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Graduating College With NMO

Last updated: November 2022

I am a legal student. I studied Legal Services in college. I graduated in year 1 of Legal Services with an A, but this was before my health went downhill.

What comes with our illness, you ask? Brain fog, memory loss, speech difficulties, vision loss, fatigue, and pain. You name it, we’ll have it. I missed 3 months of year 2 because of my attack. I had no clue who my lecturers were, my class, my classmates, and what we were learning.

Being a law student with NMO

As a law student, you need a good memory, proper speech, and professional mannerisms. I could barely function during my attack. How would I be able to catch up on three months of written work and assessments? I decided it was best to drop out.

I was in the hospital when I discussed dropping out with my parents. My mum advised me not to waste a year. If I received a bad grade, I would be able to retake the year. She told me I would do nothing all year as I couldn't work and the course was online and accessible.

I spoke to my lecturers and found out what classes I was in and what I had to catch up on, and I explained why I hadn't attended any of my classes. They were all so sympathetic towards my situation and gave me time to complete my assessments, but one of the exams was from the SQA and had to be done by a specific deadline. The deadline was 3 days after I found out about it. My classmates had a few months to prepare for this assignment, and I had a few days. Three days to pick a topic, gather all the information from reliable sources, gain an opinion, and write an assignment worth 50 percent of my final grade.

Stressed college student

I was stressed, my tremors were at their peak as I had just come out of the hospital, my balance was messed up, and I had extreme brain fog. How would I pick a topic in such a short amount of time?

I pulled all-nighters to complete this assignment and handed it in on time but expected a bad grade. A week later, the results came in, and I received an A! This was when I realized I could get through this year despite my illness and achieve good grades.

I have been inconsistent with my attendance in class because of my illness, I'm unable to attend classes in person due to my immune system and covid-19 around. But I make sure to get all my assessments done no matter how poorly I feel. I can say it's extremely difficult being a law student with NMOSD, but I hope I can find a way to settle the brain fog and improve my memory.

I will never give up

In my graded unit, my final grade was an A; I am due to graduate soon, and fingers crossed I achieve the last A I need to attend one of the best law schools in my country. I can't believe I would drop out and forget my dream of becoming a lawyer. I thought my life had been ruined because of this disease, but I didn't let the thought of being unwell take over my life. I never lost the willpower to finish the course and graduate. My advice to anyone young with chronic illness would be, no matter what, never give up! You are stronger than you think.

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