Deferring your Studies

Deferring your Studies

Sometimes, life throws us a curveball. We perhaps didn’t plan for things to happen in the way that they did. But nevertheless here we are, faced with a very difficult decision. That’s what it feels like when you are suddenly having to consider taking time out of university.

I think there’s a fear that deferring your studies, for whatever reason, is a failing. The majority of people go to university and stick it out for the whole three years (or however long their course is). They probably don’t even consider having to take time out. However, that’s not the case for all of us.

I’ve been in this particular situation for a good few months. Due to poor health, I had to move back home from university early in the previous academic year. I managed to avoid deferring my studies completely (my uni agreed that I could finish the year from home). The plan was that over Summer I would work on improving my health and return in a much fitter state. However, I’ve been back a month now and am still rather unwell.

Yesterday, it was suggested to me that if my health doesn’t improve, I could be forced to defer my studies due to their ‘fitness to study’ policy. (Basically, if you are deemed too unwell, you have no other option than to take time out). This prospect of course terrifies me. If I’m no longer considered a student I don’t receive my loan, and if I don’t receive my loan I can’t pay my rent! Not only that, but the idea of deferring fills me with shame. I would feel a complete disappointment – not just to myself but my family too, and the friends that I’ve made here.

The subject of deferring your studies once you’ve begun your course isn’t something that is widely spoken about. However, I have no doubt that it’s a decision many students are faced with. That’s why I’ve decided to speak about it in today’s post – to let you know that if you too are (or have been) in this situation, you aren’t alone. You aren’t a failure. In fact, putting your health first despite the judgement of others is one of the bravest things you can do.

Thank you for reading,

-Lisa x

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  1. November 7, 2017 / 3:53 am

    I know that I’m a little late to the party, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve been there too (though my university had no ‘fitness to study’ policy, it was all up to me).

    A month into my second year, I had to make the decision to either defer the year or continue through and likely fail. It was the hardest decision for me because I’ve always loved and been good at school and I felt it all slipping away from me. Ultimately, I deferred.

    Unfortunately, I went back too soon and had to take time off again after failing some classes. I’m now on indefinite hiatus from schooling.

    I know it’s cheesy, but sometimes it takes more strength to admit that you’re not up to the task right now. You’ve got to take care of yourself and be healthy, and it can be super annoying to move back home or feel like you’re moving away from adulthood. Feel free to message me if you want to talk about it.

    Stay strong. xx

    • lisa.woodley
      November 8, 2017 / 5:17 pm

      Hello, thank you for your comment and support.💗

      It must’ve taken a lot of courage for you to make that decision and decide to put your health first, although the right decision nonetheless! I’m still just trying to push myself through, but I fear that if I don’t start making some positive progress in regards to my health soon, I will end up having to defer.

      One day at a time. 🙂 xx

  2. October 13, 2017 / 7:22 pm

    I’m in a similar place right now. I have to decide if going back to school will be harmful for my mental health or not. Thanks for sharing, now I don’t feel so alone!

    • lisa.woodley
      October 30, 2017 / 9:09 am

      Only you can decide what feels right for you, but your health is the most important thing. Choosing to defer should never be seen as a failure, and I’m glad that this post has made you feel less alone (because you certainly aren’t!). 🙂 x

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