University & Beyond: A Dyslexic Perspective

University & Beyond: A Dyslexic Perspective


Let me introduce myself, my name is Olivia. And, in the past six months, I have turned twenty-one, been dumped by my long-term boyfriend, graduated from university, moved to a new city and, as of last Friday, landed a job that I love which is in no way related to my degree. As you can imagine, the past couple of months have been a whirlwind of emotions, but right now I finally feel like I’ve landed on my feet, kind of.

Where do I start? At the beginning, I suppose. I was diagnosed with Dyslexia in 2007 at nine years old, after attending a parents’ evening at my primary school where my English teacher proceeded to tell my parents that the reason I was struggling in English was that I was “lazy”. I have to admit, despite being diagnosed, that comment has haunted me throughout my education.

My relationship with Dyslexia is a complicated one, to say the least. Throughout the last twelve years, I have met every expert you can imagine, attended multiple assessments and spent hours being tutored. It wasn’t until my second year in university that I actually met a learning disability professional that actually had Dyslexia. For the first time in my life, I felt heard and understood, which is all I ever wanted since being diagnosed. Since meeting my mentor, I have learned how having Dyslexia shouldn’t be looked at as a disability; it should be looked at as a wonderful gift that allows you to see the world in a much brighter and colourful light.

Now that you know a bit about me, I hope to be a friend to everyone learning to live with their learning disability. I hope you find support in knowing that you’re not alone and learn to embrace every aspect of your Dyslexia.

Olivia Smart xxx