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    Hi everybody!

    This is my first time writing up a thread, as well as becoming a member of the student room. I often pondered whether to write up my problems and present them to everyone else, but I felt, particularly in my circumstances, a certain level of arrogance in doing so.

    I have Asperger's syndrome you see, as well as dyslexia, so I am quite, quite, mad. Regardless however of my mental insanity, I am struggling to consider going to university. I'm predicted the grades - ambitious though they may be! - but I am questioning whether a degree is worthwile or not.

    I am drawn between either Archaeology & Anthropology, or History at university, but have decided to take a gap year in order to seek employment. While I do enjoy these subjects very much (studying all 3 at A Level) I question how much money I will have at the end of it.

    My parents have been very supportive, particularly advocating that I should go to university because these are subjects that I clearly love and - not to pat myself too much on the back - capable of studying at university.

    But therein lies the problem with my autistic side: I just can't bring myself to study a subject for 3 years without any guarantee of economic stability. I see university for the degree, not the social experience. I fear I will become pilloried given my anti-social nature. It's ironic considering one half of a potential degree I want to study involves studying humans - I'll have to be social then!

    If anyone is studying these subjects at university, would it be possible if I could receive any advice? Are they difficult? Do you enjoy studying these subjects at university? What are the career prospects like? Are autistic people comfortable in a university environment? Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
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    I think you may get better answers in regards to the subject side of things in the subject forums. Because your post also contains stuff regarding Aspergers, I'll leave it here for you.

    I personally struggled a lot with the social side of uni. But I wasn't diagnosed then and it was why I had to drop out.
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    (Original post by King Haribo)
    Hi everybody!

    This is my first time writing up a thread, as well as becoming a member of the student room. I often pondered whether to write up my problems and present them to everyone else, but I felt, particularly in my circumstances, a certain level of arrogance in doing so.

    I have Asperger's syndrome you see, as well as dyslexia, so I am quite, quite, mad. Regardless however of my mental insanity, I am struggling to consider going to university. I'm predicted the grades - ambitious though they may be! - but I am questioning whether a degree is worthwile or not.

    I am drawn between either Archaeology & Anthropology, or History at university, but have decided to take a gap year in order to seek employment. While I do enjoy these subjects very much (studying all 3 at A Level) I question how much money I will have at the end of it.

    My parents have been very supportive, particularly advocating that I should go to university because these are subjects that I clearly love and - not to pat myself too much on the back - capable of studying at university.

    But therein lies the problem with my autistic side: I just can't bring myself to study a subject for 3 years without any guarantee of economic stability. I see university for the degree, not the social experience. I fear I will become pilloried given my anti-social nature. It's ironic considering one half of a potential degree I want to study involves studying humans - I'll have to be social then!

    If anyone is studying these subjects at university, would it be possible if I could receive any advice? Are they difficult? Do you enjoy studying these subjects at university? What are the career prospects like? Are autistic people comfortable in a university environment? Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
    I'm going to be doing Egyptology at university. I applied to Ancient History and Archaeology based courses as well. PM me if you want to chat.

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    I don't have Asperger's so I can't give you specifics from that side of things, but I also struggled with the idea of doing a degree with no set path at the end of it. I'm not very social either and I wasn't interested in the university lifestyle (although I was okay with making friends, and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people I found even in my short 6 weeks at university who were also not party/social people but who just wanted to talk and maybe drink the occasional cup of tea together). I think in terms of socialising university was definitely easier for me than school/college was - probably because there are more people at university and so the kind of people who seemed to be rare at school (quiet people) were suddenly around in bigger numbers, making it easier to find them.

    In terms of jobs, the kind of subjects you're interested in lend themselves to things like an academic career (if you think you might be interested in making study and research your career) or librarianship/museum work. There's obviously not a set pathway from degree to career the way there would be with something like a medical degree, but that's just the nature of the arts/humanities (or even the sciences unless they're applied/vocational courses). It's difficult to live with the uncertainty and that was definitely part of what made me take the decision to leave my course (although my general anxiety was the biggest reason).

