I’m going to let you into a little secret, my name is Emily and I’m a 3rd year student studying BSc (Hons) Applied Sports Science. I bet you thought I was going to tell you my little secret was that I am dyslexic. For the record I am, but I don’t let it, or my quirks define me and it’s definitely not a secret. I find ways to overcome any issues that come my way and the university support team is always there to help, no matter what it is. From setting up my first meeting at the start of 1st year to almost finishing my 3rd year with my dissertation in 4th year looming over me, theres always a way to get something done and a solution to difficulties. The student support service helped me get my DSA, and set up various meetings to get me equipment, support and training that would and will aid me all the way through university. They set up exam arrangements, informed all the staff of my required arrangements for deadlines and assessments. They were there to support on a personal level, not just a practical, academic one. I am yet to meet a staff member or even a student who isn’t accepting of the fact that I have these so called ‘difficulties’, everyone is here to help, and they will.
University is hard, it’s meant to be, it’s meant to push us, widen our knowledge, and guide us into our careers. Everyone sticks together to get through the experience and make it through in once piece. No matter what your ‘difficulty’ is, no matter what is different about you, there will be someone else who will stand by your side and help, sometimes you just have to reach out a little bit. Differences are accepted at university, more than that, they are celebrated. I was bullied in school for being ‘different’ to anyone else, because I’m going to let you know something else, I’m not just dyslexic, my brain is a little bit different in other ways as well, I just never got the other differences labelled because I didn’t feel I needed to, especially with educational psychologists as parents. I just accepted me for me and the fact that I am different, and I own it and didn’t try to hide it. But here at university it’s all different, I’m not bullied I’m accepted, I can laugh about funny things that are unique to me, with other people who have little things unique to them, theres more than you think.
Here at university, you don’t have to hide that you receive help, or you are a little bit different, no matter what the difference is. Staff will always automatically be discrete about things and alternative arrangements and extra help, but I’ve never had to rely on this before because I’ve always just been someone whos happy to shout from the roof tops the fact that my brain is that little bit different and be proud of the fact.