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Dyslexia: How Loughborough turned my weakness into a strength

3 May 2019

3 mins

I was quite apprehensive about starting university with my dyslexia. At school I was the only one in A level classes with dyslexia. I struggled to read a book, organise my work and even spell my friends’ names correctly. Don’t even get my started on the problem I get when ‘Cha Cha Slide’ comes on in the Students Union.

My name is Ben and I’m a 2nd year Mechanical Engineering student. I’m also a founding member of the Engineers Without Borders Society.

When it came to university open days I did a lot of research on what support was available to me for my dyslexia, and was able to visit the student support building when I came to Loughborough.

I chose to study Mechanical Engineering which is a pretty dyslexia friendly course because most of the teaching uses diagrams to explain written problems. My dyslexia lets me see solutions in different ways that help my studies.

The Loughborough support I get includes a study skills tutor, who helps with my reading of research papers, written reports, and exam preparation. It also includes having a reader and scribe for my exams.

I also have a social skills tutor. They help me organise myself and my studies and ensure I make time for myself and everything I need to do for my course. The mindfulness classes which has given me different ways to study. They make it a easier to be able to ask for help, especially asking people to spell check my reports, even if I asked them to “sepll chekc”!

But I still make mistakes, like writing down a girl’s phone number wrong, which can be quite embarrassing when you try to text them………but end up ordering a takeaway.

I also have to be careful not to get on the wrong bus. The 25 is not the same as the 52. But then Nottingham is not that different to Leicester is it?

I did make the instructors laugh on a first-aid course when I told them you had to blow the chest and pump the mouth when doing CPR. Hopefully I’ll do it right in a medical emergency!

At Loughborough, I certainly feel that I have found my tribe and get lots of support to help me succeed, and that my dyslexia makes me who I am.

But at the end of the day, remember that ‘10 out of 1’ people are dyslexic and having dyslexia is not as easy as 1….3….2!!

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