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,