How college has enabled disabled students

By Daisy Araujo
@TheEtCetera

So, as I am getting ready for another day of school, I start getting anxious thinking about my new classmates and new teacher. With my anxiety, I still remember to take my medicine, fix myself breakfast, get all the things that I need for that day and then I am ready for school. 

For me getting ready and getting through the day is different from other students. Although my chronic conditions (epilepsy, Turner syndrome and social anxiety) don’t hold me back on most days, on the days where it does, I feel insecure and exhausted.

 I struggled when I first started at Eastfield. My GPA fell below a 2.0 and I could no longer get help from FAFSA. 

Four classes were too much for me to take at that time, and sometimes the work was too hard. My grades were affected because of not turning in work on deadlines.  

One of the hardest parts is that these conditions can’t be seen from the outside. Unless I tell someone that I have a condition, most people wouldn’t know. Being a shyer person than other students often prevents me from asking for help or speaking up. 

Except for my Turner syndrome, which affects my height, no one would know there is something wrong with me. But the truth is I have to take medicine every day. 

My epilepsy has affected me the most. After my first seizures I started having more and more headaches. Thankfully the medicine I take controls my seizures. 

Even though there are days that I think college might not be for me and that I should quit, it takes only a few minutes to remember how it has helped me. I feel that college has helped me find what I really want to do, which is a big deal for me. It has also helped my social anxiety by just putting me around new people every day and being able to socialize.

By joining different clubs, I saw what I was interested in. At Eastfield, clubs and organizations I have joined that I feel have helped me throughout my college years are The Et Cetera and the Digital Media Club. 

 There are plenty of services and resources in college available to students. Counseling is one of the services that helped me when I felt more frustrated than usual. There were times that I needed more time for tests; Disability Services were able to help me through that. When I wasn’t able to attend Eastfield, I attended Richland Garland campus and earned my administrative office certificate.

There are many reasons why I keep going to college, but the main reason is to get a digital media certificate and make my family proud. I know going to college will help me later in the future just like it’s helping right now in the present.

Asking for help can sometimes be difficult, but no one has ever gotten far on their own. Everyone has their abilities and disabilities. Like Martina Navratilova once said, “Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you’re needed by someone.”

— Daisy Araujo is a digital media major and a graphics artist at The Et Cetera.

 

Feature photo: Creative Commons

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