Congratulations to everyone who has recently started, or will soon be starting their higher education journey!
Starting uni or TAFE can be both an exciting and scary time. There are so many things to do to get yourself ready, and having a bleeding disorder may mean that there is a little bit more to consider. We spoke with one of our youth members, Emily, about her experience starting the higher education journey.
Emily, who is now working on her post graduate studies in the UK, has von Willebrand disorder and started her academic career with a Bachelor of Science at the University of Western Australia. She says, ‘the main thing that has stuck with me from starting both degrees was meeting everyone and making new friends’
Whilst for the most part Emily didn’t find it necessary to disclose her bleeding disorder, there was a few times where it came up. ‘At UWA I didn’t really think much of my bleeding disorder, until my rowing club found out in 2nd year and asked why I never told them. That made me realise that although I can manage it myself, I should let other people in just in case (especially since it’s a sport and we went on a lot of trips away – it also made them add a medical disclosure question to the membership pack).’
She also found that she had to deal with the misconceptions of others, including her teachers. ‘As I was studying genetics, I also remember one lecturer telling us that haemophilia was sex-linked and therefore only males could be affected and me trying to explain why that was incorrect.’
Since finishing her undergraduate degree, Emily has begun a Master of Science course. Moving away from home carries lots of challenges and requires preparation. Emily wasn’t exempt from this. Since moving to the UK for her postgrad she has needed to find and build a new treatment team for her bleeding disorder, which has not been easy.
Emily’s story comes from her experiences with von Willebrand disorder, and are specific to her life. Keep an eye out for the next issue of National Haemophilia where we will hear from some students with severe haemophilia and their challenges and tips.
We would like to wish Emily, and all our readers, good luck in their studies this semester.
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