“Determination will take you anywhere” – overcoming injury to achieve success

As part of our new student success series, History student Ben Thomas shares how he overcame injury in his first year to achieve success. He explores how both his mindset and support from others helped him through this difficult time.

What happened?

‘At the end of my first academic week at Kent in my first year I very unfortunately dislocated my kneecap. This led to me being unable to walk for approximately 5 months and I still have problems at times now.’

What did you do about your injury? Did you feel supported?

‘The support that Kent offered me was amazing, even to the extent of offering deferment, but I understood that this was a life changing decision I could not undertake. I was focused on doing well in my degree despite the circumstances that arose and could not tolerate losing a year of my education. I was offered a wheelchair but I understood that this was a task I needed to complete myself. Every day I crutched to Lectures and seminars from Eliot college around campus despite the painful blisters and exhaustion I may have endured, my determination to succeed overrode any problems that arose. I am proud to say that I achieved a pass with distinction (equivalent to a first-class grade) in my History course, thanks in no small part to the support received by my peers, professors, and the Kent support team.’

Do you have any advice for others going through a difficult time?

‘With the inability to walk combined with a lockdown situation from a global pandemic this has easily been the most difficult part of my life, but I always remembered that one of my old teachers told me that as long as you have determination, that determination will take you anywhere and I sit in lockdown determined to improve myself academically and professionally ready for when this unfortunate situation hopefully passes.’

-Ben Thomas, studying Ancient, Medieval and Modern History (second year).

Ben Thomas

If you have a success story you’d like to share, please email stories@kent.ac.uk.

You can also contact Student Support and Wellbeing if you require any support for long-term health conditions, a disability or for your mental health. There’s also plenty more support available during your time at Kent.