My name is Aisha and I did a B.A (Hons) Health Studies at De Montfort University and graduated in 2019. I have a rare genetic condition from birth called Morquio Syndrome (MPS IV). This has left me to face difficult challenges physically but I have not let this let me down as I have braved many storms. One of them was transitioning into Higher Education which was a beautiful life-changing moment for me.
Before starting university, I already had a lot of fears. During the time of my A-Levels, I fell quite ill and spent a lot of the time in hospital. I had no hope that I was going to start university and the onset of my depression had just started then. I always said to myself that “I never let my disability put me down so why should I now?” I have a lot of faith and hope in me and with that, I managed to get into my dream university studying what I wanted from the start.
To those of you that are applying to university, remember this is your journey to becoming independent. Before applying make sure you are open about the support you need otherwise you will struggle. All universities have something called a DSA (Disabled Student Allowance) but first, you’ll need to be assessed. Disabled Student Allowances (DSAs) can provide additional support and funding to UK students in higher and further education. It is extra funding designed to ensure a level playing field for disabled students and can be used to pay for specialist software, computer hardware and a range of study support and extra resources. More information can be found online about this.
Another tip is to make sure you do your reading and are well prepared for your lectures and seminars. There is nothing worse than turning up unprepared and falling behind in your studies.
You will face certain challenges, but remember the university are there to support you in many ways. Universities are now more acceptable to our needs and the people and friends surrounding us are far more welcoming.
My motto is, “If I can do it, so can you”, so I believe you can aim high with the degree that you choose. Remember to think wisely with the degree that you chose to study as this will be a stepping stone for your future.
I always had full faith that I would complete this degree no matter what. I had the most phenomenal support from my lecturers and I built strong relationships with them. To date, that continues. Having someone to believe in you when you are at your lowest uplifts you and keeps you motivated.
Remember to enjoy your time at university and balance it out. Take part in social activities, make time for your friends and family and make the most of it! I truly miss university life and if I could go back and do it again I would!
I never let my disability put me down in achieving what I want in life and the degree in my hand is a huge milestone for me.
After university, job hunting can take a toll on you, but that’s another post for another day.
If you have any questions and my top tips, you can contact me via my Instagram or look me up on Facebook.