I Did It. *faints*

fainting with shockI check my emails most mornings while I wait for the kettle to boil.

Nestled among the offers to give me £100,000 if only I hand over my bank details to a very polite and sincere gentleman in The Gambia, lay the email I had been waiting for.

‘Degree classification notice – please accept and confirm’.

My finger hovered over the email. The moment of truth, the culmination of six years study. I took a deep breath and clicked.

Then I laughed. And hiccuped. Rushing to the printer to see actual proof before the email magically disappeared, I did a high five (ok, a very low two, but you know what I mean).

I am now the proud owner of a Bachelor of Science degree (with Honours, yay). An upper Second Class. A 2:1. Still can’t believe it. Thinking about it, I have studied for the last 10 years out of 11, my first qualification being a degree equivalent in Homeopathy (long story). My Glaswegian auntie, on seeing the letters I was eligible to use for that course (RSHom), said, ‘oh dear, if you say that out loud with a Scottish accent, it sounds a wee bit rude, doesn’t it?).

Well, now I’m a Bachelor(ette), which is rather fitting, given my present singledom. I’m supposed to attend a graduation ceremony next May, donning a cap and gown and walking up to a stage to accept a bit of paper tied nicely with a ribbon. I’ll sign up, but the logistics of doing this in front of hundreds of people will be left for another time.

It sounds weird, but this achievement is the positive culmination of a terrible couple of years. The last two years of the degree were excruciating. My brain died a slow death, slinking out of the room without a backwards glance or apology. I struggled with every single aspect of the course. I came so, so close to giving it all up. What was once fairly easy for me (I’m an unabashed girly swot), became unintelligible nonsense. Essays were torture. In tutorials, I sat with a slightly astonished look on my face.

But I didn’t give up and I’m proud of myself. I didn’t give up during the diagnostic process, during the legal proceedings against my ex-employer who sacked me for the heinous crime of having MS, during two lots of Campath treatment and their after effects. I did it. I actually did it.

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38 thoughts on “I Did It. *faints*

  1. Carol says:

    HUGE congratulations, fantastic news 🙂 I love reading your blog, I also have RRMS and your blog brings much needed comfort. I didn’t finish my degree due to my MS although I didn’t know that at the time & that is one of my biggest regrets but fatigue & concentration problems scare me at the thought of even attempting it again!! Please keep blogging though 🙂 xx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      That’s so kind, thank you!
      But sorry to hear about your degree. Honestly, I struggled. Without the help of the OU, the MS nurses and my mum bigging me up when times got hard, I would have jacked it in two years ago. I had already written my withdrawal letter.
      I’m still blogging – got too much to say for myself, lol.

  2. Jan Jordyn says:

    Many, many congrats, B – fabulous news indeed!

    In fact, I’d go as far as to say that 2013 has been a pretty darn good year for you achievement-wise – and an even better 2014 on the way I shouldn’t wonder!

    Love Jan x

  3. Samantha Thompson says:

    Woohoo congratulations!! (doing a little jiggy dance in your honour) 🙂

    Sam xx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you my dear!
      I’ve been jiggling since I found out yesterday. The Teenager is getting slightly worried embarrassed. Bless him.

  4. chris ratcliffe says:

    Congratulations! As the “tongue-tied…never know what to say “sister of the very talented and beautiful Babs Short.Well Done ! Whenever I read your blog its as if She is speaking,sometimes its like youre the two who should be related.I only wish I had youre talent for telling it how it is. Chris x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi there Chris!
      Such a lovely thing to say! Babs is wonderful – a kindred spirit and bizarrely, we have an awful lot in common.

  5. Tony Cardis says:

    Congratulations an inspiration to us all x

  6. kt says:

    Many congratulations!!

    Although I was diagnosed with benign ms in 2010 it hasn’t really hit me until this year when pneumonia triggered a nasty relapse. Your blog makes me realise that life does carry on and your new degree (!) emphasises that I will resume my teacher training course…I just need to get over this blooming relapse first!!

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hey, that’s great news!!! Honestly, it was tough, no denying, but fighting through relapses, treatments, etc, made it so worthwhile.
      Always great to hear good MS news!

  7. Sally says:

    Woo hoo! Many congrats. Stumbling BSc (Hons). Has a nice ring to it. Reckon now would be a good time to ask for a pay rise. No?

  8. Julie says:

    Congratulations. x

  9. Sam says:

    Huge congratulations . As my neurologist says “MS has a hard job to bring down the brains of those who keep using them.”

  10. Honeysuckle says:

    What an outstanding and brilliant achievement! This would be true for anyone awarded a 2:1, let alone for somebody who has had to navigate such inhospitable waters. But you’ve sailed through it all: smiling, blogging and succeeding.

    Well done.You’re an inspiration.


    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you!
      Such a lovely comment. It’s been a tough old road, and I’m chuffed beyond belief! It was the best classification I could have hoped for. It all payed off in the end! Even the tears were worth it.

  11. Tricia says:

    WELL. DONE. YOU. X x x

  12. Angela says:

    Huge congratulations …. Well earned :))))))

  13. Ellen says:

    Wow! Huge, huge congratulations! What an outstanding achievement for anyone, but I personally cannot begin to fathom how you got through it in the circumstances. I’m so elated for you! You are amazing! (And a very fine writer, which is obvious from the blog. Not saying that to be nice.) I hope you’re still beaming with pride. You deserve it.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hey Ellen,
      Got a big head now, lol. Thank you so much!
      I’ve still got a silly grin on my face. Better than the astonished one I used to have during tutorials!! So glad that’s all over.
      I had to stop myself from looking at the Postgraduate prospectus. No more studying!

  14. Katrina says:

    I honestly don’t know how you did it but well done. Celebration time. x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thanks Katrina,
      I’ve got no idea either! When I think about how much I cried with frustration, it’s made it all worthwhile.
      Big celebration time this weekend….

  15. Phill Evans says:

    Congratulations from a fellow stumbling 2:1’er 🙂

  16. Kerrri says:

    What a grand accomplishment! Congratulations – may your celebrating last as long as the time you put into achieving this goal!

  17. So this is, like, 100 years LATE, but: congratulations!!!!! You are amazing!

  18. Sally-Ann says:

    Congratulations! You are an inspiration to others. I hope you’re treating yourself to something nice for achieving this. I wonder where this will take you next?

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you so much!
      Ideally, I’d like to find a job in the charity sector. I’m planning to overhaul my CV in January and apply for everything I can!

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