I was on my year abroad in Canada when my nan died. It was around February time. Being away from my family was hard, but I made the decision to stay out there. A few weeks later when my dad was sorting out her stuff, he fell from the loft and broke his back. I got a call to say my dad might die. I had to leave Canada very quickly after that. I came back from my year abroad a lot earlier than I had planned. The University really supported me to achieve, despite everything I had been through. They said it was ok to do the exams that I had planned to do over there back in Portsmouth at a later date. They really helped with that because I don’t know that I would have been able to stay. My dad is nearly fully recovered now, he can walk and everything, it’s just certain activities he can’t do. I never thought I’d be strong enough to get through that.
Sophie Butler is Vice President of Welfare and Community (2018-19). Find out more about our Sabbatical Officer roles here.