Because of my unwell-ness, i get a DSA (Disabled Student’s Allowance). It pays for a lot of things: Wi-Fi, a dictaphone, a printer. But by far the most helpful thing is the mentoring. I have a really nice mentor, C, who helps me get my studying sorted out. For a while, when I was low/high/low, it ended up being close to therapy; I would cry, or panic, or talk at top speed, and C would bring me to the doctors, or the Nursing Service, at the uni. I’m past those moments now (thank God) and C has been really, really helpful in getting my study plans sorted out with me. It’s not like having things done for me. I have to be active in making the plans, and sticking to them. I have to remember to eat, or take meds (it’s actually strange/ embarrassing that I should have to be reminded to eat, or sleep- but I do). If it wasn’t for C’s kindness and helpfulness, I’m not sure that I would be getting through my course right now. I might still be racing through thousands of words at once, or staring at important books sobbing. I might have given up by now. When I’ve wanted to give up myself, it’s nice not to be given up on. I think I can do this course. I think, if I get the extensions I have asked for, I can do well. I might not get the distinction I want to. That weighs heavily on me, and I think about it with sadness. But at the moment I have to be realistic. C is helping me to be realistic and be happy with what I have achieved and can achieve, rather than freaking out about what I might not achieve. It’s nice to have somebody on side. It’s nice to have someone believe I can pass.
At the moment I am doing well with my research but struggling to write. That struggle is being combated by timetables and conversations. It’s pretty cool.