Wow! First things first, that went quick. It seems like it was only yesterday when I moved into my student house and now I’m packing up and getting ready to go home for the summer, with an exciting trip planned at the end of July.
Thinking of it, it’s been such a good year, despite all the really bad things that have happened. I’ve grown a lot as a person and achieved things I never thought I could. I came into second year knowing it wouldn’t be hard, but not quite realising how much my health would affect me. Now maybe this was naïve of me, considering I’ve been ill since I was 10. But I’ve always for the most part been able to push through pain before. But pain, fatigue and all my other wonderful myriad of symptoms have been bought to a whole new level this year.
I knew it would be tough when after one day of freshers week (No I was not going round acting like a crazy fresher) I was left feeling dreadful. And everyone around me could tell, that façade I normally have, or atleast used to have that covered my illnesses from those around me slipped.
Even then, nothing prepared me for how hard. I was kinda of the perspective of well if I have do do it, it’ll be fine and it’ll get done to the standard I expect of myself.
Boy was I wrong.
Try prepping a seminar when your so fatigued that you can’t read the words on the page, let alone make any sense of them. It doesn’t work. It really doesn’t work. Everything just feels like working through this relentless fog. It’s a constant fight to try and gain some ounce of comprehension over what is going on. Or prepping a seminar when your in so much pain that you can’t even begin to think about anything else, but the excruciating pain that’s going on in whatever part of your body, and if your lucky, your entire body.
Not to mention going to lectures and trying to be an active member of various clubs and society’s. Eventually I had to give in and realise that I was way over doing it and it just wasn’t working.
This came after a 2 week migraine, when I realised things had to give. I had to stop being so involved in various clubs and society’s and just try to keep up with my committee responsibilities if possible. But even then, it seemed not to be. I started the year on two committees, and attending 2 other society’s, I’ve ended the year on one committee and barley attending that society.
It got to Christmas and I realised if I wanted my degree and I wanted to stand any chance of coming out with a 2:1 or a 1:1, that my degree had to be my absolute and No 1 priority. I’m gonna be honest, law has kinda become my life. Especially in the run up to exams. And although on the one hand it has been so bad for my mental health, to not have a life outside my degree. I have finally realised I love law.
Which sounds weird to say. Law degrees are notorious for their difficulty and intensity for anyone, but I do. I love law. Even the dreaded law of trusts has grown on me over the year.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had multiple breakdowns, a suicide attempt and I even started self harming again. It’s not all good. But if anything, it’s just made me stronger. Made me start to realise what’s important in life and also made me realise the No 1 thing that destroys my mental health is comparing myself to others. In any way, shape or form I can.
But despite the multiple lectures and seminar’s I’ve missed, I’ve done it. I’ve managed and honestly it feels amazing to have worked so hard for something. Especially when multiple tutors have told you to take a year out and you yourself have nearly dropped out on many occasions.
This year, I’ve learn’t more than just the never ending lists of cases and statutary provisions. I’ve learn’t that I am actually a capable Law student. Something I’ve never actually belived before and I still struggle. But my grades don’t lie. Last year I was only getting 2:2’s in my coursework because my priority was my extra-curriculers. This year I’ve got 2 1:1sts a 2:1 and a 2:2.
Even if I drastically messed up my exams, which considering if I had a CFS diagnosis I would have had extra time. The fact that I finished those exams in themselves is some sort of miracle. The last time in my life an exam was so painful was when I had a cyst rupture on my ovary during a GCSE chemistry exam.
And exams have never been as exhausting, never has it been so difficult to fight through that fog, because normally, any adrenaline will make up for it. It’s just a relief that I did it and I managed.
Now maybe I won’t feel the same when I get the results. Let’s face it I probably won’t because a lot of my perfectionistic mindset has come back since the first 1:1st. But right now, I’m happy. I’m happy because I’ve achieved things I never thought I would. I did my best. I might even go as far as saying I have done more than my best. I have pushed myself beyond so many limits, and I can truly say It has made me stronger.