I was diagnosed with dyslexia at an early age and always had to learn how to cope with new learning environments, especially being a new college student. When I was accepted to UNT, I felt all kinds of emotions, but the one that stood out to me the most was nervousness. I was nervous about how my dyslexia would affect my grades in college, or if my professors knew I needed accommodations for my exams or quizzes. I didn’t know where to turn to for help except for my mom (love you, mom). My mom was the one to encourage me to understand the ways of getting college accommodations, and how to advocate for myself. That’s why I am here to help those who struggle to do the same! Here are five tips I would like to share on how to overcome some of the struggles you may have with dyslexia in college.
Tip One: SELF ADVOCATE A LOT
Learning how to self-advocate for yourself can be extremely hard, especially if you don’t know who to ask for help. All colleges have an office for learning disabilities, and they are there to help you! Don’t be shy to set up an appointment or send in an email discussing your accommodations or needs because that’s what the Office of Disability Access was made to do. Once you make the first step of reaching out it becomes easier, but it always starts with that first tiny step.
Tip Two: TALK TO YOUR PROFESSORS
I know, I know talking to your professors can be intimidating, and you may think “oh my professor should already know about my accommodations” – but that’s not always the case. Professors have many students and sometimes it’s hard to keep track of every student’s needs. It can also help you understand class material and show the professor that you are making an effort to express those accommodations. Whether it’s online or in-person, it’s your job to let your professor know about your accommodations and it won’t hurt to have your name in the back of the professor’s mind.
TIP THREE: POSITIVE VIBES ONLY
There have been times where I catch myself feeling overwhelmed with having to remind my professors about my accommodations all the time. I like to try and keep my atmosphere positive because looking at things in a negative view can even be more draining for your self-esteem. That’s why when I feel overwhelmed, I like to take a break and look over all the things I have accomplished throughout my school year. Sometimes we look over the little things and never take the time to be proud of all things we have achieved. Even if they are little accomplishments – never forget to be proud of yourself.
TIP FOUR: STAY ORGANIZED
Struggling with dyslexia is already a handful and adding a huge workload on top of that can be stressful. That’s why being organized can take away that huge stress factor. Just buying an agenda or writing down due dates for assignments can encourage you to keep track of homework. It can also help you visually see your schedule and plan your day out more efficiently, giving you time to schedule work, study, and even clubs.
TIP FIVE: BE PROUD OF HAVING DYSLEXIA
Dyslexia does not affect someone’s intelligence and it’s not what defines you as a person. You should understand that dyslexia may cause you to learn things differently from others, but you may achieve more than others as well. I think dyslexia should not be looked at as something negative, but as something many struggle with. So stand tall and be proud of who you are, and don’t let it hold you back from the things you want to achieve in your life.