The Student Room Group

Going to university while a parent has cancer

Hello! I guess I just need some advice.
Unfortunately, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. I applied to uni knowing that he was ill and at his encouragement for September this year. I've received an offer for natural sciences from both Lancaster and UCL. UCL is around an hour and a half away from my house while Lancaster is around 5 hours away. I'd be living in uni accommodation for both unis because of personal circumstances.
I prefer Lancaster but I hate the idea of being stuck so far away if something happened at home, it's only me and my mum in the UK at the moment. My brother and sister are living abroad. I know going to UCL is the obvious thing to do, I guess I just want some reassurance that I should go to a uni closer to home.
Reply 1
I'm really sorry to hear about this situation and am wishing your family the best. In regards to this situation it's still definitely worth going to University, especially because your dad recognises how important this is for you and you have worked hard to get these good offers. Deep down it really depends on what you want, though it sounds to me that UCL would be the better choice, as you would be able to see your family more often and it would make travel between visits a lot easier and less costly. At the end of the day it really depends on what you truly want and need, based off your post it sounds like UCL would be the best choice - Good Luck with everything :smile:
Reply 2
Original post by Bean_cat
I'm really sorry to hear about this situation and am wishing your family the best. In regards to this situation it's still definitely worth going to University, especially because your dad recognises how important this is for you and you have worked hard to get these good offers. Deep down it really depends on what you want, though it sounds to me that UCL would be the better choice, as you would be able to see your family more often and it would make travel between visits a lot easier and less costly. At the end of the day it really depends on what you truly want and need, based off your post it sounds like UCL would be the best choice - Good Luck with everything :smile:
Thank you so much for your kind reply! It means a lot to me. It helps a lot to have another person share their perspective on the situation. I don't doubt my choice nearly as much now. Thank you so much again and I hope you have an amazing Ramadan/Month!
Original post by Anonymous #1
Hello! I guess I just need some advice.
Unfortunately, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. I applied to uni knowing that he was ill and at his encouragement for September this year. I've received an offer for natural sciences from both Lancaster and UCL. UCL is around an hour and a half away from my house while Lancaster is around 5 hours away. I'd be living in uni accommodation for both unis because of personal circumstances.
I prefer Lancaster but I hate the idea of being stuck so far away if something happened at home, it's only me and my mum in the UK at the moment. My brother and sister are living abroad. I know going to UCL is the obvious thing to do, I guess I just want some reassurance that I should go to a uni closer to home.
Hi there!

Congratulations on getting both offers and sorry to hear about your situation. While both universities are great and offer a wonderful programme in Natural Sciences, I think it is also important to consider other factors, which is what you have done.

UCL is closer to your hometown so it would be great to go home in an emergency and also just to visit and see your dad now and then. I think it is also important as you are going through a difficult time to have an appropriate support system around you. I know Lancaster has great mental health and wellbeing support facilities, as well as taking into consideration mitigating factors if you are having issues focusing on your degree.

However, I do think there is no support system as good as your family and friends, so if going to UCL would put your mind at ease the most I say go for it.

Best wishes,
Lancaster Student Ambassador,
Glory.
Original post by Anonymous #1
Hello! I guess I just need some advice.
Unfortunately, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. I applied to uni knowing that he was ill and at his encouragement for September this year. I've received an offer for natural sciences from both Lancaster and UCL. UCL is around an hour and a half away from my house while Lancaster is around 5 hours away. I'd be living in uni accommodation for both unis because of personal circumstances.
I prefer Lancaster but I hate the idea of being stuck so far away if something happened at home, it's only me and my mum in the UK at the moment. My brother and sister are living abroad. I know going to UCL is the obvious thing to do, I guess I just want some reassurance that I should go to a uni closer to home.

Speaking as a parent, if I was unfortunate enough to be in the same place as your Dad (and I’m sorry to hear his news) I would not want either of my children to compromise on their choice of university because of any illness I had. There’s little difference in five hours or one hour and in any event you cannot change any outcome of your father’s illness.
Go to Lancaster if that is your preferred choice.
Original post by Anonymous #1
Hello! I guess I just need some advice.
Unfortunately, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. I applied to uni knowing that he was ill and at his encouragement for September this year. I've received an offer for natural sciences from both Lancaster and UCL. UCL is around an hour and a half away from my house while Lancaster is around 5 hours away. I'd be living in uni accommodation for both unis because of personal circumstances.
I prefer Lancaster but I hate the idea of being stuck so far away if something happened at home, it's only me and my mum in the UK at the moment. My brother and sister are living abroad. I know going to UCL is the obvious thing to do, I guess I just want some reassurance that I should go to a uni closer to home.

Really sorry to hear about your dad. Having lost my mum recently, I can give you my perspective.
I was able to get to the hospital and say goodbye, but my brother was stuck on a train delayed by a rail strike and bus replacement service. Afterwards, having my family and friends nearby really helped. Grief can be really, really hard, especially for the first year.
This is actually a really big decision for you and going to uni is an important part of life. I would think about how I’d best be able to cope with an end of life situation, which is likely to happen quickly with Stage 4 kidney cancer, and support I’d need or want to be able to give afterwards.
You’re not just going to skip off to Lancaster without a care in the world; this stuff is life changing.
Really wishing you the best.
Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador
Hi there!
Congratulations on getting both offers and sorry to hear about your situation. While both universities are great and offer a wonderful programme in Natural Sciences, I think it is also important to consider other factors, which is what you have done.
UCL is closer to your hometown so it would be great to go home in an emergency and also just to visit and see your dad now and then. I think it is also important as you are going through a difficult time to have an appropriate support system around you. I know Lancaster has great mental health and wellbeing support facilities, as well as taking into consideration mitigating factors if you are having issues focusing on your degree.
However, I do think there is no support system as good as your family and friends, so if going to UCL would put your mind at ease the most I say go for it.
Best wishes,
Lancaster Student Ambassador,
Glory.

100% agree with this very sensible advice.
(edited 1 month ago)

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