what does 'or' mean here?

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ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

Through exertions that—let's be honest— were probably less than heroic, most of you have spent the last few years getting inflated grades in useless subjects in order to obtain a debased degree. Now you're entering a lousy economy, courtesy of the very president whom you, as freshmen, voted for with such enthusiasm ... No doubt some of you have overcome real hardships or taken real degrees.

(It comes from Wall Street Journal by Bret Stephens To the Class of 2012.)

Is the sentence a negative sentence? Does it mean 'some of you have overcome real hardships, and some of you have taken real degrees', or 'some of you have overcome real hardships and then taken real degrees'?

Thanks in advance!
 
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