Welcome to my blog, where I share my experiences of living life with a disability. In this post I will talk about my adventure of going to college with a disability.
Planning for College
Before graduating high school, I had no idea what I was going to go to college for. I had to think of something that I would be able to do in the future due to my disability. It wasn’t until I talked to my friend Derek, who also has Muscular Dystrophy, that I figured out what I wanted to go to college for. He was going to school for graphic design at the time and told me that it was something that him and I could do with our limitations. I decided to look into it and I instantly fell in love with it. I enjoyed it so much because I was able to express my creativity through the use of technology. So now that I decided what I was going to go to school for, I had to decide where I wanted to go. I either wanted to go to Wayne State in my hometown or the University of Nebraska at Omaha. My dad wanted me to go to Wayne State because he didn’t think that there would be someone to take care of me. But in his defense, it was kind of unheard of for people in my situation to go off to college. This situation was starting to change at the time and I wanted to prove people wrong. I wanted to prove that anything is possible despite obstacles. Because of this, I decided that I wanted to go to school in Omaha. It was far enough from home that I could be on my own but close enough in case I needed something. My mom and I did some research and got set up with a home health agency that would take care of me. We also met with the disability office at UNO to set up accommodations. Now all we had to do was move me in and the adventure begins.
Getting Settled In
Now as I said before, going to college in my situation was rare at the time so we weren’t really sure what we were doing. I moved in a week early to figure everything out to make sure it was going to work. We also decided that my mom would stay for a few days to get me settled in and to show my new caregivers how to care for me. Things started out a little rough and my mom and I were beginning to get concerned. My first caregiver and I didn’t get along too well because we didn’t have much in common. He also wouldn’t give my mom and I any alone time together. He followed us absolutely everywhere. We understand that he was just doing his job, but it was kind of annoying. Everything eventually got better over time once him and I became comfortable with each other. Things also got better once I had more than one caregiver throughout the week. I was also able to go out and spend time with friends whenever I wanted, which made things so much better. After a few weeks I eventually became comfortable with my caregivers and I was officially settled in.
Wanting To Give Up
Everything was going great after a few months of being on my own. I was getting along with my caregivers and becoming comfortable with them. I was spending a lot of time with friends and having a great time. Classes were also going really well. Things could have not been any better until I became extremely home sick and began to really miss my family. Because of the home sickness, I became depressed and wanted to give up already. I would call my mom everyday and tell her that I wasn’t going to be able to do it. There were even times when I would start to cry. I was convinced that I wasn’t coming back and I was going to move back home and transfer to Wayne State. This continued until I went home for Christmas and spent a few weeks with my family.
Turning It All Around
During my time at home, my mom encouraged me to continue at UNO and told me that I could do it. I also found out how many people were proud of me and inspired by what I was doing, which changed my attitude completely. This also reminded me that I made a vow to myself that I would stay positive and live my life to the fullest. I remembered that I wanted to come to Omaha to prove people wrong and inspire others. I told myself that I couldn’t give up and I had to continue to try my hardest. I needed to turn it all around. Everything was so much better once I got back and started my second semester of college. I started going to a weekly bible study and spending a lot of time with the guys that I met there. I also started spending a lot more time with my friend Derek and his friends. As well as spending time with friends, I began to play a lot of Xbox with my brother and friends from back home. My friends and family are the main reason that I continued trying and never gave up.
Finishing Out Strong
Over the years, I continued to stay positive and make the most out of everything. I also ended up having some amazing caregivers and nurses that made my life so much better. I have to give a huge shoutout to my friend Tim, who changed my life by always there for me. I also have to give credit to my favorite nurse Merianne, who would do absolutely anything for me. If I didn’t decide to come back to Omaha and keep trying, I would not have met such amazing people. Because of them I was able to keep going and finish out strong. In May of 2019, I finished school and went across the stage at graduation. It wouldn’t have been possible for me to do this if it wasn’t for Tim and the amazing people at UNO for helping me through the whole thing.
A Word of Advice
Throughout this whole adventure, the one piece of advice that I want to give to you is to never give up. If you ever feel like giving up, just remember to stay positive and keep pushing forward no matter how hard it is. You can literally do anything you want in life. If anyone tells you otherwise, don’t listen to them and prove them wrong. I understand that life can be difficult at times, but you will get through it if you stay positive and keep a smile on your face.
How Can You Get Involved?
If you would like to help spread the word to people in need, please don’t hesitate to share this post. You can also share your experiences in the comments below to let your story be heard to help others. If you are new to these experiences and are looking for help, feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I will help you as best as I can. You can also send any questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to reach out to me on social media, feel free to connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I would love to hear from you!
Thank you for reading this post and learning about my adventure of going to college with a disability! I hope you enjoyed and I hope to see you again soon!
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Check out my last post: https://www.zjmotivation.com/post/overcoming-depression