The University Diaries: Fall down seven times, Stand up eight

Here we are again in the summer resits. I knew it was coming since I lost an entire semester to the emergence of bipolar disorder, but that doesn't make it any less crappy. There are multiple moments throughout the day when I wonder why I keep doing this to myself, but then the stubbornness kicks in and I remember why I wanted this degree in the first place. The trouble is, this time around I am finding it much more difficult to read, write and understand anything I am supposed to be doing. That's bipolar for you, or the medications I'm on... whichever. My brain isn't co-operating and it's the most frustrating thing. Nevertheless, we persevere. 

SamiWrites: Fall down seven times, stand up eight
image via Pixabay

I was meant to graduate this past week. Obviously, that didn't happen. I was invited back in March, paid the tickets, booked my gown, the family were making plans and booking time off work... it was all sorted. Then, last Friday I was talking with my mental health advisor and mentioned in passing how surprised I was to be invited as last year I wasn't and obviously I still wasn't finished... she was also confused and suggested I contact the Graduation office just to confirm everything. That's when it all collapsed. My invite was indeed a mistake and I was removed from the list months ago. Was I told? No. Did they happily take my money? Oh yes. Apparently, this didn't raise any red flags. Anyway, it's Friday afternoon and I'm meant to be graduating, or so I thought, the following Monday afternoon. I was furious. Not for me, but for everyone else that had booked time off work and were travelling halfway across the country to be there. That's the trouble with being the first to get a degree... it's a bit of a big deal to them. 

On top of that, I have an entire semester worth of work to resit. This means that not only is the word count going to be in the tens of thousands, but they're all capped at 40 so no matter how hard I work, it tanks my classification further down the toilet than it already is. This was my lowest point. I was convinced I'd wasted 4 years and £36,000 of tuition fees for what would most likely be a very weak 2:2 or even a 3rd. I cried and cried and cried. What was the point? No matter how hard I tried there was always something else ready and waiting to knock me back down. 

I submitted an appeal, purely for the sake of it and holding out absolutely no hope of a success. I've had way too much experience with this side of the university and had pretty much decided they're there to say no. A few days later, while editing my unfinished dissertation, I got an email that my appeal had been upheld! I couldn't believe it. I still can't and think I'm stuck in a dream half the time. I was given back something that depression will so readily rip away from you... Hope. I had the strength to fight again. 

Bipolar disorder is making it difficult but the 'carrot on the stick' is pushing me onwards and I'll keep fighting my way through until this is over and that degree is in my hands. 
Samantha Nicholls. Powered by Blogger.

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