Transitioning to Another School with a Disability
Moving on from high school is a giant step for a lot of kids. Deciding which school to go to, what program you want to join, how you will transition, and learning an entirely new way of life are all a lot of things that can freak a student out. Fresh out of high school I did not know how to handle university. I was one of those kids who got lost and didn’t know how to keep up with my classes and it was really scary for me.
What has the potential to make it worse is when students have to transition when dealing with a mental illness, learning disability, or physical disability. You’ve already got enough on your plate and once you’ve grown comfortable in a place and with people who have helped you for four years, it can be scary to move. You’re not really sure who to talk to or how your professors will handle your situation. It can be very daunting.
The first thing you need to do when transitioning into university or college with an illness or disability is to speak to any accessibility resources in order for accommodations to be made. The transition goes by much smoother when you familiarize yourself with those who can help you. For example, several accommodations can be made for those who are battling a mental illness and these accommodations get brought to your professors without revealing any personal information about your struggle.
In regards to mental illness, when it comes to your professors, it doesn’t hurt to be honest with them about what you’re going through. It may be difficult at first and you may not even want to tell anyone new, especially because it’s always difficult to trust someone new when it comes to telling them about your mental illness. But, hopefully, as you get more comfortable, you’ll be able to speak to your professors more freely. This opens the door for you to know that your professors can level with you and it also provides them with an understanding.
Speaking to the councillors is also something you should consider doing. This is something that has its pros and cons. You can speak to them and get anything off your chest to release any tension or stress. But, many people in university are also going through their own struggles, so it can be hard to get in to see a councillor sometimes. These are just a few things to take into consideration- explore all your options for help, just in case something falls through.
The transition will be difficult for many students. You’re being taken out of your element and shoved into a new institution for a few years. But, the aforementioned tips to transition a little smoother are some things to keep in mind to make it easier for you.
Explore JPD’s Community section to find out more information in regards to Accessibility Centers located at your chosen university or college. There is a handy drop-down menu that will assist you in your search for resources that will help you during your transition.