    Having said that, I think there is a way through the uncertainty. You just (I say just - I know it's not easy) have to alter the way you look at your degree. I'm hoping to go back to study in September and I've had to make peace with the idea that there might not be one career option that appears obvious at the end of my degree. So although I'm still going with the intention of studying and the final degree being my main priority, I'm doing the degree because I know that the subject makes me happy and interests me and I know that I want my future career to interest me and make me happy. I'm seeing this degree as the first step in a life I want and I'm trusting that it's the right first step to take and even if it might not lead to a definite career it will lead me in the general direction of doing something I actually want to do for the rest of my life.
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    (Original post by King Haribo)
    Hi everybody!

    This is my first time writing up a thread, as well as becoming a member of the student room. I often pondered whether to write up my problems and present them to everyone else, but I felt, particularly in my circumstances, a certain level of arrogance in doing so.

    I have Asperger's syndrome you see, as well as dyslexia, so I am quite, quite, mad. Regardless however of my mental insanity, I am struggling to consider going to university. I'm predicted the grades - ambitious though they may be! - but I am questioning whether a degree is worthwile or not.

    I am drawn between either Archaeology & Anthropology, or History at university, but have decided to take a gap year in order to seek employment. While I do enjoy these subjects very much (studying all 3 at A Level) I question how much money I will have at the end of it.

    My parents have been very supportive, particularly advocating that I should go to university because these are subjects that I clearly love and - not to pat myself too much on the back - capable of studying at university.

    But therein lies the problem with my autistic side: I just can't bring myself to study a subject for 3 years without any guarantee of economic stability. I see university for the degree, not the social experience. I fear I will become pilloried given my anti-social nature. It's ironic considering one half of a potential degree I want to study involves studying humans - I'll have to be social then!

    If anyone is studying these subjects at university, would it be possible if I could receive any advice? Are they difficult? Do you enjoy studying these subjects at university? What are the career prospects like? Are autistic people comfortable in a university environment? Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
    If you aren't 100% sure about going to university, having a gap year and getting some work experience under your belt is a great idea. Most degrees don't lead to specific careers, they just allow you to tick 'a degree box', the rest is down to you to show what you can offer to employers, with work experience and soft skills being important.

    I did a few History modules as part of my degree, although Modern ones, so perhaps not what you'll be studying- the coursework essays I wrote were far more like my A2 coursework than any exam answers. There was a fair amount of reading involved, though you get used to skim reading. Universities should offer some support with this as you have Dyslexia, I know someone at mine who has that and managed to do a history degree.

    I don't have aspergers, but thinking along the lines of a more quiet environment
    -Accomodation- typical student halls can be very noisy at night, with students pre drinking before going clubbing, however many universities offer quiet blocks. It's also worth gauging on here which halls are the party halls so you know not to put them down as a preference. A doctors note may guarentee you your preferred type of room if you feel you couldn't cope with catered or a shared bathroom.
    -From experience people participate as much or as little as they want to in the university social life- some people just turn up for lectures/seminars and then go home again, others attend 'non alcoholic' societies e.g. poetry or baking and others go out clubbing several nights a week

    If you decide to go to university it is very much worth doing your research into their disability provisions- some universities have better offerings than others.
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    If you aren't 100% sure about going to university, having a gap year and getting some work experience under your belt is a great idea. Most degrees don't lead to specific careers, they just allow you to tick 'a degree box', the rest is down to you to show what you can offer to employers, with work experience and soft skills being important.

    I did a few History modules as part of my degree, although Modern ones, so perhaps not what you'll be studying- the coursework essays I wrote were far more like my A2 coursework than any exam answers. There was a fair amount of reading involved, though you get used to skim reading. Universities should offer some support with this as you have Dyslexia, I know someone at mine who has that and managed to do a history degree.

