College My Way

Getting into college was easier than I thought – staying in was the challenging part!

Back in high school I had an IEP and received support from my resource teacher, with some private math tutoring at home. My grades were decent, but I don’t think I ever realized how much help I relied on to get my work done.

At college, my parents encouraged me to seek help, but I didn’t think I needed it, as I really thought I could do it on my own. I even stopped taking my ADD meds. I made some friends and went to class, but looking back, I was just not prepared for the amount of work, the level of independence, or the fast pace of the college semester. Before I knew it we were into midterms and I was already behind.

At the end of my freshman year I was placed on academic probation, and somewhere during my second year in college I completely lost my way and stopped going to class. Very reluctantly I left college, came home, got a part-time job at a day-care center, and began to work with Dr. Daria Rockholz to help plan my route back to college.

Dr. Rockholz walked me though all of my academic records, testing, and IEP reports – most of which I had never even read before. She helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses, how my learning disability affected my work and my personal life, and taught me how to ask for assistance and track my progress. For the first time I began to see my pattern of starting out strong and then giving up when the going gets tough.

With help and guidance from Dr. Rockholz I have become a better self-advocate, and feel more confident seeking and using the help services on campus. I’m leaving for college next week – a smaller college that has a strong support program, and I now have a list of resources and a plan of action that starts before classes even begin.

Student, Hobart and William Smith Colleges