Moving away from home to University is a huge challenge, many students struggle initially to make friends, to get into the work and feel homesick. Making this transition is even bigger when the student relies on support 24/7 to facilitate every aspect of their lives.
This session is based on personal experience and reflects on what skills, knowledge and experience I had before moving into halls. What I needed to learn and what I recommend others need to begin their journey to independent living.
I have had to learn to direct and manage every minute of my waking life, ensuring staff do what I want, when I want it. This isn't just about making choices about what to eat or wear, its about being able to speak up, knowing what is acceptable behaviour for myself and from others, knowing my limits and ensuring they are respected. It's about learning to balance studying with social life, having private space and quality time without staff, developing relationships with new agencies from NHS professionals to those in educational support roles, and more.
Twelve months into my journey I still have much to learn, but I want to share my early reflections which will hopefully help others planning for independent lives.