If you are one of the many students starting university, you probably have a mixture of feeling anxious, excited and a little scared. This is normal as you are embarking on a new adventure that may bring unknown expectations, possible challenges but also wonderful experiences and opportunities to learn.

But if you have a specific learning difference, such as dyslexia or dysgraphia, starting, or returning, to university may be very confronting.  This can be because dyslexia and dysgraphia impact your literacy skills, and universities demand a high level of literacy with the amount of reading and writing that is required.  You may also experience some difficulties across a range of other tasks required at university.

However, it is important to realise that you can get support to help you successfully transition into university and reach your academic goals.

How you can have a successful and positive start at university

Find out what support your university offers students.  Most universities have learning advisers who can help you with many aspects of being a student. 

As a language and learning adviser myself, I have seen the positive outcomes and benefits for students who get learning support early in their studies.

How language and learning advisers can help

Language and learning advisers can help you:

  • understand and plan assessment tasks
  • develop reading and note taking strategies
  • improve academic writing skills
  • structure writing for various assignment types
  • learn how to reference
  • develop effective study strategies
  • manage your time and organisation.

How to get support from a language and learning adviser

Most universities offer appointments with their learning support staff.  We offer 30 minute one-to-one appointments which students book online.  But each university may do this differently.  Some universities offer learning support through the library.  Learning support may also have resources you can access online, for example templates for writing and note taking, guides on learning online, how to write different assignments, academic writing and much more.

Other support at Uni

Also if you have a specific learning difference you can contact the disability support centre or equity and access team as they provide information and services on how you can receive accommodations to assist you with your studies.