Sunday 10 June 2012

Final week of A level exams...

We will both be glad when this week is over. Ben has three exams this week, all morning exams, which isn't brilliant now the insomnia has returned. Worse still, two of the exams are back-to-back, one after the other. So if he doesn't sleep the night before, it'll be a nightmare.

"Look, you know it doesn't matter at all", I said, hugging him this morning.

"But it matters to me", he said. "It matters to my sense of pride. If I mess them up I will feel I have failed."

"But, really, it doesn't matter at all", I repeated. "If you mess them up, then so what? Just re-sit them next year."

"But I really want to go to Uni this year. I want to launch myself back into everything, make a fresh start and begin to live my life again. I couldn't stand having to wait a year."

"You never know", I said, "A year out could be really good for you - as long as you grab it by the horns, do stuff, get out there and so on. It might turn out to be one of the best things you've done. The thing is, Uni might be brilliant. I hope it's brilliant. But it's important you don't see it as a 'cure all'. It might not be brilliant. Or it might take a while to settle in. So another year of sorting stuff out mightn't be a bad idea after all. And, anyway, loads of people take a year out before going to Uni".

We are going to go shopping on Thursday when I pick him up from his last exams. "Then can we go to that new bar?" he asked as his Dad promised to buy him a pint to celebrate.

And if he doesn't get his grades, then what the heck? Unless he makes a real hash of it and has to re-sit the whole year, then school say he can use their facilities on an ad hoc basis. Staff will be happy to give him practice papers to do and to mark them, give advice and so on. They say this kind of thing isn't unusual at all.

Really, I don't care whichever way. I have always said to Ben that the most important thing for us is for him to recovery fully and to be healthy and happy.

Sod the exam grades!

1 comment:

  1. Batty, you are so right to remind Ben that uni may not be a 'cure all' for everything. For me, going to uni was my ultimate goal throughout my inpatient stay. It was the biggest motivator for me to work hard and recover. Thankfully I managed to complete all three years, but my time at uni wasn't without its difficulties. I imagined that I would be able to leave the anorexia behind, make lots of new friends, go out for meals, not worry about calories etc. I did have many great times at uni, but it was also quite stressful - the unstructured time (my course only had six hours contact time a week), the desire to be accepted and to 'fit in', the pressure of coursework deadlines and exams, the responsibility of shopping and cooking for myself. The realisation that uni wasn't a 'cure all' was quite difficult for me and it led to a couple of slight relapses, which I was able to get through with the support of my parents and a fantastic GP. I think you are very wise to remind Ben of this and he is so lucky to have a mother who is as switched on as you.

    With all that Ben has been through, it is fantastic that he is even able to sit his exams. All he can do is his best. He (and you!) should be very proud of the fact that he is well enough to take his exams this year.