Returning after medical deferment
This year I was ready to return to my 3rd year at Warwick after a year out. The year before I spent some time in Coventry but nonetheless the transition back to teaching and exams was challenging at times. Here are some of my reflections.
Returning to university after a year out felt like I had a lot to live up to. I certainly felt a weight given my last year’s results to keep up my grades. I certainly felt rusty at the start, lacking confidence in my abilities and that did weigh on my mind throughout my first year back. Over time I learnt the importance of being kind to myself, my results may not represent my abilities from the year before. A lower result isn’t the end all and be all. Returning to Warwick at all was achievement enough, and I came to terms with that over the year.
Returning from a year out always has its challenges, I imagine it is particularly difficult during COVID times. Keeping a social life active is important any year, I think especially so when you’ve been out of university practise. Video calls, heading on walks and keeping communication going with friends who graduated was important to help me transition back into a more normal life. The year before had been difficult for me, finding small joys (even in a pandemic) was an important step to see me through the hours of studying.
Returning from a year of medical deferment is difficult because (fortunately for most) your new supports at university like housemates and society friends haven’t had to experience the transition you have to make. It means that sometimes it can feel like few understand your situation. I relied on my family and close friends throughout the year to discuss my thoughts and fears during my return. I also sought help through Warwick Wellbeing for additional support and submitted mitigating circumstances claims to make my department aware of the situation. Communication is key, people probably know less about your circumstances than you think. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t help if they did know. Even though sometimes I found it easier to pretend last year didn’t happen, accepting it and telling people who needed to know did work out in the end.
Nonetheless returning to University is an exciting time. The transition can be challenging but I found that I quickly felt like I never left. It can be intimidating to return to the activities you previously enjoyed but the sooner I returned to my societies the sooner I felt myself again!