Considering dropping my final year of BSc Physics

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 4 days ago
#1
I've noticed there are a handful of old threads of people looking for advice/opinions on their thoughts of dropping out of university. I have a bit of a similar situation of my own, heavily impacted by C-19.

About me: Studying Physics BSc @King's College London, I am in my 3rd (final) year of study and about to start the final semester. All my 3rd year exams have been postponed for the May period which are in-person. Since starting my 2nd year I've been actively dealing with mental health problems that have been getting worse and preventing me from performing well in my course. Since Dec 2020 I have been considering deferring/dropping out and pursuing some work and separating myself from Education for a while. I talked myself out of it then, arguing "I've come this far, it would be a waste to end it now". Now in 2022 I find myself having the same thoughts, doubting that argument as my health and life are rotting away. I am fairly confident that if I continued this year I would unlikely pass the course with an okay grade, if I pass at all.

I am looking for tips and advice on where I should go to talk and decide what to do, my local council therapy and university counselling don't seem promising and my Tutor has not been much help. I don't want to waste away what I've taken away from the degree, though I'm not exactly certain I want to continue studying anymore.

I plan on taking some time out to look after my health if I went ahead with this, and then get a job and just earn and live my life.
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artful_lounger
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#2
Report 4 days ago
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I'd suggest discussing with your personal tutor about potentially taking an interruption of studies for a year. This enables you to have some space from education for some time, but will allow you the right to return to your course.

However you should plan for how you are going to tackle the underlying issues in that year - as someone who did exactly this but did NOT address the root issues and they were just as prevalent when I went back to studying! So look into different kinds of therapy, counselling, etc, and discuss the options with your GP.

If you do decide after the time away from education you do need/want to withdraw from the course, then you can still do that (this is what I ended up doing, then returning to study after working for several years), but it also keeps the possibility of going back into the course without "losing" anything in the process.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 4 days ago
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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 3 days ago
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I'd suggest discussing with your personal tutor about potentially taking an interruption of studies for a year. This enables you to have some space from education for some time, but will allow you the right to return to your course.

However you should plan for how you are going to tackle the underlying issues in that year - as someone who did exactly this but did NOT address the root issues and they were just as prevalent when I went back to studying! So look into different kinds of therapy, counselling, etc, and discuss the options with your GP.

If you do decide after the time away from education you do need/want to withdraw from the course, then you can still do that (this is what I ended up doing, then returning to study after working for several years), but it also keeps the possibility of going back into the course without "losing" anything in the process.
Without a doubt the time I gain from not studying at University will be used to deal with my mental problems, I recently started some stress management therapy for my anxiety and depression but its not necessarily applicable/helpful at the moment. I will contact my PT to discuss what to do but from what I have heard and the type of help they've given in the past I fear they'll just tell me to finish the year. Especially considering that the university put some policies in place to 'mitigate the impact of the pandemic' which most likely will not apply if I returned to studies in the future.

My other worries is what employers will think when they see I dropped out of the degree, hopefully I'd have a chance to explain but it could massively affect me in the long run.
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artful_lounger
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Report 3 days ago
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Without a doubt the time I gain from not studying at University will be used to deal with my mental problems, I recently started some stress management therapy for my anxiety and depression but its not necessarily applicable/helpful at the moment. I will contact my PT to discuss what to do but from what I have heard and the type of help they've given in the past I fear they'll just tell me to finish the year. Especially considering that the university put some policies in place to 'mitigate the impact of the pandemic' which most likely will not apply if I returned to studies in the future.

My other worries is what employers will think when they see I dropped out of the degree, hopefully I'd have a chance to explain but it could massively affect me in the long run.
If you take an interruption of studies you aren't "dropping out of the degree", you're just taking a year out during the course - given that this is during covid I think you would only need to explain you had to take a year out due to the covid situation and they would understand. If you do subsequently leave the course that is another thing, of course.

If you have documented mental health matters then it's very unlikely they will even be able to deny you an interruption of studies if they wanted to under their obligation to make reasonable adjustments for conditions protected under the equality act. I would recommend you speak with your GP about getting a letter explaining (even fairly generally) that you do have bona fide mental health requirements which would benefit from an interruption of studies.

In an ideal world if you are able to return next year to your studies, assuming the pandemic is no longer a factor (this seems somewhat debatable though), then you wouldn't need those mitigating policies in practice for the final year, and they still would apply to the years you did study in the pandemic.
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