ECs and it seems this is something that is possible).

    Thank you so much this honestly helps so much!
    I'd suggest you don't use my apparently random placement of comma's either! Good luck
 
 
 
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