My undergrad experience in college was never the greatest or like anyone else for that matter. Mine was pretty much different because of my disability and the fact that being deaf/hard of hearing in one ear made my undergrad college experience very different. That on top of the fact that being an Intersex/DSD person in college was a total different experience. The only saving grace in all that was because my undergrad college I went to, was a pure Liberal arts college and they were very liberal and accepting.
Being an Intersex/DSD person and a deaf/Hard of hearing person in college was always a challenge because being myself was always a challenge and often times made it very difficult. It was challenging because I wanted to find my own niche and fit in as much as I can. On campus, I was never accepted by the women’s center and by the LGBT center. The only place I found a home was with the disability office because of my deaf disability. That was because the disability center always wanted me to be independent and taught me to be myself. It’s why it took 5 years to finally learn to be myself and define myself not by my disability or medical condition but as a person and human being.
The part that sucked during my undergrad years in college is that I never really had any opportunities to socialize. The campus never made any effort to include disabled people and never made any effort to give disabled people a chance. I never played sports and I never joined any clubs or ran a club. The undergrad college I went to never pushed for inclusion for disabled people. Many of the events on campus, were never inclusive and never mindful of disabled people. Even in the dorm I live in on campus, I never had the chance to socialize with people and I never had any leadership opportunities. The bad side of all that is, I was left out any opportunities to socialize and lead, but the upside, I was able to be independent and myself.
It’s why my Undergrad college experience was not the same as everyone else because of my disability and my medical condition. Mine was one of independence and often times isolation. I was never included in any clubs or any sports on campus. I never once had the chance to lead and sadly, being a disabled college student, I was often treated as a 2nd class college student or even an inferior college student.
The worst part of my undergrad experience is how I had very little friends in college. I never made any friends from orientation up until commencement. I think that was because my disability was often a barrier on campus and that being disabled, people didn’t want to associate with anyone who had a disability. It was why I never had many friends on campus and often times did things by myself because I never had any friends to hang out with. It’s often why I always thought my disability was a barrier to friendship and the sad part was that my undergrad college didn’t help me socialize and make friends. It was why in the end my undergrad college experience was one of loneliness, isolation and independence.
That’s why my undergrad college experience sucked because being Intersex/DSD and Deaf/Hard of Hearing in one ear. It was one of being excluded and the other of being independent and being myself. It was a mix of being excluded and trying to be independent and doing things my own way. Thats why my undergrad college experience was not the same like everyone else, that I hoped and dream of.
Though I often times wished and dreamed if my college experience could have been anything like this. Sadly, that’s just a dream;