Linda talks about her decision to take a temporary one
Withdrawal during her Masters.
I applied for a temporary resignation in April or May 2020.
There were many little reasons that banded together and made a big mess. I
questioned my intentions to do a Masters when my main motivation was to do so
Get an award to overwrite the 2: 1 I got for my student. I feared
I was unable to work, so applying for a job absolutely scared me. I didn’t do it
I really thought about which course to study, where and whether it is the right one
Time for me. I was very confused and tired. I’ve neglected my thoughts a lot
Health and ended terribly sleep deprived and depressed. Additionally in
January my partner and I broke up. I wanted to divide up my grief
and sadness in a week, but it seeped into the following months and most
Aspects of my life. My identity as a “good friend” has been withdrawn from me and
I’ve overcompensated by affirming my identity in other areas. I still collected
Another part time job, I spent more time being good friends, socializing, and
study and study and study. Nothing could fill that gaping hole and go with it
With all the obligations, I swayed marginally.
When the pandemic hit everything became infinitely more
stressful. I had spent months exercising, staying home, studying, and working
separate. My bedroom should be a safe space from the world, I could
not be productive there. In addition, my degree was postponed online and so did I.
couldn’t see my family or friends. My brain just couldn’t handle any of this
Changes. The straw that broke the camel’s back came with my last task; I
couldn’t finish it so I was granted a five day extension. I cried most of them
these five days. I was so tired and desperate. My last piece was barely one
On the first draft, I didn’t even have time to have my manager review it.
It hit me that I was under such pressure that it affected me
Academic achievement. With my lack of motivation, sleep deprivation and
Depression, I could see myself completely burned out and screwed up mine
Dissertation and Mental Health Continue. I had to stop.
Stop! It felt like a weakness. I saw my temporary retreat
as an admission that I was incompetent and unsuitable for a master. I was very concerned about how people would be
perceive me Some people were worried that I could not cope with a Master and
Now I had agreed with them.
Until June, I wasn’t in training or employment, which was one
first for me. Every day felt insignificant, wasted on walks
Drawing and listening to audio books. Instead of being an adult, I ignored
the massive looming debt due to my decision to take time off. I had shrunk mine
Student loan and had little means to pay rent for the next year. I needed
Money, but I couldn’t work. Occasionally I applied for a job
as another way to fill my day By doing
However, in the early stages of my temporary withdrawal in general, I experienced one
Eventually every day got easier. My best friend had this
Idea to start a joint art page on Instagram to share and draw our art
began to feel more focused. My girlfriend and I gave her little freebies
would make bookmarks and i would post cards and we would send them to friends as well
Family. At first it was fueled by boredom, but soon it created and broadcast
Postcards became very rewarding. I have connected with family, friends and friends
meet new people. People were grateful for my postcards; they were a
happy little thing in an otherwise gloomy situation. A friend and a local reverend
Anyone who owned a small business contacted me and offered small postcard commissions
and so my postcards went even further than I thought. Every day on
On my walks I would call my father and we would gossip about my siblings. I would
Venture further on each walk, exploring forests and admiring buildings and
Street art. This was especially exciting than a year earlier
An unfortunate injury had drastically reduced my mobility. In July I was
I worked for a local charity helping people who were struggling with isolation.
Life felt less difficult.
I am no longer ashamed of taking a momentary time
Retreat. I see now that I have nothing more to prove to people. I do not need
a master to show that I am good at research or an award to show that I am good at research
Clever. I am not weak or pathetic when I take a break when I need one. I did
Don’t waste my time drawing, socializing, and walking. I’ve had the time and
Space for reflection. Maybe I was not informed to go to my masters. I do, however
do not regret it. However, I am missing psychological research and will eventually
finish my masters.
Here are some of my drawings from Lockdown and my temporary one
Retreat. The bottom row shows five postcards. The middle three are the ones I do
was commissioned for
If you are feeling affected by any of the issues mentioned in this story, please visit Student Minds or Student Minds Blog for similar stories and assistance.
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I am linda I got a BSc in Psychology from the University of Warwick and am now doing an MSc in Psychological Research and work part-time for a charity that deals with adult isolation.