Triumph Over Adversity: University Changed Me

Triumph Over Adversity: University Changed Me

Today I would like to share a triumph over adversity post from Natalie from Diary of an Unexpectant Mother. She has written about how she has coped with the many challenges that life have thrown at her and how she has managed to get through it all and come out the other side.

To skip all the boring stuff – I had a great life as a kid, but at age 17 I was diagnosed with depression, I had a teacher who was a bully and completely put me off education and my parents separated with my Dad going to live in Spain for a while.  My mum took no blame for my dad leaving and blamed all 3 of her children instead.  That was in 2004.  She still thinks it wasn’t her fault.  Needless to say we don’t have a great relationship, one of my brothers sees her out of duty and the other has nothing to do with her despite living down the road from her.  The depression flared and evolved in to self-harming, getting drunk and being promiscuous, but at least I never smoked or did drugs, hey?  I came out of sixth form with mediocre A-levels, lucky to have been allowed to sit them due to my poor attendance.  My Dad gave me a kick up the backside and told me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life because he was not going to pay for me any longer!  I managed to get myself a waitressing job and eventually a friend convinced me to apply to university, I didn’t actually think I would get in.  But I did.

In September 2006 I went off to study Hospitality Business Management at Sheffield Hallam University which was one of the best in the country for that subject – and it still is.  I lived in Bramall Court student halls and made some great friends and managed to turn myself in to the person I had always wanted to be.  It was a completely fresh start.  I wasn’t the daddy’s girl with scars on her arm pretending to be happy.  I genuinely was happy for the first time in years. 

I tried really hard and had a great relationship with all of my tutors, aside from one or two of course.  I managed to work hard and play hard, going out til 2 or 3 in the morning, then getting a kebab and heading for my bed to get up for my 9am seminar.  Second year didn’t quite go so well, I played hard and worked too many hours behind a bar earning money rather than working hard at studying.  I then went off to Dublin for a placement year, which was an amazing experience too with even more great friends made and had an amazing summer holiday to Hong Kong and Thailand with two of my friends.  I came back determined to get a first and knew that I needed to work hard to get it.  That’s not to say I didn’t play hard too. My flatmate and I used to have Sunday evening vodka sessions before our Monday 9am seminar.  It was in that 9am seminar that I ended up sitting next to a boy who had the same sense of humour as I did, we became really good friends and soon fell in love. 

Despite the obvious distraction I managed to come out of university with the first I wanted.  But that didn’t guarantee me a job; I ended up back home in Lincoln for 9 months while I worked as a breakfast waitress at Holiday Inn with a boss who told me that ‘one day you might be breakfast supervisor’.  Meanwhile, R was living back home in St Albans.  We decided we wanted to live together, I tried to convince him to move North, but he managed to persuade me to move South. 


In March 2011 I moved to Hertfordshire with another terrible job, then I managed to land a job as a Duty Manager at Holiday Inn Express the day after my previous job had decided I wasn’t good enough to be a minimum wage 38 hour contract.  So I went from having no job to being offered an amazing job!  In March 2012 I found out I was pregnant, which wasn’t planned.  In December 2012 Oliver arrived and in October 2013 I officially handed in my notice at work to be a stay-at-home-parent.  January 2015 brought us to having our very first house, and in September 2015 R finally proposed – we’ve just booked our venue and registrar and are due to marry in March 2017.

If you had told me any of this 10 years ago, I never would have believed it possible.  I never would have believed this much happiness is possible.

Where you can find Natalie:

On her blog

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  1. March 4, 2016 / 8:02 am

    Great post, lots of things I didn’t know about you Nat, I love a good happy ending!x

    • March 4, 2016 / 8:42 am

      Thank you 🙂 I’ve written odd bits but I suppose this is the short version of the entire story. I actually hadn’t realised how many bumps in the road there had been til I wrote this! I slipped back in to depression & self harm in second year too but managed to get back out of it on my own. And I was burgled at the end of second year. Haha.
      Natalie Streets recently posted..Meal Planning MondayMy Profile

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