Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Coming out as Disabled - Experience of a disabled student

Today is International Day of Disabled People and to mark this, NUS have launched “Coming Out as Disabled” a campaign in which they encourage people to write articles about their disabilities and experiences. RUSU has collected several blogs from Reading students who wanted to share their stories. We hope that starting these conversations on our campus will encourage all students to talk more openly about disability and most importantly remind disabled students that they are not alone.

Thank you so much to the students who wrote to us and supported this cause, we hope you found it to be a positive experience.

Sophie Davies, RUSU Welfare Officer and Ellie Brady, RUSU Disabled Students Part-time Officer.

I started university in 2011. After what was initially a rocky start of finding my feet and my position within a seemingly clique-less ‘society’ I arrived for second year full of promise. Having decided to live in halls for the duration of my time at university, I was already going against the grain. So far this hasn’t been an issue for many people – and was soon shot of the people who thought it was!

What I think I’ve found most difficult in general about getting older is keeping up with my peers. I lack the energy most people my age have heaps of. At University I rely a lot on nap time (which is more common than you might think) to get through assignments and nights out. This does mean though, that when I come home, I am usually deliriously tired and want to sleep for the month before the work/social cycle happens again. At university there are three main points of focus. Work, socialising, sleep. You can only ever have two, as illustrated by many a meme.

The best advice I was given when I went to university does initially sound harsh, but I will explain why it is not. My mum told me to be selfish. University is the only time in your life when you only have yourself to consider. You have no parents, siblings, spouse or children relying on you to do your bit. Embrace that. When it’s gone you may never get it back. So if you want to join a society or club or media stream that is deemed uncool, just do it. Get involved with as much as you can. That is what makes Uni more than just your course and personally, it’s where I met my closest friends. 

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