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Not attending university lectures/tutorials

33 replies

captainholt99 · 11/11/2019 16:37

Hi. I’m 22 so this really feels like my last shot at uni as I can’t get funding for more. I’m studying in a polytechnic uni in England so not like a Russell group etc, but still a good uni. Also I’m doing law and it’s my first year.

Basically I had a miscarriage at 18 weeks last year that I’ve found awful to cope with, and then last month had one at 7 weeks. I have endometriosis so we have been trying for a baby for 2 years on and off, and I was just going to take a year out of uni when it happened, but I’m finding it so hard to go. I feel really depressed and just detached from everything. I want to go but when I do I just can’t focus anyway and completely zone out into my thoughts.

Will I be kicked out of uni? Does anyone know how I can deal with this better? I’ve signed up for uni counselling but had gp counselling the first time and found it really unhelpful

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Digestive28 · 11/11/2019 16:41

Deal with the two separately- the depression is a health issue so speak to GP etc then poor attendance is something to speak to the uni about. Do you have a tutor or similar, keeping them informed about what is going on (and that you are taking action to address it) May mean they are more supportive


Digestive28 · 11/11/2019 16:42

Sorry for your losses x


PenCreed · 11/11/2019 16:42

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. Talk to your personal tutor. They'll need to know you're having problems so they can help you, and the sooner you can get that in place the better really. I know people who have taken years out to deal with mental health issues, then went back and got their degree so it is possible. Keep trying with the counselling, the uni ones may have a different approach that's more helpful for you.


bibliomania · 11/11/2019 16:43

Best thing is to check the university website for information about suspending studies/intercalating/intermitting (they call it different things). I'm a big believer that you should study at a time when you are really able to engage with it, and not waste the limited funding when it's not the right time for you. It sounds like a tough time, OP - it's honestly best to take a break now.


MrsTerryPratchett · 11/11/2019 16:44

Do you have a pastoral tutor? Someone who is supposed to help you with issues that come up? Or a Prof who you like?

I had some personal issues during my degree and one of the staff was fantastic. When I cried all over her in her office.


MissMatchedClaws · 11/11/2019 16:45

Let the uni know. Your personal tutor is the place to start. If you miss lots and they don’t know why, or start doing badly in assessments with no reason on file it’s far worse than if they knew that you had problems. It’s called extenuating circumstances where I work, your uni might have a different name for it. But life happens to students too, and if they know they can work with you . I hope they give you some support at what must be a horribly difficult time.


PrincessScarlett · 11/11/2019 16:47

Sorry for your losses.

First thing you need to do is speak to your personal tutor and put them in the picture. The uni are less likely to chuck you out if you are upfront with them about your problems. They will probably be able to help you with counselling and help you decide how to/whether to defer.


3ismylot · 11/11/2019 16:47

First off I am very sorry for your losses Flowers
Being 22 isn't your last shot at Uni by any means (I am 37 and just started my final year!) so do not feel pressured by the timing.
The best thing to do is speak to your tutors, do you have a course leader or Personal Academic Tutor? This is exactly what they are there for and they can better help guide you on whether you should try and push through, defer for a year or consider withdrawing.
I would see your GP regarding the counselling though as Uni waits are usually pretty high and may kick in too late. The worst thing you can do is bury your head and not turn up though.


MrsSpenserGregson · 11/11/2019 16:48

Sorry for what you've gone through, it sounds really hard.

Speaking as someone who did a law degree back in the Dark Ages I would agree with the poster above who says you really do need to do your studying at a time when you're able to engage with it. My degree required 60 hours of work per week (including lectures and tutorials). I suffered from depression during my final year, and even missing a couple of classes meant that I had to really struggle to catch up. It's not a degree that you can do unless your heart is really in it, so I'd also recommend suspending your studies for the time being.


captainholt99 · 11/11/2019 16:52

Thank you so much for all the advice and replies!! I do have a personal tutor but I just feel a bit awkward as I was meant to have my first meeting with him and didn’t go and was too embarrassed to explain why. Stupid in hindsight as now I feel uncomfortable talking to him since I’ve wasted his time 😕 I don’t really want to suspend my studies as i have spent the last 4 years working and saying I’m not ready, and I don’t want to go back to that life

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TheSecretJeven · 11/11/2019 16:56

I echo the advice to speak to your personal tutors and student services, plus your GP ASAP. Universities want people to do well so it's in their interests as much as yours to know about anything affecting your studies. Its never too late to study by the way!


