How being Autistic Affected My Third Level Education Transition

Daily Life

Articles for students and families transitioning into higher education.

How being Autistic Affected My Third Level Education Transition

  • Jack Austin
  • 11/05/2021
  • 2 minutes read

In the past I have always loved the education system and enjoyed every day of school. Although I knew what I was doing, there is always a minor feeling of nerves when it comes to taking on a new place. Due to my Asperger’s Syndrome, I often have trouble adapting to significant changes that come around. Commonly with new school transitions I always fret at the ideals of getting lost, turning up late and not meeting desired standards of lecturers. 

Third level education has always been something whispered about in secondary school amongst my friends and me. The thoughts of escaping the monotone system of secondary to break into a new adulthood lifestyle seem brilliant.  

I am in first year of college at Technological University Dublin in Bolton Street currently. I discovered this course and investigated it greatly due to my love of design and building. I always was enthralled by technology and machinery and decided to take the scarce knowledge I had further.  

Colleges and Universities are most proud of their many social aspects. Though in the current times, they have been significantly impacted. Online classes are the predominant way now. This is a large change from the classic times of greeting others and involving oneself with in-class activities. However, I feel as if I have adapted to this change well. It has always been something I have tried to work on. Resilience is the key to life and to have a high degree of it means you cannot be stopped or disengaged by something like this. In truth, it obviously is far from cheerful conversations face to face, but there are still the many trusty supports available if I require aid. Emails are certainly a lifesaver!  

In terms of friends and confidence, it is still being worked upon. I feel much more confident than I did in secondary. I always enjoy hanging around with people of all kinds. They are the right ones there to mould you into your better self. Essentially all my secondary friends are either still there or studying across the county. My Asperger’s, I feel, makes it a little difficult to chat to people who I may not have met before, such as the other college students.  

Although with Asperger’s, many things can be challenging at times. But as I always say, when you have Autism/Asperger’s, you can do anything, but the last thing you want to do is let it hold you back. I love the aspects of college and the new learning ideals ahead of me, and I can just tell that in the Covid’s passing, the true experience of college is going to burst back into life once again. That day I look forward to. Life is a wave, and I can control whether I ride it on a piece of wood or a slate of gold.  

Check out Jack’s interpretation of what autism means to him


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