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My Final Year At Oxford, When I Felt Punished For Having ME

Wednesday 19 October 2016


From The Guardian:


Nathalie Wright
Nathalie Wright had to go through a ‘rustication’ process
and sit exams to re-enter Oxford after she
became ill in her final year.
(Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian)

My final year at Oxford, when I felt punished for having ME

For centuries Oxford has ‘rusticated’ students – expelled them to their family home in the country – and those who are ill receive the same treatment

By Nathalie Wright
Tuesday 18 October 2016
© 2016 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

I had made it to the final year of my English degree at Oxford University, but I almost didn’t make it any further. I’d applied knowing the workload would be heavy but was still unprepared for the intensity of the course, which would often require two essays a week. For a single essay, we could be expected to read three novels as well as vast amounts of other reading. My peers and I would think nothing of doing a couple of all-nighters a week to stay on top of it. The next morning at breakfast, we would exchange tales of our martyrdom – someone had stayed up for three days straight reading Crime and Punishment, another had moved into the library, toothbrush and all.

This life shuddered to a halt when I suddenly became ill in the first term of my final year. I had glandular fever which, unbeknown to me then, had triggered ME – a chronic, extremely debilitating disease. As there was no way I could continue with my coursework, with the support of my GP I applied for a week’s extension. It was denied by the university.


Full article…



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