    I don't have aspergers, but thinking along the lines of a more quiet environment
    -Accomodation- typical student halls can be very noisy at night, with students pre drinking before going clubbing, however many universities offer quiet blocks. It's also worth gauging on here which halls are the party halls so you know not to put them down as a preference. A doctors note may guarentee you your preferred type of room if you feel you couldn't cope with catered or a shared bathroom.
    -From experience people participate as much or as little as they want to in the university social life- some people just turn up for lectures/seminars and then go home again, others attend 'non alcoholic' societies e.g. poetry or baking and others go out clubbing several nights a week

    If you decide to go to university it is very much worth doing your research into their disability provisions- some universities have better offerings than others.
    Hi Jelly 1000,

    Thank you for the information. I'll have to do some research if I'm considering going to university. Thanks again!
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    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    I think you may get better answers in regards to the subject side of things in the subject forums. Because your post also contains stuff regarding Aspergers, I'll leave it here for you.

    I personally struggled a lot with the social side of uni. But I wasn't diagnosed then and it was why I had to drop out.
    Hi Tiger Rag,

    Thank you for replying to my enquiry. I'll have to start writing up a new thread in the subject area as well - again, thanks for the suggestion.

    Sorry about you dropping out of university, it must be difficult to of spent a considerable amount of time studying, only to struggle through the whole affair. This is one of my prime motives for me not going to university: the social life.

    Without being disrespectful, could you provide some details of the social difficulties you faced while at University? I already have a fair idea of problems that I might encounter, but anything that you found especially difficult would be very helpful.

    Thanks
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    (Original post by mscaffrey)
    I don't have Asperger's so I can't give you specifics from that side of things, but I also struggled with the idea of doing a degree with no set path at the end of it. I'm not very social either and I wasn't interested in the university lifestyle (although I was okay with making friends, and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people I found even in my short 6 weeks at university who were also not party/social people but who just wanted to talk and maybe drink the occasional cup of tea together). I think in terms of socialising university was definitely easier for me than school/college was - probably because there are more people at university and so the kind of people who seemed to be rare at school (quiet people) were suddenly around in bigger numbers, making it easier to find them.

    In terms of jobs, the kind of subjects you're interested in lend themselves to things like an academic career (if you think you might be interested in making study and research your career) or librarianship/museum work. There's obviously not a set pathway from degree to career the way there would be with something like a medical degree, but that's just the nature of the arts/humanities (or even the sciences unless they're applied/vocational courses). It's difficult to live with the uncertainty and that was definitely part of what made me take the decision to leave my course (although my general anxiety was the biggest reason).

    Having said that, I think there is a way through the uncertainty. You just (I say just - I know it's not easy) have to alter the way you look at your degree. I'm hoping to go back to study in September and I've had to make peace with the idea that there might not be one career option that appears obvious at the end of my degree. So although I'm still going with the intention of studying and the final degree being my main priority, I'm doing the degree because I know that the subject makes me happy and interests me and I know that I want my future career to interest me and make me happy. I'm seeing this degree as the first step in a life I want and I'm trusting that it's the right first step to take and even if it might not lead to a definite career it will lead me in the general direction of doing something I actually want to do for the rest of my life.
    Hi Mscaffrey,

    Thank you for the information. I know I am very pessimistic, and seem to see things based on their function and, urgo, university is about the degree for me. But, you have definitely enlivened my hope on the social front of university life.

    I mostly tend to consort with nerds, not just because I am a bit of a nerd, but because, generally speaking, they tend to be nice people. I think I too will make friends - emphasis on the 'think' - despite my general difficulty, but I think it is the more public social events, e.g. getting drunk, lectures, etc, that will be more difficult.

    Out of curiosity, what were you studying at University before leaving? And also, sorry to hear that you struggled with your anxiety. You may not have Aspergers, but I'm pretty sure you would've faced problems that are not too dissimilar to my own.

