Anyone here at university?: I had a stroke in 201... - Headway


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Anyone here at university?


I had a stroke in 2012 and I've been desperately trying to get back to university ever since. I was in my second year, and since then I've repeated twice. I think I'll get it done this year, but then there will be third year, so I don't know if I should split it into two or something else etc.

It's stressing me out as I watch everyone else graduate, and even when I finish, I have no idea what I'll do then. On top of that, this epilepsy is really doing me in, as we can't seem to get the meds right.

Anyone else in this position? Any advice from anyone?

16 Replies

Hey , I'm in different circumstances to you , my brain injury held me back in school so I'm a couple of years behind where I should be. I am at University now while everyone I went to school with is graduating this year. Unfortunately there is no method i've found to be of much use other than just accepting that you're a bit behind. The circumstances of why you're a little behind were out of your control and i'm sure people understand and empathise with that. I'm sure you just wanna get it over and done with now but just take it easy :) sorry I couldn't be much help.


To my mind, a degree earned by someone after a stroke/brain injury is worth a lot more. I admire and respect you both. So what if your peers got there before you, they didn't have a brain injury to cope with.

Think of the positive side, you will get a great confidence boost when you graduate.

I hope you are getting all the help you need from student support, I used to work in a higher education environment and we always tried to go the extra mile for those with special needs.

I wish you every success!


yep, never heard of anyone else at uni after a brain injury before!

I was in my second year (of a 4yr degree as I'm in Scotland), just at home for christmas break when Dr's realised I had a tumour and hydrocephalus. So obviously didn't actually do second year as I was having surgery/in hospital/ in rehab. Am doing it (or attempting to do it) again now, though I ended up deferring all my exams last semester as I burnt out and was too exhausted.

You could look at part time study for final year? Or taking a leave of absence and then coming back to it after a year out?

Change 100 is a really cool scheme I found for uni students with disabilities. I mean it's not geared towards brain injury, but their role models do give some hope about having a career after graduation...

sospan in reply to Hidden

As part of her degree last year at Keele University she did some lab testing using the students. There were 40+ students whom had registered BI with the university let alone the large number whom have an undiagnosed one.

She is in Canterbury this year with a pool of current and past students ranging over 120 with a BI.

The sad fact as we all know is that it more prevalent than people want to accept.

B_S_A in reply to Hidden

Hey Ally! That sucks :( Good to hear you got it sorted though!

I've been to speak with my advisor and she said I could split my final year into two (so part time) which I think I'll be doing, I don't think I'll be able to stand another year off...

So when in the year will your exams be?

Hidden in reply to B_S_A

Yeah, I think part time's a good option- at least you're still continuing to study and feel like you're moving forward.

I'm doing my exams at the beginning of the summer holidays, they're just exams for credit as they're not in my degree subject, so I only need a minimum pass at least.

Thankfully my modules this semester aren't really exam based. Coursework and projects make life so much easier!

Apparently this college sophmore had a brain injury and then after rehab went on to graduate college and medical school.

B_S_A in reply to Negeen

Thanks! I like seeing examples of people getting on with it :)

Negeen in reply to B_S_A

Ben! Ben! I thinnkkkkk that you are


B_S_A in reply to Negeen

You're pretty amazing yourself ;)

I don't know if you have had a look at Disabled Student Allowances (DSA) one of the things they can fund is an assistant to help you get around, take notes and assist you in completing assignments.

Your probably aware that once the University is aware of any problems they are more accommodating in terms of time for completing assignments and exams.

I don't know your personal circumstances but may be if you contact a local Uni and ask them if you can sit in on a few lectures to gauge how you could cope with the fatigue and hustle and bustle?

B_S_A in reply to sospan

Yeah I went to the DSA, they gave me this laptop :) (among other things)

I've been to lectures, they're stressful, but I cope alright with them. The university has been so good to me, all of my coursework is due in at the end of the year, and I get loads more time in exams.

sospan in reply to B_S_A

I am thinking of doing another MSc in September and the DSA scheme looks quite generous

B_S_A in reply to sospan

Yeah go for it! They've been really good to me :)

I was very lucky, and I have been able to go back to my job as a university lecturer, after I had to take 18 months off after my TBI.

I think an awful lot of people don't know much about brain injuries or strokes (I certainly didn't!). However, most university departments should be keen to see you finish if you can. Of course, they can't drop their standards, but they should be happy to look at ways that they can help you reach those standards. It might be that you need to go part-time, and take longer, split your year into two, and there should be no problem with that. You will almost certainly be entitled to longer in exams, and you may need help writing, but they will look at *your* situation.

Go to you Personal Tutor, and/or Course Director, with some information about your situation.


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