CFS and applying to university- do i mention it?

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

  • yes

    Votes: 10 66.7%
  • no

    Votes: 5 33.3%

  • Total voters
    15
Messages
40
Likes
38
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.
 

Dechi

Senior Member
Messages
1,268
Likes
2,452
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

Northern USA
Messages
4,522
Likes
13,844
Location
Northern USA
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!
 

alex3619

Senior Member
Messages
13,795
Likes
37,497
Location
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.
 

Dechi

Senior Member
Messages
1,268
Likes
2,452
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.
Very good points, I hadn’t thought of that. There are advantages to both telling and not telling.
 

Starlight

Senior Member
Messages
151
Likes
753
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 .
 

DoggerFisher

Senior Member
Messages
152
Likes
394
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!
 

LaurelW

Senior Member
Messages
615
Likes
239
Location
Utah
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.
 

Shoshana

Northern USA
Messages
4,522
Likes
13,844
Location
Northern USA
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. ?
 

rel8ted

Senior Member
Messages
224
Likes
632
Location
VA
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.
 

Dechi

Senior Member
Messages
1,268
Likes
2,452
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...
 
Messages
40
Likes
38
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!
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.
 
Messages
76
Likes
219
Location
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.
 

CreativeB

Senior Member
Messages
445
Likes
1,310
Location
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.

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
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
 

Dechi

Senior Member
Messages
1,268
Likes
2,452
@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.
 

CreativeB

Senior Member
Messages
445
Likes
1,310
Location
Scotland
@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:
 

Dechi

Senior Member
Messages
1,268
Likes
2,452
@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:
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...
 
Messages
55
Likes
134
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
 
Messages
8
Likes
28
Location
Melbourne
Does saying you have cfs effect your chances of getting into uni?
From experience at 4 universities here in Australia, they don't discriminate on applications. Any extra information your provide will only support your application. Also, application forms often have asked if I may require support when studying (this helps the uni plan budgets for support services/equity support programs).
Additionally, I've also found that applying for special consideration as soon as you're accepted into a course to be the best step, as well as being open and upfront with lecturers/tutors (made it much easier for me to get extensions while I was studying)