‘Striving as an autistic student’ – An article written by myself for Sonar Magazine

- In an article written for the Southampton Solent University Student Union magazine that is produced monthly during term-time, I decided it would be good to share my experiences for a source which could inspire other students in my situation:

As a student at Southampton Solent University who is 24 and still finds himself in full time education, it could be considered by an outsider with limited knowledge of another person’s situation that periods of time have been wasted by merely sitting back whilst opportunities to earn valuable experience in any area of work has constantly evaded them.

This would be an understandable thought because life is often about grasping chances when they come along which may change any career for either good or bad reasons, though there are also people who blossom slower than others for circumstances beyond their control.

A slightly more suitable picture of myself!

Such stumbling blocks along the path towards success and fortune may include financial problems or disputes within a family that could knock anybody off their pursuit of happiness, another could be issues regarding application for places in universities themselves which are getting harder to obtain as government cuts take effect.

One further reason why life may cause occasional struggles is living with a disability, this being my own explanation for prolonging an academic journey compared to younger students on the BA (Hons) Sports Journalism course with myself which has made me ponder how quickly I’m achieving set goals throughout life.

Forgive any pessimism here but are these thoughts correct, can being disabled hold somebody back from a prosperous career in any modern day industry?

My specific disability is Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism that is mild in form of severity on the autistic spectrum but can still be pretty upsetting when feelings and difficulties created by it takes over the mind without prior notice.

These sudden mood changes aren’t exactly easily described but have an ability to halt any progress made on a project or task almost immediately, perhaps even completely alter previously planned arrangements.

Of course this isn’t purely negative as there can be positive sides to being autistic too which I’ll explain as a way of summing up my thoughts on being disabled but my own personal experiences have offered an intriguing mixture of good and bad memories, something that has made daily life very interesting but also an uphill struggle when things aren’t going as perfect as they could be!

Life with autism can be a blessing for all its downfalls which constantly have ways of making every little breakthrough important from getting good results academically to achieving success during everyday life that ultimately proves an initial prognosis made during early development by consultants at a West Midlands special needs assessment unit foolish in context.

Whilst being locked into my own little bubble as many toddlers can be, my mother was told that I’d never walk, talk or basically amount to anything.

Shocking news as I’m sure you’ll agree but I take this comment as a challenge, how would they feel knowing that I’ve come through standard school education and now sit comfortably placed working towards media based opportunities in the future?

I’ll do everything to prove them wrong which is a message that can hopefully be passed on through this article. Never give up if you can find ways of achieving your destiny, you’ll eventually get the happiness you’re striving for.

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About philevans
As a 26-year-old man that has lived with Asperger Syndrome since the age of nine, personal experiences throughout development can be found on My Autistic Life with the odd media review being thrown in for good measure.

6 Responses to ‘Striving as an autistic student’ – An article written by myself for Sonar Magazine

  1. samedifference1 says:

    Well done on getting this published! As someone starting out in freelance journalism, I can understand what a big moment this is for you. Hope there are many more to come, if this is what you want.

    • philevans says:

      Hey Sarah,

      It’s only going into my Student Union’s magazine but I’m pretty excited about it, had a few articles published when I had work experience at a local newspaper many years ago now but this is much more personal so it feels slightly different!

      Have you pursued university courses and things like that yourself for your journalism hopes?

      Phil Evans

      • samedifference1 says:

        Yes… I studied English at uni with some Journalism courses and am now trying to write as many articles as possible. Have had some published but am still at the stage where every success is exciting…

      • philevans says:

        Good stuff, I know what you mean about the excitement thing. Seeing a byline or piece of your work elsewhere is pretty crazy, hopefully we’ll both be able to get used to it one day!

  2. Sam Arojo says:

    Nice article on something which isn’t often spoken about. I hope to see more of your stuff as i believe you can be a real inspiration to people in different situations. Your morals of never giving up despite your situation is one everyone should live be.

    • philevans says:

      Hey Sam,

      Thanks for getting in touch buddy and I think I’ve recognised your name before by the blog you write…a fellow Sports Journalism student at Southampton Solent no less?

      It just seems right really to write about something that is incredibly personal yet receives hardly any media exposure at all, something will change hopefully in future years which would change those thoughts but I’m here before it does. People may learn something new from my thoughts but that’s not really my aim, I just hope visitors to my blog like yourself enjoy reading what I’ve wrote and don’t get bored by it instead!

      Again thank you for getting in touch and for your kind words,

      Phil Evans

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