A nervous start
Going to university and moving away from home is a massive stepping stone into adult life! Before going to university, I was quite worried about how my university experience would be, especially starting during covid. Given all the restrictions, I was worried about settling in, meeting people and how it was all going to work. More importantly, being a hearing-impaired student, I was particularly anxious whether I would be able to fully access my course.
However, all my worries were very quickly alleviated upon the telephone support I received a few days before starting from the disability support services at Durham. The conversation about my support put me at ease. A few days later driving into Trevs for the first time for freshers’ move-in day, I was very excited. There were lots of freps around to help support the move to my room, they toured me around college and carried all my bags!
The collegiate system helped
Naturally, the collegiate system helps significantly with settling in, with support available both collegiate and university-wide. Due to covid, my first year had limited activities, due to restrictions our spare time could only be spent with your household, which was great as we got to know each other really well. As restrictions started to ease, I got more involved in the various societies around college from badminton club to Junior Common Room (JCR) positions, this gave me the opportunity to meet new people and make lots of new friends. Realising the impact of JCR on me, I wanted to help out and so I have been involved in Trevs JCR as Disabilities Rep last year and now as Publicity Officer.
The collegiate system has numerous advantages, there is so much you can do, or get involved with, both college-wide and university-wide. In addition to the JCR, I have been involved in a number of positions over the past 2 years including being Co-President for Durham University Women in Technology society, Treasurer for Students with Disabilities, Secretary for Durham Mathematics Society, Mentorship Scheme Coordinator for Durham University Women in STEM and EDI Undergraduate Representative for Mathematics and Computer Science. Furthermore, I have been involved with Code Club and frepped last year and will be there again this year.
I am now going into my third year. Accommodation is often a big question in Durham, there are many areas you can stay in and different types of accommodation. I have lived in college for the first 2 years and will be again in 3rd year too. As a student with a disability, college has been really supportive in providing suitable rooms and equipment to ensure safety. Furthermore, it’s a great environment to meet lots of new people from all backgrounds and just be really involved in all aspects of the college life 24/7!
About disability support at Durham here
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