Starting university is a daunting time for anyone. Add a disability into the mix, though, and there can be a number of other things that you might get nervous about.
However, all it takes is a little extra planning at the start of your university journey to make sure there are no bumps along the way.
So to help you settle into fresher’s week in no time – here are our top tips:
- Research Your University Campus
Figure out how you’re going to get around campus and what additional help you may need. Check out whether there are accessible entry points and accessible transport to help you get from A to B.
For example, if the campus is spread out across an entire town or city, what’s going to be the easiest way for you to get around, without having to rely on others?
You may find a mobility scooter that fits in the boot of a taxi (or your own car) is ideal and cuts out the stress of having to use public transport. Companies like Mobility Solutions are a great place to start, by the way.
- Create a Support Network
You might be able to manage your disability with ease, but don’t feel as though you’ve got to go it alone.
Instead, research what support’s available at your university so you can get help from day one. And be proactive in getting this support.
While everyone will be aware of your needs, getting in touch with lecturers, support services and other key personnel allows you to make them fully aware of what they can do to help. Making sure they understand your disability (rather than just assuming certain things) will go a long way to making this transition a smooth one.
- Make New Friends
Everyone’s got to go through the whole process of making new friends when they go to university. You’ve suddenly gone from living at home surrounded by family and friends to living with complete strangers – and that’s not easy for anybody.
So remember that you’re all in the same position and don’t let your disability hold you back. Now’s the ideal time to break the ice, get to know people and be honest about your condition from the offset.
You’ll settle in much quicker if you just let yourself go and get involved with everything you can.
- Don’t Let Anything or Anyone Stop You
While you may need a little more help than someone else, don’t let the fact you’ve got a disability stop you from doing anything.
Rather than saying, ‘I can’t do that because…’, think about what can be done so you can join in.
More often than not, there’s a way around something, so don’t let anyone (yourself included) tell you any different.
Armed with all of the above, you should soon settle into student life.