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Medical Withdrawal and Reapplying to Graduate Schools

  1. Nov 27, 2012 #1
    Good Evening (depending on where you are) people of PF, I shall rant again about my life and you will have no choice but to read it and have an opinion.

    Anyway here's the deal: Following complications associated with an illness, I had to spend about 2 weeks in the hospital. Consequentially, I missed so much work that I decided to take a medical withdrawal from the university for this semester. While I was in the hospital, I was also thinking about where my life is going. I realized that I did not care that I was missing assignments and that I was not working on my classes. I also feel that taking this time will be essential to learning about my new self.
    With that said, one thing lead to another and now I am fully withdrawing from the school and will be reapplying to new programs. I am not even sure if this is the best course of action, but I know I must do something. As an engineer, if you enter the industry with just a bachelors you will be doing "bottom of the totem pole" work for the next 5 years. My experience with my internship and what I have heard from my friends is that the pay is VERY nice, but the work is not very satisfying. I feel that spending this time (5 years) on a PhD project that I love will be worth more in the long-term. That is to say, if I don't end up with a good PhD project (a project that I absolutely love), I plan on dropping my academic pursuits and going into industry.
    So one serious issue is acquiring letters of recommendation. Fortunately, my academic record has been cleared, so I do not have to provide a transcript. Unfortunately, one of the professors that wrote my letter of rec. from my old university had retired so I do not think I can get him to write me one. I also will not count on getting letters of rec from the school I was withdrawing from, given that my head was not in the right place all semester.
    There are also issues dealing with the unknown. My medication is changing my personality (for the better) and my experience in the hospital had made me really look hard at where my life is going and the importance of enjoying it. I guess I just want to life a fullfilling life, but I have no idea how to do that. Maybe that's because I want everything to be great.

    The story/drama continues.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2012 #2
  4. Nov 28, 2012 #3
    I really don't understand what your question is, perhaps you can be more specific. It sounds like you have already made up your mind about all this. If your question is how to have a fulfilling life, maybe you should post in the philosophy section.

    As far as your letters go, we don't know who you are going to be able to get them from. But as long as the people who wrote them before are still living and care about you, I don't see why they can't dig up their old letter and resend it provided you explain your situation to them. I mean, they aren't more than a couple years old right? So they should still remember you? That sounds like your best option to me.

    As far as withdrawing from your current university goes, it sounds like that is a done deal so I don't know what the issue is there.
  5. Nov 28, 2012 #4
    Yeah I kinda rambled on. Sorry about that. My main concern is how admissions committees will view a medical drop/
  6. Nov 29, 2012 #5

    I took a medical withdraw to go to rehab, sobered up and I'm back in school at a different university. They didn't ask any questions.

    SO. Dont worry about it. Go back after your break and get it in, get your degree, work
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