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Old 17-09-2008, 06:00 PM   #1
Ratatouille strychnine
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No longer need some advice (a bit long) Updated again (happy update)

This post is a bit doom and gloom but I'm not really looking for support as I've already asked for enough of that lately. I was just wondering if anyone had some practical advice.

A year or so ago, I started university studying Mechanical Engineering. I had a job for the university holidays that paid a good wage and they were sponsoring me through university with a guaranteed job on graduation.

However, a combination of depression and Robertness has led to me failing three modules in my first year and so failing the year. I had an opportunity to retake those modules but although officially I haven't received my results yet, I know with 100% certainty that I failed those resits. I therefore will not be able to go into the second year at the end of the month. I looked into the possibility of me retaking the whole first year but that wasn't possible and I looked into changing to a similar course but the lateness of my application and my crap grades from my existing course has led that to be another dead end. The result of all this is that I will not be going back to university at the end of the month.

However, the company I am working for still assumes that although not guaranteed, I will be continuing my course at the end of the month. One of the conditions of my sponsorship was that I graduate with a Masters degree. Seeing as I will have dropped out after failing the first year of the lower Bachelors course, it is pretty much guaranteed that that sponsorship will now cease. In addition, they are unlikely to want to keep on someone who currently does not have the qualifications to do the job and on from their perspective has no prospect of getting those qualifiactions. I therefore am pretty much certainly going to lose my job - especially as I am currently on a final written warning for unrelated disciplinary matters concerning my timekeeping etc.

Where this leaves me is essentially without a job and so without any income and without a university course to go to.

Unfortunately, while I had my job and was on my course, through a combination of my wages and student loans I was fairly comfortable financially and have splashed on a few luxuries including a total of around 1,300 for the computer I built myself. This has left me around 1300 overdrawn and with a fairly sizable balance on my credit card. This wouldn't have been a problem as a combination of my wages, student loans and my girlfriend paying me back would have erased those debts and left me comfortably in the black.

However, as I effectively no longer have a job and will no longer be receiving student loans, that leaves me in a bit of a financial pickle. And just to add a pit of spice to that pickle, I will also need to pay back the 1,000 sponsorship the company had given me in addition to my wages. I therefore owe around 2,500 and have unavoidable monthly outgoings of approaching 400 and after this month have no income to pay it off.

Updated
So that's the financial side of things but there is also the small matter of what I need to do now. The obvious and the only real solution is for me to get a job and in the short term just find anywhere that'll pay me anything because some money is better than none. The question is where to look for work. On the assumption that I would have been in Loughborough at the end of the month I have a room that I'm renting at 260 a month and I am contracted to keep paying 260 a month until June next year unless I can find someone else to take the room off me. My girlfriend will be going to university at Leicester which is close by. My thoughts were that as I'm paying for the room regardless, I may as well move into it, be close to my girlfriend, be close to my friends I made this last year and be able to live on my own and have my independence and privacy. The downside of doing that is that I would have to pay for food, toiletries, etc. that my parents cover while I'm living at home. Also, my home town is larger than Loughborough and does not have a university. I am therefore probably more likely to find work if I stay home. Staying home would leave me some distance away from my girlfriend and after living about 200 miles away from each other for the last two years, the one thing getting her through when things were tough was the knowledge that come the end of this month we'd be together.

In the immediate short term, I also need to tell my parents and work of my predicament. Telling my parents isn't much of an issue. It won't be easy but it's just a case of biting the bullet and doing it. telling work will be more tricky, though. My boss is now on holiday until after I was due back at holiday. He was the only one at work I'd told of my depression and I don't know how much anyone else knows of my struggles at university. I don't know who is best to tell or how to tell them. My results are due on Friday and so they will need to be told then or maybe on the following Monday.

Longer term, though is it best for me to simply work for a year and then try and reapply to uni next year or should I try and find a job longer term and forget about university. I thought I knew what i wanted to do with my life as it was all planned out so well with work but now that has gone up in smoke, I don't know if I should go back down that road. I think I want to but it's an expensive gamble. If I do, it would be best for me to stay in loughborough, though as I'd be closer to the university and could read up on the course to give me better preparation for if I did apply again. Having said that, if I got a place and messed it up, do I stand any chance of the same university letting me back onto the same course two years later? My life had looked so clear cut but the route ahead has become rather less obvious.


Last edited by Ratatouille strychnine : 24-09-2008 at 09:21 PM.




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Old 17-09-2008, 06:25 PM   #2
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Robert, first off, this needn't be the end of the world by any means. Credit card debts and overdrafts are managable; how much is on your credit card? You should be able to get away with paying a minimum amount (usually around 2%) and on the overdraft, that can essentially sit quietly on it's own whilst you pay it off gently. It is worth talking to your company about what's going to happen; is the 1000 you owe, additional to your credit card and overdraft? If so, then speak to CAB and they can put you in touch with a debt counsellor.

Can you stay at home in the mean time? Once you've officially left university - if it comes to that (it would be worthwhile talking to the university) - you can claim benefits if need be, considering what you've said about your depression, you may be eligible for Incapacity Benefit whilst you find your feet.

x



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Old 17-09-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
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hey,

Im sorry things have been tough for you, but this isnt the end of the world, the post above gives some great advice, i think you need to get some things clarified, like exam results and such, if you have failed these resits, can you take them again? is there the possibility of having a year out to pass these exams and sort out your mental health, if the company are already sponsoring you they may be willing to keep you on for a year and get you some more practical experience.

you dont mention it, but is this still what you want to study? cos if it is then you should do everything you can to fight for another chance at this oppertunity, however if its not, i suggest you drop out get a job doing something you love... thats not to stressful and spend a year or so thinking about what you want out of life

hope this helps
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Old 17-09-2008, 07:53 PM   #4
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Could you go to Uni part time?



