I 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.