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Tips on How to Successfully Transition to College with a Disability

I am sharing my tips that I used to help me matriculate successfully into the college atmosphere with a disability.

Starting a new school can cause tons of anxiety, especially when it come to going to college. Whether one is going away to college or even attending a college at home, we all have the same feelings. As someone who has been through the whole "going to college for the first time routine", I can offer some tips that has helped me become successfully matriculated into the college atmosphere.

Tip #1: The week before school starts, I would walk around all over the campus. Not only walking around to find where your classes will be, but the whole entire place. That way when the first day of school starts with students filling up the hallways and campus, you will feel more at ease.

My experience: When I first went to CCRI back in 2009, I went to the campus the week before and walked around the whole thing. That is how I got accustomed to the surroundings.

Tip #2: When it comes to the social atmosphere, try introducing yourself to someone when getting your books at the bookstore. Or by going to your orientation (or even the first day of class), just say hi to the person sitting next to you. Or you could even spark up a conversation like "I love your shoes? Where did you get them?" 

My experience: When I first started CCRI, I met one of my first friends on the RIPTA bus going to school.

Tip #3: Make sure you get your accommodations that you need from the disability services. Remember, they can be anything from a separate place to test to even needing assistance in note-taking (for those of us with handwriting issues). Also, when you present your accommodation letters to your professors, remember not be to afraid. Most teachers are there to help you succeed through college and are willing to be of help. Even if a teacher is not accommodating, just report it to the disability services or find another teacher who will. Many disability services will even suggest a professor or two.

My experience: I got accommodations to sit at a separate location for my exams and tests. Not only was it a great experience to help me succeed, but many of the professors were very welcoming and even offered any more assistance that I may need.

Tip #4: Join activities that tailor to your interests and get involved. Even if there is nothing, join student government. This is the best part for social opportunities, which actually can turn into developing potential leadership skills. But the best part, making tons more friends.

My experience: I joined a Diversity Club because I am interested in making my school a safe place for students of all backgrounds. In the process, I also developed and discovered hidden leadership skills. That is because I became on officer of the club based on my using my knowledge and interest in wanting my school to be a better place for all students. I also made a ton of great friends.

Tip #5: BE YOURSELF, HAVE A GREAT TIME, AND SUCCEED!!

My experience: Well, I did just that. I have graduated with my Associate's Degree in May. And with these tips, one can also succeed no matter what their educational plan is.

I want to wish you and your college students good luck with college. you should be very proud of this wonderful moment. College is an amazing place to grow even more and to become the successful person that one can be. Enjoy it with all of your heart.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Matthew Higgins August 26, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Those are some great tips Maya!

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