Friday, 31 October 2014

To go part time or not...

This question has been looming over me for several moths now.  I have recently had to decide whether to go part time this year or not, here is the decision process that I have been through, and ultimately the decision made.

I know that I am not (really) well enough to do my course.  My health declined in my firs year, and is likely to do the same this year and the next unless something changes.  This is not a sustainable pattern!

If I were to go part time it would make it much less likely for my grades to be effected by my health.  I don't want to look back on my degree knowing that I could have done better if I only I had given myself more time.  (I've spoken about the way that my grades affect my health here.)

Degrees cost a lot of money and take a lot of time, this is probably the final part of my education that I will ever do, I must do it right.

At the start of my second year I turned 22, most of my school friends have graduated in the summer just gone.  If I choose to go part time now it will make my degree five years long and I will be nearly 26 by the time I graduate.

When I was at 6th form college I was a part time student, which was fine for the first two years alongside my school friends.  Once they had left I stayed behind and started making friends with the newcomers who were two school years below me.  I really noticed the age difference and struggled to cope, I wasn't very happy at all.   I don't want to knowingly put myself through the same experience at university.

Recently I had an appointment with a student advisor at my university.  She told me that all students are funded for four years  by Student Finance, in case of a resit year or study abroad.  A fifth year of study is not automatically funded.  If I go part time on medical grounds I will have a good chance of getting funding, but can only apply a few months before starting my fifth year.  This means that if I go part time now, I won't know if I will be fully funded until three years time! The advisor also couldn't guarantee how much funding I would get if my request is accepted.  University fees would be halved for any years that I do part time, but accommodation and living costs etc would obviously be the same as normal.  This is a big risk to take.  I was advised very strongly towards doing a four year degree if at all possible.

May of my friends are taking a year out, so will be at university for a total of 4 years, meaning there will be plenty of people around that I know I'm my fourth year, but not my fifth.


You guessed it, I have decided to stick it out this year as a full time student (or at least close to that with some exams over the summer), and then go part time next year to make my degree programme a total of 4 years!


  1. This is such a difficult decision that you have had to make & you should be proud of the way you have thought through each of the potential issues to come to a well informed plan of action. I started out intending to do a full-time four year course. Because of my health I had to take a year out after my first year & then again after completing my second year. My third & fourth years, particularly my third, were extremely difficult & I had to fight my university with the help of my Drs to be allowed to continue onto my fourth year. If you want to talk about uni, or anything come to think of it, feel free to email me ( Xx

    Tania |

    1. I'm so sorry to hear that you had such a hard time. Luckily my university are really nice and supportive, and I have had a lot of people around me who have been able to support and advise me. A lot of the points I've mentioned were raised by other people ...I don't know what I would do if my university wasn't understanding!. Thank you for your comment. x

  2. I can't imagine how tough it is, and how tough this decision was! I've said this before and I will say it again but I have so much respect and admiration for any spoonie who is sticking at education, even if it is so so tough, I most certainly couldn't do it and I think those that do are amazing, part or full time! All the best with it all Jenny, you can do this!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Hayley! Yes I can do this! :)


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