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Leaves from College - March 10th 2012, 12:41 AM

I'm not sure if this is in the right section, so feel free to move it

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with taking multiple personal/medical leaves from college? I took a personal leave second semester freshman year due to depression and ednos. Worked really hard and I feel SO much better. I'm now a second semester sophomore. The problem is, I got Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in my right foot last semester. It's a weird explanation, but basically, it causes me severe constant pain in my right foot. I really want to go home for multiple reasons: comfort for the pain (family, animals), my doctors there, concentration issues with schoolwork, etc.

The problem is, I truly can't take a leave due to my future plans. I'm planning on applying to a great 2-year nursing program in my hometown next year (I was planning this since before the pain issues). If I take yet another leave, I think that would truly hurt my chances of being accepted.

Does anyone have any advice about what I should do? Or have experience with these issues?


God, grant the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know that difference.
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Re: Leaves from College - March 10th 2012, 12:55 AM

Hey there! That's tough, and I can understand why you're hesitating on taking a second break from school. I guess the question is whether or not the nursing school would hold it against you, regardless of your reason(s) for taking the breaks. Obviously, there's a difference between taking a break in order to deal with physical pain, versus taking a break because your grades sucked (and leaving was a way to cancel them out), because you were using illegal substances or got in trouble with the law, etc.

I haven't been in your position, but I have a friend who took a semester off due to depression (which affected her grades to the point where she was failing all her classes). She's now in graduate school, so clearly that one break didn't hurt her. Perhaps you could call the nursing school (not telling them your name) and ask to speak to an admissions officer, or better yet, the dean/president of the program you want to apply to. Explain your dilemma, and see if it would really be an issue for them. If they say it is, ask if there's a section in the application where you can explain why you took the breaks.

I think the nursing school's biggest concern will be whether or not this is going to happen while you're in their program. If they think there's a high chance you'll drop out (or fall behind to the point where you can't catch up), they may not want to accept you, because 1) they would be investing time into someone they don't think is going to make it, and 2) they would be rejecting someone else in favor of you, which may be seen as a gamble given your health issues. You'll have to assure them that you won't need to take a break, or you'll have to see if they're okay with students taking breaks in general (ex. maternity leave). If they don't allow students to take breaks, think long and hard about whether or not this is the time to apply for the program. Maybe it would be better to wait a year or two, when you've resolved all your health issues (physical and mental), then apply when you can assure the admissions panel that you won't be at risk for falling behind or dropping out.

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