Three Things I Wish I’d Known As An Incoming Disabled Student
I hope that you are all well and enjoying this beautiful weather! Today I want to share with you three things that I wish I’d known about university as a incoming disabled student.
Firstly, I wish that I’d realised that university can be extremely tiring for disabled students. This seems obvious, but it wasn’t until Christmas of First Year that it really became apparent to me. I had bubbled along, riding the wave of happiness that came with me expecting to be exhausted and then finding out that this wasn’t the case. However, when the exhaustion hit me, it came down like a tonne of bricks. Days before I was about to go on a Christmas break to Disneyland Paris, I began to feel really ill. I felt like someone was constantly sitting on my chest and I also suffered from dizziness. I went on the trip but I felt horrible for most of it. I began to feel so much better once I got some good quality sleep. The moral of this story is, try and schedule as much down time as you can. Even if you feel fine, make sure to take things at a steady pace to avoid burn out.
Secondly, I wish I’d known just how important it is to wear easy to access clothing. There wasn’t a point where I didn’t do this, but I think it’s very pertinent to talk about this in this blog post. When I talk about ‘easy to access clothing’, I’m referring to clothing that you can easily manage independently. For me, this includes trousers with elasticated waistbands. Due to my Cerebral Palsy, I’m not that steady on my feet. This means that I need to be able to pull my trousers up and down quickly and safely when I go to the toilet. Wearing clothes that I can manage on my own has not only increased my confidence, it has also allowed me to focus more on my studies as I haven’t needed to worry about the how I will manage physically whilst on campus.
Thirdly, I wish I’d known just how much fun I’d have over the course of my degree. At the beginning of my time at Warwick, I was quite nervous. Would I make friends? Would people treat me differently because of my disability? Would I fit in? I know that some of these feelings are experienced by the majority of incoming students, but the fact that I have a disability did add an extra layer of fear. Looking back now though, I don’t know why I was so concerned. I feel as though I meshed with everyone on my course pretty quickly and never looked back! I know that I’ve said it in previous blog posts, but I truly would complete my degree all over again in a heartbeat.
I realise that this post may not resonate with all of you. But if I can help some of you, then I’m happy! Are you a disabled incoming student? Do you have any burning questions for me? Let me know in the comments below!