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Author Topic: I need help. Should I defer?  (Read 1384 times)

zpops

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I need help. Should I defer?
« on: June 14, 2004, 04:15:56 PM »
    I'm trying to make a very hard decision right now, and I was hoping you guys could give me some advice.  My mother is very sick right now.  She has had stage 4 colon cancer for over seven years, and is currently going through her fourth battle with it.  She's been in the hospital for the past three months, and while the chemo therapy is reducing her cea (cancer count) she isn't subjectivly better than she was three months ago.  I honestly don't know what will happen with her, and while I believe in my heart that she'll make it through this, I'm really not sure that she will. 
     I've been thinking about a lot of things lately, and it seems to me like I should defer school for a year.  When she comes home, my father will need help taking care of her, and I also want to make sure I can see her a lot, incase she does take a turn for the worse.  I'm still young, and I really don't think it matters if I graduate when I'm 25 or 26, so that's a non-issue.  The problem is that I've spent so much time thinking about law school that it really doesn't feel right to take the defferal.  But I know that if I don't take it and she doesn't make it, then I will regret my choice for the rest of my life.
     If I do defer, I'll use the time to see my mom, help care for her when she comes home, and to try and work off some of the stress from dealign with her illness during my last semester of ugrad.  I'll also be able to use the time to take a more hands on role with the computer security business I'm starting (which I will get a salary for), and to read all the 1L resources.  I'm really having a hard time here, and I think that if I do defer I should do it very soon, so and advice you guys can give would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.
         
 
                                                Josh
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Ladyday

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Re: I need help. Should I defer?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2004, 04:46:03 PM »
wow, I am really sorry to hear about your situation.  After reading what you have to say I would say take the deferral. this is based upon the fact that you've given several reason why you should and already would have a great plan at hand while you defer. the only think you've said against it is that it doesn't feel right---and by this I'm assuming you mean after all the planning? honestly I think that you've already got the worse part of this whole ls thing out of the way and I would hate for you (and I'm sure you're mom as well) to go to school but be distracted to the point where you lose everything that you've prepared so hard for. am I making sense? in any case I would advise take the deferral. and maybe even discuss this with both your parents to see how they feel about the situation.
either way I'll pray for the best.
Good luck

dta

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Re: I need help. Should I defer?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2004, 07:18:18 PM »
Will NYU definitely give you a deferral? I mean, have you already talked to them and explained your situation and they have said you can attend next year instead?

Ginatio

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Re: I need help. Should I defer?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2004, 07:32:50 PM »
I'd be surprised if NYU wasn't understanding enough to grant you the deferral... in which case I think you should take it.

If you don't take the deferral and worse comes to worse, like you said, you'll regret it for the rest of your life--even if nothing happens, you'll no doubt be distracted from your studies.

If you take the deferral and nothing happens, starting law school one year later will be no big loss.

nathanielmark

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Re: I need help. Should I defer?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2004, 07:36:27 PM »
do what your conscience tells you.  it might make it easier for you to go thru with school. sometimes work can make real life problems seem more manageable.  that may be a selfish way to look at it, but its true.  presumably, you wont be working full time so you would still have plenty of time to spend with your family.  you may regret it if you dont go to school, and that could lead to feelings of guilt and everything else.

if it were me i would still go.  i think your Mom would support you too.  surely you will be there for her regardless. 

but if your conscience is telling you otherwise, you better defer...  i would go with your gut feeling.

Findedeux

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Re: I need help. Should I defer?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2004, 09:32:30 PM »
 I think a relevant question is: how long are you prepared to be there for your mother? Normally, I would recommend that you stay with your mom since she is at stage 4, and that is generally considered a terminal period (5-year survival rate is 5%), but what if she has stage 4 for another 3 years or more? Will you be okay with putting off law school for that long? Have you talked with your mother about what she wants for you? I wouldn't assume you'll have plenty of time to spend with your family unless they live in NY too, and even then law school is law school. As for deferring because the ordeal would distract you from your studies, this would probably only be true only of your first year if you assume that she will pass away in the next year or so. If it were me I would stay if I thought she was going to die imminently, but in your mother's case that seems very hard to predict.

thinknpositive

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Re: I need help. Should I defer?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2004, 09:50:18 PM »
I think a relevant question is: how long are you prepared to be there for your mother? Normally, I would recommend that you stay with your mom since she is at stage 4, and that is generally considered a terminal period (5-year survival rate is 5%), but what if she has stage 4 for another 3 years or more? Will you be okay with putting off law school for that long? Have you talked with your mother about what she wants for you? I wouldn't assume you'll have plenty of time to spend with your family unless they live in NY too, and even then law school is law school. As for deferring because the ordeal would distract you from your studies, this would probably only be true only of your first year if you assume that she will pass away in the next year or so. If it were me I would stay if I thought she was going to die imminently, but in your mother's case that seems very hard to predict.

I agree, what if 1 year turns into 3?  Personally, I wouldn't be able to concentrate if my Mom was very Ill like yours.  I'd be wasting my time at law school.  You should do what you think is right. 

You should never assume anything when it comes to terminal illnesses.  You must always have hope. 

Discuss the idea(s) with your parent(s) and with your school.  Figure out all your options and then determine which one makes the most sense.  Sometimes things are just not meant to be. 

Personally, if I were in your position, I'd stay home to be with my Mom.   

zpops

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Re: I need help. Should I defer?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2004, 02:59:07 PM »
She doesn't just have stage four cancer (she's had stage four for over seven years).  Without going into details, she's very weak and her body is in very bad shape.  We have hope that she'll live, and that's the only reason she's continuing on like this, instead of discontinuing chemo therapy.  I know that she may continue on like this for 10 years, but it doesn't seem very likely.  I really think she'll get better, or take a turn for the worse, but I don't think she'll just stagnate where she is.  If she's still this sick next year than I will go to school, because I've worked hard to get where I am, and becuase I owe it to her to continue on with my life.  But right now I just don't feel like I can perform to the best of my abilities, and I also feel like I owe it to her and to myself to do the best I can in law school. 

     Thank you all for your advice and your support.

                                                                      Josh
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ebrumm

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Re: I need help. Should I defer?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2004, 09:31:32 AM »
I would do the same and I would defer if I were you. I was in a very similiar situation and I dont think you would do your best handling law school and your mother at the same time. Good luck to you and Im sorry you have to make such a hard decision

sunfloweruva

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Re: I need help. Should I defer?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2004, 09:58:55 AM »
You should definitely defer.  Law school will still be there, your mom may not.  One of my biggest regrets is not getting the chance to say the things to my father that I would have liked before he died. 

Even if you look at it from a selfish perspective, you will be harming yourself in the long run by not doing your absolute best while in law school.  You can't go back in time once it's over and re-do law school, and you can't re-live the missed opportunities with your mom.
"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happines. It is not self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."
~ Helen Keller