A Swansea University student who was given just weeks to live due to her severe anorexia is celebrating after graduating with a first-class degree in German, 11 years after commencing her studies.
Twenty-nine-year-old Rhoslyn Beckwith from Gloucestershire began studying German at Oxford University in 2007. However, after completing her first year, she had to suspend her studies after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and ME, both of which are long-term conditions with a wide-range of symptoms. Rhoslyn later returned to Oxford to complete her studies, but in her fourth and final year, her battle with anorexia became overwhelming and she was forced to suspend her studies once more.
A number of hospital admissions followed, and during one of those, Rhoslyn recalls: “I was told by doctors that I had two options; I could die, or I could get better and aim to stock shelves at a supermarket”.
With the help of her family’s unwavering support, Rhoslyn turned her life around, and in September 2017 she decided to transfer to Swansea University to follow in her mother’s footsteps and complete her BA in German.
Rhoslyn, a former pupil of Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham, is in fact the fourth member of her family to study at Swansea University. Her parents met as students during the early eighties, her mother studying German, her father Oceanography, and her younger sister studied Zoology in 2012.
“Nobody believed I could graduate or do anything with my life apart from my wonderful family and Swansea University, and I honestly can’t thank them enough for that”, says Rhoslyn.
“It hasn’t been an easy ride, as it’s the first time I’ve been on my own away from home in years, meaning I’ve had to keep myself well, which was incredibly difficult to start with.
“If it wasn’t for Swansea and all the incredible staff there, particularly in the German department, there’s no way I would have a degree. They have been behind me all the way, believing in me, which has helped me to believe in myself. It may have taken me 11 years, but I’ve now got letters after my name!”
Rhoslyn plans to return to Swansea University in September to begin a master’s degree in German.
- Tuesday 24 July 2018 11.46 BST
- Monday 10 September 2018 12.05 BST
- Catrin Newman