"The Disability and Neurodiversity services have helped me unlock my true potential and this has made me produce some of the best work I’ve ever done. I’ve also permanently felt supported and understood in any struggles with university life that I’ve faced due to my own problems."
CourseTheatre and Performance BA (Hons)
I‘d previously felt quite drawn to Surrey after a summer school at Guildford School of Acting (GSA) about six years prior. I was finishing my A levels and feeling extremely anxious and pressurised at the time because of the weight of the ‘next step’, so choosing a place I had a previous relationship with felt like the right thing to do.
The location was key as it’s near enough to where I live and all the places I enjoy going to when I’m at home, but it’s also a 34-minute train journey to London. I was mainly drawn to GSA because it’s such a key place to be for a career in the arts.
GSA is one of the top three drama schools in the country, so if you want to elite training and exposure then it’s the place to be. I also enjoyed the warm, collaborative, ‘arty’ atmosphere of the GSA building and its classes On top of its reputation, it felt like the perfect working environment for me.
My course has a small intake, which makes it incredibly intimate and personal. This really helps you to trust and believe the teaching staff are there for you, as are your course mates. Everyone knows everybody, teaching is easily tailored to the cohort, it’s very up to date in its approaches and ethics, and the content is stimulating and enjoyable. I love it.
The staff and facilities are outstanding. The staff show immense enthusiasm and put so much time and effort into genuinely caring about the students. The facilities are of high quality and excellently maintained.
Support with Disability and Neurodiversity (D&N)
I accessed the D&N service the second I joined in the first year. I was informed of the process way before I even applied – at an Open Day – which meant I could start immediately. All my assessments and needs were carried through and welcomed into the University seamlessly.
I have a detailed report which was circulated around my lecturers to make them aware of certain circumstances which may arise due to my dyspraxia. Furthermore, I have a personal tutor who I meet with once a week to help me with academic work, and a mentor who monitors and aids my mental health at Surrey.
The services have truly made my studies a massive success. My work would not be anywhere near as clear and well organised as it is without this help. The Disability and Neurodiversity services have helped me unlock my true potential and this has made me produce some of the best work I’ve ever done. I’ve also permanently felt supported and understood in any struggles with university life that I’ve faced due to my own problems.
"My experience of disclosing my disability has been endlessly positive. I feel understood, aided and welcomed. It’s removed any kind of communicative barrier between myself and my lecturers, and it’s surprised me how much staff genuinely want to help me and make my studies as easy as possible, by always taking my disability into account."
Advice to disabled students
Don’t be afraid! It’s understandable and completely valid that you may feel that way, but my experience has proved it shouldn’t be a worry. The support available will genuinely help you create work you never even dreamed you’d be capable of, and it will lift a lifetime of worry and anxieties about your disability. You’ll feel accepted, supported and as though you are no less capable than any other student on your course.
Life at Surrey
The town is gorgeous, full of shops, and so close to London! The range of shops, restaurants and cafes is amazing, and the nightlife is good for someone who can't cope with being the biggest party animal 24/7. The campus is also beautiful in the summer, especially the lake.
Reflecting on my time
I’ve completely changed since joining Surrey. My critical and rational mind has evolved, my life skills have grown dramatically, and I’ve just grown up so much. My ability to listen to others and consider and respect their point of views has also really evolved.
It’s been a life-changing experience and something I’d highly recommend you do. I’ve had a lot of fun at Surrey and feel very attached to it!