Sasha Thorpe: Starting my second year at university

Posted on August 30, 2012

Second year of university is just around the corner…… 2nd Year of counseling and level 2 BSL! Bring it on!

As much as I am excited there is a part of me is slightly nervous :/ I will be having new lecturers and my main concern is will I be able to understand them, are they willing to accommodate my deafness and strive to improve their teaching style in order to help me??

During my first year I had problems regarding videos in lectures without subtitles. I complained about this and they said they would notify me before lectures so I can get them transcribed by the Disability services. The downside to this is, they tell me at the beginning of the lecture therefore I have no time to get them transcribed! How helpful!!

Its the little things that irritate me – such as talking and writing on the board at the same time, even my hearing peers struggle with this. Or the walking around and talking at the same time, not so good when your view gets blocked.

Hopefully all this will improve with my “nagging.”

Also I have 3 presentations to give within the 1st semester…. Eeeeeek! I absolutely hate public speaking. I get so anxious and nervous. When it comes to public speaking I become aware of my voice and my short comings, my speech isn’t perfect and I make mistakes in pronunciation. When I’m nervous my speech becomes worst… Let’s face it! It is embarrassing when you make mistakes in front of a group of people listening to you. Yes, the people on my course group are aware of my deafness and are okay with it but I’m not okay with making mistakes with the simplest words. People argue that my speech is good for my severe hearing loss but I find it mentally exhausting, I go over what I want to say in head over and over again to ensure that I don’t make mistakes… No wonder I become so fond of signing 😀

But there are some things that will benefit me! Firstly I am on the welcome team at the university. I will be welcoming new student during fresher’s week, normally I would say NO to this as I dislike meeting people but this will help with my confidence and strengthen my deaf identity as I feel more comfortable in asking people to repeat and to explain I am deaf.

Secondly, I am vice chair of Sign Bar. This is society at university where hearing/deaf students, BSL learners can meet up and learn more BSL or more about deaf awareness thus helping to break down the barriers between deaf and hearing people. I also strive to educate the university more on deaf awareness as there improvements need to be made to benefit current and future students.

I shall be keeping you guys updated on my journey as Vice chair…. 😀

Sasha Thorpe is a deafie from a hearing family, discovering herself as deaf person. She is currently studying for qualifications in counselling studies and BSL. She wears hearing aids. You can find her blog at and follow her on Twitter as @queeniegalz

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