I have never been comfortable with being labelled as a disabled student because I don’t feel that I am disabled as my condition is unseen. I understand that the word disability can mean many different things and it’s not in any way a label to be ashamed of, but ‘disabled student’ is a term that won’t ever sit right with me.
I’ve only met with the Disability Office at Loughborough once and it was so they could put a face to the name and speak to me about ways in which they could help me if I ever needed it. They seemed to have endless lists of solutions and support they could implement if I ever needed the extra support.
The disability advisor I saw was lovely and the whole team was extremely helpful. Luckily, I’ve not needed to get in touch with them again and I hope that continues but they really are very supportive and make you feel really comfortable.
People shouldn’t feel afraid of making an appointment if they have reason to because the University could take a lot of pressure off you if you’re dealing with health concerns alongside the general pressures of being a student. I really do encourage ‘disabled students’ to make the most of the support available to them.
If you read my last blog post you’ll know I’m a big lover of yoga. Yoga is meant to be really good for the condition I have and luckily, I became slightly obsessed with it and was able to spend January focussing on my yoga practice.
After spending Christmas and New Year with family and friends, I flew out to India with my mum and a friend to spend 2 weeks practising in Mysore, where Ashtanga yoga began. We set 5am alarms to practice as the sun was rising and soon realised Indian yoga teachers do not hold back. There was a bit of a language barrier but I thought “OW!” would be understood worldwide?!
Anyway, even with the pain of the manipulations, it was clear we were in very good hands and would be spending the next two weeks pushing our bodies further than we ever thought possible. Believe me, nothing improves your practice quicker than a small Indian man sitting on your back or standing on your thighs at 6am!
Our trip wasn’t all about bending and stretching. We couldn’t leave India without visiting an elephant camp to bath elephants who were in rehabilitation (and who were very well looked after I must say) and of course, the Taj Mahal which was every bit as magical as it seems.
February began back in Loughborough with the annual School of Art, English and Drama Postgraduate Research Student Colloquium, where first year students give a 15 minute presentation to introduce their research. As a part time student I took part in this last year too and although slightly terrifying as I am not a public speaker, it’s great practice and an excellent opportunity to hear about everyone else’s research.
On 4th February a group of us (that group of Loughborough PGR’s I mentioned in my previous blog!) met up to go and see a Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey game. I have to admit, I didn’t have a clue what was going on but it was a lot of fun to hang out with new friends and become more involved in this community.