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4 Things I Wish People Understood About Learning Challenges

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We all have a story, and each person has a different experience in this world. With that experience comes struggles. My experiences in life have been a mix of positivity and struggle, particularly in terms of learning challenges. While I won’t go into my specific challenges, I would like to talk about what I wish people would understand. Also, I want to make you (the reader) aware that I am not complaining, I just want to bring to light some of the thoughts that can swirl in someone’s mind when they struggle with a learning challenge.

1. I wish people could better understand the behind-the-scenes of a learning challenge.

Countless hours of tutoring or visiting with instructors. Countless nights of tossing and turning worrying about if I am doing enough. Meetings with your advisors. On the surface, learning challenges might seem simple, but that is not the case at all. There are days where I will get up, go to class, have a meeting, eat and then go straight into a two-hour long tutoring session to help me better understand concepts in a class. It’s not easy sometimes, but it is what needs to be done to help me succeed. I am super grateful for every single person who is on my side.

2. Sometimes I struggle with self-esteem when it comes to learning challenges.

When you struggle with a learning challenge, there are days where you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin. It can feel like you aren’t capable of what you want to accomplish, and you put yourself down. That is very unhealthy, and unfortunately sometimes the case with learning challenges. I try to wake up each day with a good attitude, but realistically I sometimes can’t. In order to combat this, I will jam out to my favorite music or watch a funny movie! My friends and family are awesome because they are able to encourage me to be my best, no matter what.

3. I sometimes feel lost.

There are days where I wake up confused about why I am different and why I struggle. I sometimes wonder why did I get chosen to struggle? I know that is a bad mindset, but sometimes it is the mood I am in. This usually happens when I am struggling with something incredibly difficult to understand and grasp. Once I accomplish it, the feeling goes away. On the positive side, sometimes it is nice not really knowing your journey and finding out along the road of life.

4. I want to be like everyone else sometimes.

While we are all unique, there are still days when I wish I could be like everyone else who doesn’t have a learning challenge. Is it serendipity? Or is it a pain in the neck? I guess I just sometimes want to know what it is like to not have to struggle. In those situations, I just tell myself that I am made the way I am, and I cannot change it, so I embrace it. My challenges don’t encompass all of me, they are just a small part of me.

While I have these thoughts periodically, I do realize being different is a gift. If the world were all the same, would it be that fun? Probably not. Also, I really believe everyone should be a friend to each other, no matter the struggle. If we were all friendly to each other, the world would be a better place.

Getty image by kameshkova.

Originally published: May 6, 2019
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