The Reality of Being a Disabled College Student

by Maggie Hammond

Even though disabled students are well integrated in public schools, many people don’t understand that going to college with a disability is still not a cakewalk. Since disabilities aren’t always obvious, those living with visual impairments, physical disabilities and neurological disorders often need to tell their stories repeatedly, just to feel like they are fully understood.

Some disabled students feel like you should earn your MBA online while others are driven to get up and go to an on-campus school each day. In any case, being disabled while going to college can be a bit different to the experience of others and it can also be more of a challenge, but that doesn’t mean that the end rewards aren’t even sweeter.

Feeling Different Among Other Students

Whether in the classroom, on campus or even in the cafeteria, being disabled or in any way different can make you feel anxious and nervous about each and every one of your interactions with people whom you do not yet know. Of course, new students going to college are all going to feel a little bit out of place at first. Know that your disability is not a reason for you to feel isolated or even unwelcome by other students and when you start a conversation, most will gladly take part.

Struggling To Quantify Your Disability

Maybe you have the type of disability that is not obvious on the surface, but nonetheless, it may make going to college full-time more difficult for you. The numerous benefits of an MBA should help you to keep going forward with your educational plans. If it helps, know that other disabled students not only went through the same process, but they were also some of the very first to help advocate for disabled students just like yourself.
These students attended college at a time where others didn’t always go out of their way to help and accept people with differences. At the end of the day, if they were able to survive hostile circumstances, you may want to put your personal experiences in perspective prior to telling yourself what you can and can’t achieve in life.

Not Being Limited by Your Differences

Some disabled students interested in MBA careers once college is over with will face a totally unfamiliar set of challenges in the business world, but thankfully, federal laws have been written to help protect them from discrimination. With a disability, you have to deal with the reality that not every potential employer is going to have an office that is set up to help facilitate any special needs and considerations that you may have. Although transitioning into both college and the career world can be hard initially, you do not have to be limited by the things that set you apart from others.

Being disabled as a student, while shopping or even going out to vote, is going to provide you with a unique experience. At the same time, you can help to educate others while overcoming extreme adversities just by moving forward and never letting anyone limit your dreams.

About the Author

Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.