Having to put your life on hold can be really frustrating, especially when everyone else seems to be moving forward. But remember that you never know what opportunities could open up to you. Just be sure to keep talking – you’ll find plenty of people wanting to support you through this.
Letting people know
If your consultant tells you it’s going to be difficult for you to attend school, college or university during treatment, someone will need to get in touch with them to ask for your place to be kept open until you are back from treatment. You don’t have to say when you’ll return, as this can be decided in the future when you know more about your treatment or feel better. They should be sympathetic to your situation and provide you with any support you need.
Student loans and tuition fees
You may have questions like, how do I sort out my student loan? Will it affect what I’m charged for student fees? Contact your student finance company to tell them about your situation. This will help minimise the amount you're charged for tuition fees if you can't continue with your course.
It's also important to speak to your disability services team to clarify whether your university regards you as 'suspending your studies' or 'withdrawing from education completely'.
If you're renting a place to live while at university but can no longer attend your course, try speaking to your landlord to see whether they'll cancel your contract because of your situation. The CLIC Sargent welfare advice service can give you advice on this. Go to housing for more information about organisations that can help.
Worrying about having to stay back a year, and possibly no longer studying with friends, is understandable. But even if this is the case for you, remember that you never know what opportunities could open up to you.
Make sure you talk to your young people’s community worker or social worker as they could help you find ways to keep engaged with education and your community life, even if you are unable to physically attend.
Updated January 2017, next review due December 2017.