    Thank you
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    (Original post by King Haribo)
    Hi Mscaffrey,

    Thank you for the information. I know I am very pessimistic, and seem to see things based on their function and, urgo, university is about the degree for me. But, you have definitely enlivened my hope on the social front of university life.

    I mostly tend to consort with nerds, not just because I am a bit of a nerd, but because, generally speaking, they tend to be nice people. I think I too will make friends - emphasis on the 'think' - despite my general difficulty, but I think it is the more public social events, e.g. getting drunk, lectures, etc, that will be more difficult.

    Out of curiosity, what were you studying at University before leaving? And also, sorry to hear that you struggled with your anxiety. You may not have Aspergers, but I'm pretty sure you would've faced problems that are not too dissimilar to my own.

    Thank you
    I was studying Education with English (it wasn't a teaching degree - it was the study of the psychology, history, sociology and politics of education, alongside some study of literature). I'm going back to study performing arts, which is probably the least stable of all areas in terms of future employment but like I said above I'm hoping that it will at least send me in the direction I want to be going in. I've made peace with not knowing what comes next and instead knowing that various options (from teaching to further study to writing) will be open to me after the degree.

    My sister is waiting for an assessment for Asperger's and I know she struggles with anxiety among other issues. She has similar concerns about doing study in the future (she struggled with trying to work as, after a while, it became exhausting for her and she had to have space to breathe and have some quiet). From my own experience of university I've tried to encourage her to consider it because I do think it has the potential to be a positive experience even for people with anxiety and social issues. It's all about going into it with the right information and making sure the people who can help you at university are informed of your situation. The advice above about researching accommodation is good as that's where a lot of your time will be spent. You could ask if there's a quiet corridor available - sometimes universities group like-minded students together.
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    I did an archaeology degree and approximately one-third of my year had declared dyslexia and/or dyspraxia to the uni and were getting a range of support and extra facilities, courtesy of Disabled Student Allowance (that's "disabled" in the wider sense of being disadvantaged by cognitive/physical issues, not in the "registerably disabled" sense). Unis tend to be pretty good at finding assistance which is tailored to each individual, so don't let that aspect deter you. The effects of your Aspergers might also be mitigated.

    There's no doubting that the archaeology industry has been through very lean times during the recession and pay still isn't great. However, things have picked up now that development work has restarted (the majority of archaeological excavations are carried out to satisfy planning conditions). If you're prepared to undertake short contracts working away from home, job prospects for rookie excavators are currently pretty good. There's no guarantee that it will be the same when you graduate, but there's no time like the present if you want to give it a try. Getting practical fieldwork experience while you study will give you a head start in the job market.
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    (Original post by King Haribo)
    Hi Jelly 1000,

    Thank you for the information. I'll have to do some research if I'm considering going to university. Thanks again!
    Yes definite do, each university has its own student support department and if they are any good they should be happy to answer queries you might have and offer information about support they provide from the moment you say you are considering them. Couple of other things I've just thought about- saw someone else say on another forum that as someone on the autistic spectrum they found the open day they went to a bit too much- it can get quite crowded and noisy with lots of people gathered together. They contacted universities about going on a tour at a quieter time- might be something to consider. And just in response to your comment about nerds to mscaffrey, the beauty of university societies is they draw together like minded people from across courses/accomodation/years - each university usually lists the societies they have on their website/the student union website and generally offer a whole range of activities and meetings.
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    (Original post by King Haribo)
    Hi Tiger Rag,

    Thank you for replying to my enquiry. I'll have to start writing up a new thread in the subject area as well - again, thanks for the suggestion.

    Sorry about you dropping out of university, it must be difficult to of spent a considerable amount of time studying, only to struggle through the whole affair. This is one of my prime motives for me not going to university: the social life.

    Without being disrespectful, could you provide some details of the social difficulties you faced while at University? I already have a fair idea of problems that I might encounter, but anything that you found especially difficult would be very helpful.

    Thanks
    I didn't fit in. I hated the social side of uni.
 
 
 
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