Suspending Medicine studies — anyone got any wisdom on the topic?Watch
Previously I have re-took Year 12 due to personal health reasons without realising how it would compromise my application to Medicine courses — a lot of universities don't like it when students have taken more than two years to complete their A-Levels. Now I am in a situation where I have a lot more pressures and stressors that unfortunately have impacted my performance in the last term. I still managed to pull a 69% average overall but I did slip into the low 50's and high 40's in a few of my assignments, all of which was a big handful to manage amongst everything else. I am considering taking a break to get back on my feet but I fear if there are any repercussions that I may have missed or have not considered?
I am due to meet with the student support soon to discuss this with them directly. I felt it might be worth trying to get an idea of things that I should ask about and consider in preparation for my meeting with them.
I’ve taken breaks from degree courses, including a healthcare course, and of course there are downsides. It’s a serious thing to do and I wouldn’t recommend anyone take that decision lightly. I took a break because I was literally contemplating having a small car accident to avoid going into a placement that was toxic for me. Course was going to kill me if I didn’t pull the emergency brake. It was scary and suddenly all your financial support is whipped away and you see all your friends galloping ahead without you. That’s quite a painful position to find yourself in and it does feel very abrupt. And getting back into it again does feel like putting on an old pair of shoes that someone else has been wearing in your absence. It isn’t just a case of stepping off and stepping back on again.
But I don’t think these are necessarily unknowns to you. But I think you need to be honest about what you’re trying to get away from. If you’re just putting problems on hold, they’re going to be waiting for you when you go back. Better to find a solution now or to use time off to find a solution to them than just avoid them for a year. If you’re genuinely at the point where you can’t carry on, you obviously need to take a break. If you think you’re in serious danger of derailing and you think better to take a break now while you still can, obviously that’s the right thing to do. But taking a break without exploring other potential solutions is a mistake. Everyone blips on their academics occasionally. That’s not necessarily a reason to take a whole year out. Are you sure that you need to grab the parachute while the plane might still be salvageable?
Without knowing more about your specific circumstances, I can’t advise more than that. You just have to do a bit of introspection and reflection. No one can tell you what to do.