It’s okay to not always feel 100% okay. Coming to Uni for the first time is a massive thing, and having a strong support network is vital to ensure you get the most out of it. That’s what the JCR Welfare Team is here for. While Dom and Alice are always around for advice, help and cups of tea, the Special Considerations role is designed to protect, advocate and enhance the position of students with long- or short-term disabilities or illnesses, whether they are academic, emotional, mental or physical.
You may need extra time or rest breaks in exams, find walking or cycling to lectures difficult, have a dietary requirement that might make eating in Hall a bit of a minefield, or require access to counselling resources: I’m here to make sure that all these things are readily available to you, when and if you need them. When I first came to Cambridge I was unwilling to identify my mental health condition as a disability because I didn’t think I deserved ‘special treatment’, but the Disability Resource Centre (located on Trumpington Street) is open to all those who need it. As Special Considerations Officer it’s my job to liaise with the DRC and keep you up to date with the kind of help they have on offer, and to help you access whatever you may need.
Throughout the year I’ll be working with the Welfare Team to run events which will be open to all students but which are designed to raise awareness for Special Considerations and to help students with disabilities or illnesses connect with the Trinity Hall community. Last year we ran a five-day campaign for Mental Health Awareness Week which included free snacks and pizza, an evening of board games and a discussion group on women’s mental and physical health, kindly hosted by the college’s Feminist Forum. Keep an eye out for the coming year’s events, which I will be furiously advertising via email and Facebook! Even if you’re unsure whether your particular difficulty might be classed as a Special Consideration, I’m always available for a chat. Even though we may not always feel it, we do all deserve to be okay!