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Old 17-09-2008, 09:10 PM   #5
Ratatouille strychnine
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Le Almighty Kitten: Thank you for your lovely and helpful reply. I currently only (only) have about 250 on my credit card but that will only go up as I can't afford to go much more into my overdraft. I have 1,500 interest free overdraft and I'd rather not go over that and pay interest unless I have to. I was going to discuss the 1,000 I owe the company but part of me is wondering that if I don't mention it and it takes them a while for them to remember, it's a while I have to not have to pay it off. I was going to talk to the student advice centre at my university but CAB would probably be a good step too, though. Thank you.

I have depression but I don't think it's enough to prevent me from working and I couldn't just stay at home and collect benefits. I got myself into this mess and I don't want to just sit on my arse and let taxpayers bail me out.

S_pod: The resits were pretty much my last chance. I've looked into the possibility of me resitting them again but I don't think it's that possible and I also don't think I physically know or understand the stuff well enough. I think I need to just redo the year including all the lectures and everything.

I think this is what I want to be doing. At least i can't think of anything I want to be doing more.

~Aidey~: I haven't looked in much detail but I'm not sure I can do this course part time - at least not at this university. I will enquire more, though.





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Old 17-09-2008, 09:17 PM   #6
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I was just wondering because maybe a lower course load would allow you to better, and if you were a part time student you may still be able to sort something out with the firm, and you may be able to work part time to pay off your debts.

Going part time would allow you to stay in Uni without dropping out totally. I know a lot of people have a hard time going back to school full time when they've stopped going all together, so maybe going part time will be a happy medium.



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The beauty in life, where's it gone?
And somebody told me you were doing okay,
Somehow I guess they were wrong.




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Old 20-09-2008, 12:10 PM   #7
Ratatouille strychnine
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I think studying part time could help quite a lot. I'm not sure how feasible it is, though. I'll look into it.





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Old 20-09-2008, 02:13 PM   #8
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How's it all going rob? Anything happened? xx






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Old 20-09-2008, 05:06 PM   #9
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Ooo, Loughborough...

1. Have you gotten a Disabled Students Assessment?

This will give you help with studying, access to studying, support from extra cousellors/staff related to studying, access to technology for studying, and all sorts of shiny things. If you have a diagnosis from a dr (which I assume you do) wander over to the disability access centre in Loughborough uni, and see what they say.

Address is

Disabilities and Additional Needs
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

Tel: 01509 222 770


And I think you need to speak to James Kirby.

2. Have you applied for Disability Living Allowance?

This pretty much only gives you money. But money is good. It is not means tested. It is a long form. See your local benefits office/job centre plus.

3. Housing benefit.

Apply for DLA first, then see what happens.

4. Working tax credit.

If you work 16 hours per week and are disabled (see DLA claim) you can get working tax credit. There are also lots of other criteria which means you might/might not qualify, again see your local job centre plus/look at the website.

The big one is point 1 though, as you might be able to resit the year due to health/disability reasons, if you then get the proper support you need. You can argue you only failed becuase you didn't have the right support, and the uni are obligated to provide the support to aid disabled access to education.

*smiles*

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Old 22-09-2008, 12:20 AM   #10
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I haven't had a disabled student's assessment but I have used DANS for help with an impaired performance form for my first lot of exams. I spoke to Dan Doran but I could try James Kirby too.

Do I qualify for things like housing benefit when I'm living somewhere of my own choice and could still live at home for free (albeit paying out the same rent each month on a room I wouldn't be using)

I'll look into working tax credit.

All of the above relies on a diagnosis of depression as a disability qualifying me to receive the above. I didn't think that would be the case, especially for me.

I have an appointment at half 4 on Tuesday to talk to someone about what options I have concerning reapplying to repeat next year so I'll see how that goes.

I told my parents of my intention to move to Loughborough even if I don't pass so all I need to do is tell them that I definitely haven't. telling work is probably the most immediate hurdle but i don't know who best to tell as my manager isn't back until next Monday when they're expecting me to be back at uni anyway and no one else even knows I had to do retakes - they are all expecting me to be back at uni next Monday.





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Old 24-09-2008, 09:29 PM   #11
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Updated again:

I spoke to my course administrator and i will be able to retake the three modules I failed and I will be able to start back on Monday and attend lectures etc. In those three modules. Even better, my marks will not be capped at 40% and better still I haven't lost my job. They are keeping me on and will continue to pay me monthly albeit a reduced amount as they are not sponsoring me again for this year. Therefore, I am monetarily okay as I will be receiving a monthly salary and lots of student loans etc. It is the best outcome I could have hoped for.





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Old 24-09-2008, 09:43 PM   #12
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I've only just read all this, but I'm pleased you got the best results from this scenario. Uni is a tough one at the best of times, but when you start to suffer and/or fall behind it can be like a vicious cycle.

Really glad to read your last post, it looks like you and the girlfriend will be together in the end. I do love a happy ending!!

Iz x



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Old 24-09-2008, 10:33 PM   #13
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hey, that's ace! seeee things always turn out okay :)



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Old 24-09-2008, 10:36 PM   #14
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It sounds like it's all worked out ok then Rob.

I would suggest making up a budget though, and making sure that you are financially ok without using your overdraft or credit or anything and maybe saving a bit.



Well it breaks my heart to see you this way,
The beauty in life, where's it gone?
And somebody told me you were doing okay,
Somehow I guess they were wrong.




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Old 25-09-2008, 10:57 PM   #15
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*big smiles*

I like it when things work out :)



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Old 25-09-2008, 11:00 PM   #16
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That's great news rob! Glad you managed to get it all sorted xx






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