TheSecretJeven · 11/11/2019 16:57

Just read your update. I'd suggest emailing your personal tutors, apologise sincerely for missing the meeting then explain what you've written here. See how that goes.


3ismylot · 11/11/2019 17:04

Honestly, your Tutor will not hold the missed meeting against you, it is their job to help students through hard times. It may be easier to put things in an email or written form to give them at a tutorial but please do reach out one way or another.


captainholt99 · 11/11/2019 17:07

Makes me so nervous to message about this :( what do you think I should write? I don’t really want to just email saying I’ve had miscarriages etc or even really that I’m trying for a baby as I don’t know what they’d react like to that? Should I just say my endometriosis has flared and I’m having difficulties with that?

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3ismylot · 11/11/2019 17:21

It is up to you how open you are about it all, but generally, the more they know the easier it is for them to help you.
If you are nervous about speaking to him, do you have a tutor you do feel comfortable with or a student service that you could approach instead?


captainholt99 · 11/11/2019 17:22

Think I might just go to counsellor first and start there. In other news I just got my first assignment back and got 82% 😭 hopefully that tells them I am still working hard when I’m at home

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Lettherebelight · 11/11/2019 17:26

Sorry for your loss. Your uni will have a unit called something like student support services and they should be able to help. You're also likely to have a lecturer in your department called something like student support / student experience coordinator. If you don't want to contact your academic tutor, these are people you can go to and, with your permissuon, they can let lecturers know you are having a tough time. And they can advise on procedures for any assessments you have missed. I'm surprised no-one has been in touch if you've missed a lot actually.


AnxietyDream · 11/11/2019 17:29

I agree you need to talk to them, and you won't be the first or last student having issues.

But, I do think studying and TTC at the same time is too much (sorry) and 'just take a year off' sounds really naïve about how having a kid will change things.


Grandmi · 11/11/2019 17:32

Oh bless you . Definitely speak to your tutor or student support department who will hopefully be supportive. Maybe take a year off uni and clear your head .X


captainholt99 · 11/11/2019 17:56

@AnxietyDream I know it seems like too much but my endometriosis has been a nightmare. Have been in and out with cysts on my ovaries bursting and going septic at times etc so I really feel anxious waiting :(

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SpoonBlender · 11/11/2019 17:59

Totally give you pastoral tutor a heads up, now you've got your 82% paper back you've got a great positive thing to include in to the conversation. "Things are going well academically as you see, but I'm having troubles attending due to (post miscarriage) depression. I'm getting counselling organised, but what else do I need to do with the department to make sure everything works out okay?"


SpoonBlender · 11/11/2019 18:00

Your depression is creating the anxiety that's preventing you communicating, if you can break through you'll find continued support much easier.


Wonkybanana · 11/11/2019 18:28

Uni lecturer here. Please be honest with your tutors, we can only help you properly if we really know what's going on.

Knowing what happens on my course - do you have a female lecturer you like and feel comfortable with who you feel you could speak to? Many of my colleagues are male, and no-one gets upset if a female student comes to talk to me rather than their designated male tutor if they feel it's too personal. Far better that someone knows rather than a student keeping quiet out of embarrassment.


BelgianWhistles · 11/11/2019 19:04

I was in a similar situation when I did my degree- suffering from depression and anxiety because of something that had happened the year before. Like you, I stopped going to lectures but was still achieving well academically.

The university did remove me from the course because of my attendance but I spoke to student services who were incredibly supportive. They agreed to let me suspend my studies and return the following year, and it was the best thing I ever did.

I know it’s scary but the university can only support you if you’re open with them. Visiting student services first might be the best option- they can help you look at your choices and support you in contacting your tutor to explain. Your high result is a really positive thing- it shows you’re still working and capable so you can draw on that as a plus when you contact people.


captainholt99 · 11/11/2019 23:21

How likely is it id get kicked off for bad attendance? So worried after reading that @BelgianWhistles 😖😖

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