Victoria Dalton - BA (Hons) English Literature student - shares her advice on staying positive and focused when facing challenges
My Head Teacher at Secondary school told my Dad ‘not to expect too much’ of me! Wow! I suppose I should thank him because instead of admitting defeat I worked really hard to prove him wrong. Now, things have progressed enormously in the field of Learning differences. Attitudes have changed and there are less barriers in academic environments for us to face. There is help and support when it is required and generally the stigma of Dyslexia is not as apparent.
Before deciding on which university to choose it is a great idea to get in touch with Student Support who can signpost you in the right direction and you can find out what provisions the university has in place for dyslexic students. You could also seek information from the British Dyslexia Association which have a wealth of information for you to access.
My tips for starting university with Dyslexia:
- Study something you love! A true passion for your subject can push you through the hard times.
- Dyslexia is a recognised disability and you are most likely eligible for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSS). You must have an official diagnosis, but this allowance can help towards the cost of equipment to help you with your studies. The diagnosis is an easy process and once which your university should be able to set up.
- Plan everything! Time can be an issue when you have dyslexia so making lists which organise your tasks in order of priority and having a whiteboard in front of you with deadlines for assignments and exams can be a life saver.
- Be positive! You have been conditioned from an early age to work harder than your non-dyslexic peers which means that perseverance and determination are part of your intrinsic character.
- There is a huge list of highly successful people who have succeeded in all walks of life with dyslexia. They often have heightened creativity and problem-solving abilities which makes Dyslexia a bit like having a superpower!
So, this is a brief outline of my experience of studying at university with Dyslexia. I can honestly say that it is the best decision I ever made, and the university couldn’t be more supportive. We, as dyslexic people are standing on the shoulders of those who have campaigned tirelessly for equal rights and support for those with learning differences and we should proudly stand tall, flying the flag and showing the world that dyslexic people can not only cope, but excel in higher education!
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