Art foundation Uni application- be honest about anxiety issues or not?(13 Posts)
My daughter has decided she would like to make a late application to the local university to do an Art Foundation course. She has suffered from anxiety, particularly social anxiety and depression. This obviously affected her education and she left school after her AS levels, just continuing with her Art A level from home, whilst taking time to have some peace and get better. So, my question is, is it advisable to mention this on her application form or not? It is too late for interviews now, and it seems the Uni are just filling places from the application forms and photographed portfolios, so it may be that she doesn't need to explain, unless it may be beneficial to her in some way?
I'd mention it - they may be able to offer her extra help if she finds things getting too much for her (I'm not saying they will, but just in case).
Will she not need a reference from school or explain why she has continued her education at home? I think I would mention it because the course tutors should know about health issues. I really hope she enjoys the course and feels it helps.
Her school art teacher, who was the only staff member who was kind, supportive and had faith in my dd's ability, has offered to provide a reference. I have no idea if she will mention the self directed A2 year. Thinking about it, I imagine that she will have to.
I think you should as it shows resiliance and strength of character to pick yourself up, work on your own and start again. They would see gaps - so being on the front foot with a confident positive outcome story feel like the best approach - rather than you DD being asked difficult Qs at interview or not even being asked for interview.
I would just like to say 'good luck' to her. I'm 51 and doing the same course at my local 6th form and having a fantastic year (I'm doing it part-time, so still have another year to go). I have depression and although I didn't mention it at interview (I was going through a good spell), during the year I dipped, so had a quiet word with the tutor and they were fine about it. I think as your daughter continued working from home, it's probably best to be open from the start, especially if she will be living away from home as well. It means that they can provide any support she might need right from the start. If you look on The Student Room, there is a section there on mental health that might be of interest to you both.
For what it's worth, we agonised about this (also for anxiety) when my DD was filling in her UCAS form but in the end decided that full disclosure was the best course for a variety of reasons, and I am glad we did. It doesn't seem to have worked against her -- she received offers from everywhere she applied -- and it means she is already on the university radar in case she does need extra support or understanding. Also, from what others have said on MN, universities are a million times better at dealing with issues like anxiety and depression than schools. Good luck!
One other thing -- there seems to be a correlation between creativity and depression-anxiety, so I would imagine that Art departments would be particularly sympathetic and would be well used to students who are battling these issues.
I agree with boatashore. I think there does tend to be some correlation and so to be upfront would be best so any help necessary is accessed. Also, the arts, and their way of feeding back through crits can be stressful for some so, if she were to find herself in that position, she might want access to support so better to know who that is from the start. (She may well be used to crits already - not sure what A level is like on that score)
Is there medical evidence? A doctor's letter? Evidence from a consultant etc etc?
If so, then there is no problem in ticking the Disability/Circumstances box (or equivalent) on a UCAS form.
It's a bit trickier if there's no health professional's evidence ...
But if I read a teacher's reference with phrasing such as 'Despite severe anxiety problems" or "Despite chronic mental ill-health" or something like that, then I'd see that as evidence of resilience.
The point being I suppose
get to the point then that your DD will really need an outside, expert opinion/evidence for the disclosure to help.
I work in University student support so very familiar with the whole process. She should def disclose, the Uni cannot legally discriminate against on the grounds of her MH issues and they are also legally obliged to provide reasonable adjustments to ensure that she is not disadvantaged should she start the course, e.g. additional tuition, assisitve software to make studying at home easier, help with concentration issues or similar.
There is also a strong correlation between arts based courses and MH issues so I would imagine the uni is very familiar with the sorts of difficulties that may arise and have support processes in place and are unlikely to bat an eyelid.
Also worth contacting the student services dept of the uni when she applies too so they can talk her through it all.
Sorry to go on-feel free to pm me if you want any more info.
Betty - I can offer no help, but find myself in your shoes, DS has just dropped out of 6th form after a bout of depression and finding himself unable to do his art.
I'ts interesting to hear that your daughter has continued at home, we didn't think about that as a possibility.
I wish you daughter all the best and I hope she gets on to a foundation course.
It'scold- I have some friends who home educate so they advised me about liasing with a school ( for exam purposes and perhaps some guidance). My DD's old art tutor was helpful and they had some email contact. I also needed to pay the exam fees.
Sorry that your son is struggling too. It's not easy.
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