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Illness - missing 3 weeks or taking a second gap year.(7 Posts)
My goddaughter has had a gap year, and started this year at university. She was at the university for 12 days before she had to take time out due to illness. She’s been out for two weeks now and is going to be out for at least another week, maybe two. She’s getting quite upset because it’s caused her to miss all sorts of things she wanted to do (trials for sport teams, applications for JCR committees etc plus first tutorials/seminars - she was only able to attend 7 hours of lectures before she fell ill). She’s also obviously missing a crucial social time.
However she also doesn’t want to do a second gap year, and is apprehensive about starting university two years older than some of her peers. She also didn’t love freshers week as she’s relatively introverted, but feels she did as well as she’s ever going to have done (managed to talk to a lot of people and establish a ‘group’) and doesn’t want to go through these first two tricky weeks again.
Essentially if she goes back her first term will have been a bit of a wipeout and she’ll just be catching up. But she really doesn’t like the idea of a second gap year and being 2 school years older when she starts. Has anyone any advice/reassurance about either of these situations? She’s really stressed about it all and it’s devastating to see
Is it something that has now got better and is unlikely to return? If so, my inclination would be to carry on, assuming that the university is happy for her to do so, academically speaking. Is hers a department which records lectures? If it were my DD in this position, I would assume that she would continue with this year, rather than find herself with eleven months to fill somehow.
What subject. If something like maths she might discuss with her tutor how to catch up. Humanities might be easier.
It’s humanities. About half of her lectures are recorded (joint honours and one of the departments has decided not to do lecture capture) but they’re all still emailing her the work/handouts for her tutorials, seminars and lectures, so she’s started catching up and plans on doing more in the next few weeks.
I think it’s not so much the academic as social side that she’s worried about - she feels increasingly dislocated from the other students and has missed all sorts of trials and applications that mean she’ll miss out on the activities for at least the first term, in some cases the whole year.
It’s looking like the earliest she’ll be back is just over four weeks after she left, with 5 weeks now being on the carda. The term itself is only 9 weeks long.
The health issue is less likely to return now she’s had surgery, but return is still a risk (so it’s not a definite recurring problem but she’s more at risk of the issue than someone who’s never had it, if that makes sense).
My DD missed about 4 weeks in the second term due to illness. She caught up and passed the year but not with the high mark she would have done. She had alot of support which we are all very grateful for. It depends if your God daughter will need this help and get it. My DD also had a gap year and had an established group of friends and didn't want to lose her friends or another year, but was advised that it would be better to redo the year especially if she didn't pass the end of year exams and not to try and resit. Her first exam grade does not contribute to her degree but can be used by potential employers when she might be looking for an internship so it is likely she may not be considered for these. Also another factor is how far away from uni are her family, can they go for the day? Can they pick her up, have her at home for a few days then take her back. We found being near really helpful. My DD also had to work incredibly hard to catch up which was very stressful as we were all aware that failing the first year would mean that she would have to retake.
Mamy unis have a Re-Freshers week in January so she can sign up again with sports and societies then. Are her hallmates aware of the situation? Tbh it would be worth sticking it out until Christmas now and reviewing. Is she able to return to hall yet and continue her recovery, being visible at least may help.
DS was hospitalised during freshers week and was very poorly to put it mildly. He didn't go back until the end of the first week in November. At one point we thought he might have to take a year out but the university was very supportive as were his hall mates who he had only met a few days before. They visited him every day and brought him in things he needed until he was moved to a large hospital miles away for surgery.
He settled back in socially during reading week and got down to work. He passed his first year without any difficulty. He did miss out on joining some of the clubs he had intended to join due to his surgery and recovery period meaning American Football and the like were no longer possible. He was very disappointed at having missed most of freshers week which he had been really looking forward to but was just happy to be able to return to university.
Based on the experience of DS I would advise her to carry on if she can particularly if she is prepared to put in the work. DS went on to share a house in the second year with a diverse group of people, some from his course and only one from his original hall flat so it's perfectly possible to build new social groups after a short early break. DS went on to do a year abroad and do a postgrad at Oxford so it didn't hold him back long term.
I do hope your god daughter remains well and has a great university experience.