Cheers (and Fears!) of College Life
I'd have to say that my greatest fear was how I could get around UW's campus since it's such a big school. Through DO-IT and by asking around, I found out about UW's DSS (Disabled Student Services) and who to talk to about certain matters I had in mind. I started communicating with Ms. Cook from DSS, and I have to say she did some wonderful things for me. She helped me with my room relocation, gave me information about Dial-a-Ride van service, and lockers, and she even provided me some support when I was feeling frustrated and worried about how things might not work out. It is true that it might take more effort for someone with a disability to start college (or anything else new in life), but we have to realize that there are people out there we can seek help from and it's up to us to make the first move.
Well, I have to admit college is a lot different than I thought it would be. It's weird living with a bunch of people I've never met before. Having a roommate I never met took a little getting use to. It's not stressful right now. I am only taking 13 credits. I am taking a writing class, a general psychology class, a interpersonal communications class and a microcomputers applications class.
My roommate is okay. We don't see much of each other. My interpersonal teacher is very nice and funny. That is my favorite class then psychology and computers are tied and then writing. I love writing, but not for a grade. I have met a lady who lives across the hall from me. She is very nice.
One bad thing about college is that professors don't always communicate with each other. You can wind up getting three tests in one day. Hopefully one is easy.
This is my first quarter at Highline Community College. Before going to college I was very excited and nervous but when I started attending, it is fun. I get to meet different people every day and I have made tons of friends. College campus is no problem to get around in a wheelchair. It sometimes gets hard to keep up with the classes because teachers cover the material so fast. So far I like being in college.
I'm here at Oregon State University (OSU). My move from Ashland, OR, was actually amazing. Everything worked out. I was expecting the worst and ended up with the very best. This was a wonderful and welcome surprise. I actually managed to fit everything in the car, and got it all here in one piece. It's very nice here, and I'm not even getting lost anymore. I've found that the trips to the bookstore are plentiful, and boy some of those books can be heavy. Beware of Biology! This thing is huge! I've started working for the Residence Halls as the AT (Adaptive Technologies) Advisor. Meaning that anyone who has any AT with their computer I set up, work on, etc. I'm also helping out other students... there's a lot of computers around here. We have direct ethernet connections in the dorm rooms which is really nice. It's just like it was up at the UW. Sorry to those of you using modem access, I'm not meaning to rub it in, but it's SO FAST!!! Have a great school year!
Well, my first year out here I met a guy who was a legend. Me and him hit it off right away. I don't want to say we made a clique or anything, but we did do everything together. Have you ever seen the movie "Of Mice and Men?" Well, that was how close we were, and if one of us was Lenny, it was me. This guy was the brains of the operation. The next year he decided to try to graduate a year early, so he dropped the program. Then I met more special people...I'd talk about them but the stories between us are just to fun to talk about.
I live in the dorms in a college about thirty miles or so away from my hometown. I feel that my disability, chronic lyme disease, is a part of myself, not a separate entity. I have had it most of my life and the struggles through these years have made me who I am, essentially. I don't feel that having a disability is necessarily a bad thing. It can teach you important lessons about life that you may never otherwise understand. The main one is to be thankful for life. I had to learn at an early age to accept that life can end. So you make the best of what you have.