August 8th, 2016: Understanding and Remembrance Day for Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
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CFS and applying to university- do i mention it?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by carvahlo, Dec 5, 2018.

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Should I mention CFS in my personal statement for uni application?

  1. yes

    8 vote(s)
    61.5%
  2. no

    5 vote(s)
    38.5%
  1. carvahlo

    carvahlo

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    I dropped out of university originally due to migraines, then I got cfs. My CV has got a big hole in it, and I have only worked during the holidays recently.

    They do ask if you have been to uni before so I feel I have got to explain that.

    So should I mention my CFS in it?
    Does saying you have cfs effect your chances of getting into uni?

    It is not a factor any more in my opinion. Stress could bring it back, but I see no reason why university would make it any worse.
     
  2. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    I don’t think it’s anybody’s business. If they ask if you’ve been to university before, tell the truth and say that you have, but the timing wasn’t right, or something like that.
     
    Shoshana and carvahlo like this.
  3. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    I don't know, but I would guess no.
    Uninformed people might come to incorrect assumptions and conclusions about it.
    My guess it to give as little of the possibly considered negatives, as possible,
    and as much of the possibly considered positives, as possible.

    It's an application, so I think you put your best foot forward.
    And not give any more on some topics, than what they need or specifically ask.
    SOme very simplified, yet truthful version, I would go for, not full disclosure of Everything .

    I am just guessing.

    But it is great to see you, @carvahlo !
    And to hear that you are better enough to give uni a try!
    I have thought of you, and wondered how you are doing.
    Good to see you, today, here!
     
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    I did two bachelor degrees at university with probable (mild) ME, and multiply diagnosed with CFS. It allowed me to get university assistance on accommodations on one or two occasions, and can be used more often than that - if you do not mention it you might not be able to get accommodations, which you might desperately need.

    You might also need to withdraw from individual subjects or study part time only. I suggest you plan to allow for this.
     
    Sandman00747, Lisa108 and Shoshana like this.
  5. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Very good points, I hadn’t thought of that. There are advantages to both telling and not telling.
     
    Shoshana and Starlight like this.
  6. Starlight

    Starlight Senior Member

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    Universities have options in place to help you if they have the information about your illness.. I cannot see them using it in any way against you. You would possibly be allowed to sit exams in small room with fewer students and even take rest breaks during exams. I know of one student for whom the college allowed a rest room with a bed which she could use during free time duri g the day. This was hugely important to her and enabled her to get her degree. There is a disability /illness officer in each college. Your illness goes a long way to explaining the hole in your CV. Ring or make appointment with the officer and find out how they can help you with application and your time at uni. I hope that it will all go well for you .
     
  7. DoggerFisher

    DoggerFisher Senior Member

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    I work for a university in the UK and I say absolutely YES. There is a section on the application where students can tick a box to say if they have a condition for which they might need assistance - this then goes to student support whose job, guess what, is to support students. YES YES YES..... YES!
     
  8. andyguitar

    andyguitar Senior Member

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    Yeah mention it. If you have a health prob the Uni is required to to take it into consideration and offer you assistance if you need it. Good luck. Dont work to hard.
     
    Sandman00747, Lisa108 and Shoshana like this.
  9. LaurelW

    LaurelW Senior Member

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    Universities have disability resource centers whose job it is to make accommodations for disabled students. I used their services when getting my degree and it really, really helped. I was able to sit exams at a quiet location and had more time to finish them. Also, my husband is a university professor, and he has described many things he has done to accommodate students.
     
    CreativeB, Lisa108, Shoshana and 2 others like this.
  10. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    I agree that those are all VERY good points.

    SO perhaps yes is the better answer to your question, @carvahlo
    And, you could also say that you have improved substantially, for the time being, and hope for that to continue, while you would like to further your education. ?
     
  11. rel8ted

    rel8ted Senior Member

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    Yes, a thousand times yes for the accommodations. My hub has chronic pain and a back injury. He is given extra testing time and extra time to complete assignments. If he were an on campus students, there would be some additional things he would need for getting around. He took some lower level classes at a college where they had free tutoring for students with learning disabilities/cognitive issues.
     
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  12. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    There is one con to telling, though. I will mention it here just so you have the many pros and the one con in mind.

    If ever you are looking for a job and one of the professors is involved in the hiring or giving recommendations (I suppose chances of that are slim), or if someone he knows asks for his opinion, or if a potential employer asks references from said professor, then he would probably talk about your accomodations and/or illness and if the company that’s hiring can’t or won’t provide those accomodations, then they might turn you down for an interview.

    My paranoïa factor is probably higher than most people, though...
     
  13. carvahlo

    carvahlo

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    Thanks, it is really good to hear someone who works in a university saying I should put it on. I guess my worry was they would look unfavourably at my application if I included it.
     
    DoggerFisher likes this.
  14. Haley

    Haley

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    NSW Australia
    I'm currently studying a bachelors degree part time. Like others have said, you can get accommodations with your studies if you are registered with the disability unit. I get extensions for assignments, and extra time and rest breaks during exams - these have helped a lot. The accommodations are tailored to your needs, so it will really depend on you identifying and asking for what you think you need.

    I have found the uni and lecturers to be really helpful - I haven't had any issues with accommodations in the 3 years I've been studying.
     
    DoggerFisher likes this.
  15. CreativeB

    CreativeB Senior Member

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    Scotland
    If agree with the yes voices. Educational establishments are set up to support people with additional needs and they should be tailored to your own specidic circumstances.

    I would expect any academic providing a reference to be professional. They should only be writing about your performance and attitude towards your studies. I know it may vary depending on country, but in the UK, I think disclosing personal, medical information would breach data protection regulations.

    When I provide references I focus on things like quality of work, ability to meet deadlines, ability to work as part of a team and what other characteristics relate to the role profile provided.

    If I was asked to write a reference where I felt it would be negative, I'd probably refuse - and have done in the past.

    Hope that helps
     
    andyguitar likes this.
  16. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    @CreativeB There are rules, and then there is the informal channels. I wasn’t talking about formal references, but rather i formal channels, No matter what country, people will always rely on them. But as I said, I am rather cautious myself, so taking my view with a grain of salt is the way to go.
     
  17. CreativeB

    CreativeB Senior Member

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    @Dechi you're right, there are informal channels and they are used. But we also pick who to put as a reference :)

    But what we need is employers and society generally to be more understanding :cool:
     
  18. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Here’s an example of a scenario I’m talking about, to illustrate what I think. I have just finished University and I apply for a nice job at a firm with good salary, company culture and vacation. After the interview, my potential employer looks at my cv and calls one of his good friends at the University I attended. This friend is not one of the contacts I mentioned but my future employers takes a chance.

    His best friend has heard about me, or has taught me, and tells him, not to be unkind, but just to be truthful, about my accomodations.

    The world is small...
     
  19. Sarahloudobby

    Sarahloudobby

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    I have always declared it when applying for any work (I work relief shifts at the moment zero hours contract) I know it’s not the same but if you’ve been honest from the start then if you need help later for any reason you’re in a better position. Good luck with your application @carvahlo
     
    CreativeB likes this.

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