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What adjustments would have helped you to do a degree?

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Emzical, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Emzical

    Emzical Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I'm just wondering about those on the spectrum and what struggles they faced during their degree. What would have helped and did you finish or drop out of your degree? I would love to hear from people who didn't have the opportunity to study and why this was. Sometimes I don't understand when my struggles aren't considered normal and when I can ask for help. Knowing what measures were/are or could have been put in place will really help me to identify those struggles.

    THANK YOU :D
     
  2. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    My main issues at university (UK) were:
    -slow reading speed, not able to get through all the reading material.
    -slow writing speed and bad handwriting
    - running out of time during exams due to the slow writing.
    - Organising and structuring essays. I got help for this, and got better.
    - Noisy student accommodation (luckily I was able to move to a quieter place)
    - social difficulties.
    - mental health problems (anxiety and depression) - had therapy.

    I did finish my degree, but at one point nearly had to quit due to poor mental health. I wasn't diagnosed until my early forties; if I had been diagnosed, I might have had accommodations such as being given a quiet room, extra time to finish essays or exams, counselling. What accommodations one receives will likely depend on what country you are in and which intitution you are studying at. It's perhaps best to ask at the particular institution you are studying at.
     
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  3. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member

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    Dropped out in my post skewl attempt due to feeling unwelcome or ill at ease, there's a great many subtle ways people can show you the door, so I was probably too wimpy about staying on. Went back and completed a degree in my thirties, got the same shunning treatment but wasn't gonna let them deprive me of a tertiary qualification, just had more guts the second time around. What would have helped me is not being monstered for sex/relationship by lecturers, not being accused of cheating by same lecturers (don't need to, but they read poor social skills as 'dumb') and other generalised slander (yes it was a Marxist faculty -but I'm not one).

    Was undxed for both attempts, but had seen a couple shrinks with not much result for the second try, I mean I had accepted that I had social deficits by then, something I didn't know when younger.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
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  4. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    I went into my BSc with a dyslexia diagnosis. This got be 25% extra time in exams and a proofreader for coursework, which was incredibly helpful. I had no problems at all with the work, but struggled socially. I don't think any support would have made any difference with the social difficulties, aside for seeing a psychologist for social anxiety disorder which I did, though not through the uni.

    I got an autism diagnosis half way though my MSc, and I had a mentor who was there to assist with a wide variety of issues which ASD people might struggle with at uni. She helped me figure out the best way to communicate some difficulties I was having with lecturers but otherwise nothing much. I think I would have found having a mentor far more useful during my BSc while I was still finding my feet and trying to navigate uni life.

    I'm half way through my PhD now, and my supervisor knows I'm autistic and is generally supportive and helpful, though the only thing specific to ASD that has been arranged is for me to be in a smaller office (most PhDs are in big offices with 10+ people) so that I don't have to deal with no much noise.
     
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  5. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member

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    What's the major, NTSH?
     
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  6. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    Is NTSH me? If so, my degrees were in Environmental Science and my PhD is on climate change ecology.
     
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  7. Barymore

    Barymore Member

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    managed my first MSc without any specific support. I did not have my ASD diagnosis then yet and just muddled through as best I could. Continued on to a PhD but eventually dropped that. One issue was certainly that there was less structure available than during my MSc. I would have loved a mentor. Due to a lack of close friendships I was unable to get support that way. Difficulties with executive function were my major issue. Financial issues meant I needed to work part time and eventually I didnt see a good enough reason to continue my degree. Now I am doing a second MSc online in my field of work. This uni is far more open in addressing potential needs and offering help. Online from the familiarity of my home and the more structured setting of a MSc course make it possible for me to likely complete this degree. Also I am 10 years on and have developed more tools myself for supporting my EF deficits.
     
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  8. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I studied subjects I had no passion for as I wasn't allowed to study art because it was considered by my peers as not a "career friendly" subject.

    I dropped out in my 3rd year. Tuition fees in UK doubled in price and I was rather fed up with the courses. I don't mind a challenge, but not if I have no vested interest in the subject.

    I was working part time and the company was doing well, so I figured I'd drop out and move to full time work.

    Unfortunately I had to repay a large chunk of my loan quicker than normal due to dropping out. Not sure why as it wasn't consistent with what other people had to do when they dropped out of uni.

    Still, I'm free of my student debts now, so that's a positive. If ever I had the money and opportunity to do so I would go back to university as a mature student to study art.

    Ed
     
  9. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    My problem was with how long semesters were. Maybe I would have done better on a quarter system. I had emotional problems towards the end of almost every semester and dropped out twice. Took me eight years to get a Bachelor's degree and now I'm trying to get a Master's. :eek:
     
  10. Rabscuttle

    Rabscuttle Member

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    My problem was that the college I went to was, in essence, grad school prep. I actually did fairly well there, but I realized I wanted to be done with school and move on with my life. I figured a more traditional school would be able to get me a more immediately useful degree. It might've- but I rather forgot that most schools weren't like my first. I only lasted one semester.
     
  11. Karamazov

    Karamazov Active Member

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    I think the things I had most difficulty with at uni (BA Architecture - in the UK) were having multiple simultaneous work assignments: I focussed completely on the design projects and threw the written work together in too little time, with too little thought.

    The language used in the design briefs: I continually had the problem of putting lots of work (8am-11pm, 6 days a week) only to find that I’d interpreted the brief incorrectly and was, in fact, behind students who’d spent most of their time in the pub. At the time I developed a massive resentful chip on my shoulder about it, which led to developing a negative relationship with my tutor.

    And, yes, accommodation was a huge problem: in retrospect I wonder if part of the reason I spent so much time in the design studio was to get away from the noise and hullabaloo of first halls, and later shared housing.

    I had some form of “breakdown” or “burnout” (I’m not sure which is the correct term) and had to retake the last year twice to get the degree.
     
  12. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member

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    Group projects were ugh, but probably not avoidable. Expectations of long winded essays were difficult. All my essays were briefer than asked.
     
  13. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I did finish my degree, BSc-Geology. Some things that would have helped: tell me how things were supposed to work rather than figuring out on my own, everyone else just seemed to know. Explain why I needed to actually see my academic advisor regularly, instead of when I thought it necessary. I saw him twice, once to say "Here I am" and once to get my thesis proposal rejected and assigned something else. How and where to get sponsorship or funding for a thesis project; I paid for mine out of my own (pretty much empty) pocket because I didn't know better.

    Other hindrances were the requirement to be part of "the social fabric of the department." This was not overt, as such, but it was there, and the main reason I did not go for a graduate degree. Being laughed at for a suggestions/hypothesis that later turned out to be correct. The assumption that I knew what was going on simply by dint of being there without announcements or notices.

    I can probably think of a lot more, but this will do for now.