Welcome to The Invisible Vision Project’s Blog.
It seemed, I made it just in time to write a blog for the fast approaching back-to-school season. So, as for today, I thought to write about the 5 things I must do in order to prepare myself for going back to my university studies. And, this will be my FINAL year in uni as an undergrad!
*Applying for Awards, Grants, and Loans*
One of the very first things I do over the summer months to prepare myself for back-to-school is looking into and applying for awards, grants and student loans. I’ll be very honest, it is because of these resources that I’m able to have a university degree (or rather, soon it’ll be two degrees!). So, funding is very important since, getting a higher education is very expensive. I also consider my very fortunately to have these resources that’re there for students who really need them.
Once the financial resources part is in place, the next step is course selection. And, this is my favorite part of being in school- that is, to take interesting courses and learn interesting materials. For the past couple of years, I’ve been very lucky to work with many amazing instructors and classmates. I love taking courses that are not only interesting but, they’re taught by instructors I’ve worked well with. Sometimes, this doesn’t work all the time and, that’s OK. After all, it’s fun to learn something new and, to meet new people! (It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely a good learning process).
*Finalize and Renew Academic Accommodations*
In case you didn’t know or, this is the first time you’re reading my blog. I’m a person with disabilities (I’m legally blind, and I also have other health/life challenges). Of course, I’m registered with the accessibility/disability office at my university. I have an official letter called a Letter of Accommodation from my school, in which, the letter states my academic accommodation needs. I won’t go into any of the details about my accommodation letter specifically, as they’re very personal. But, what I’ll say is this, there’s often a misunderstanding and misconception about students with disabilities needing accommodations at school. That is, accommodation letter isn’t an advantage or a privilege for the student that need accommodations. Having accommodations mean equal access for the student and for their successes at school. I’m not being evaluated or treated differently just because I have personal challenges or disabilities; at the same time, I can only be evaluated and treated fairly if I have the accommodation that’s there to help me succeed academically.
*Orientation Training-Find My Classrooms
Orientation may be important for some people but, it is especially important for the blind and the visually impaired. Sometimes, something I need to do before the start of the school year is to figure out where my classrooms are. Now, I’m not a new student in my school, I’ve been in this university for many years. Even so, I will say this, I’m not familiar with every building of the university because, it’s a big campus! And, there’s just no reason for me to go check out every building of the school anyway. But, as an arts student as I am, many times, my classes have been held in a science or engineering building. Honestly, I don’t know why this happens and the reason doesn’t really matter all that much. But, what matters is that I need to make sure I’ll be able to find my classrooms before classes officially start! So, in the past, I’ve worked with an Orientation and Mobility instructor to look for the classrooms together with me (sometimes, this is like treasure hunt). And, why is it important to have some O&M training for me is not only that I’ll have someone to help me look for my classrooms but, I’ll also learn the landmarks so I can find the rooms independently when I’m on my own. But for this year, I’m fairly certain and confident that I can find my classrooms without getting lost; although, it’d be helpful to double check the locations before the start of classes, just to be sure.
*Shopping for School Supplies*
I remembered when I was younger, probably in grade school, one of my favorite things for back-to-school is getting new school supplies. So, this ‘tradition’ has passed down from my early school years into my current school years. Now, I’m not as overly excited about getting new back-to-school supplies as I used to but, it would still be nice to have at least some back-to-school shopping done. In the past, I’ve got myself many things such as: new backpacks, new stationaries, and even new technologies like a laptop or a tablet, and mainly things I really need. However, for this school year, I don’t have anything new just yet. Although, I know I’m a little behind, as I often do this kind of shopping a little before the actual back-to-school shopping season, just to avoid the crowds in the stores. and, since it’s already kind of late anyway, this might just indicate that I don’t really need anything for this year. So I guess, what I’ll do (to keep the ‘tradition’ going) is that, I’ll probably just grab a notebook and a few new pens in the next few days when I’m out shopping. And, if I need anything else later on, I can always add on to it.
So, this is it. This is my 5 Must Do’s Preparing Myself for Back to School. Are you also a student? How do you prep for Back to School? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you for reading to the end!
By: The Invisible Vision Project