Studying with Dyslexia

Neha Jolapara is on placement year, and will return to UoS to finish her physics and philosophy degree in September. The services she describes are available to all students at UoS, simply pop in to the Dyslexia and Disabled Student Services (located in the Alfred Denny building, entrance down the steps on the concourse). The friendly staff will be happy to arrange an appointment for you to discuss any potential or current learning needs and help implement a programme of support. They operate independently from academic departments. 

My initial attempt to confront dyslexia was in high school, where I asked the school’s medical centre manager if there was a test I could take to confirm my suspicions. This lead to my first experience of being ‘scoffed at’. She said “You’re an A grade student, go back to class”.

In stark contrast, the University of Sheffield’s response to the same pursuit gave me what can be described as a warm fuzzy feeling. They provided a safe, non-judgemental environment where you can have good grades, be ambitious and be dyslexic. The test was set up promptly and a detailed report was sent to both the department and myself. I found this to be useful; I learnt why my short-term memory is poor compared to my long term. Reading the report, hence understanding my own weaknesses, has made me a better learner overall.

I have always struggled with reading and found that text fluctuates in density whilst I read it. The University made me understand this was a ‘real thing’ and not just a concoction of my own mind. Whilst this was comforting to confirm, I wish there was more information available to understand why this happens. I was told that it is uncommon, hence by assumption has little information available in regards to it.

Out of my own choice I was given a free Dictaphone as well as one location for all of my exams. I have always felt overwhelmed when going to new places on my own even in stress free (non exam) circumstances, so this was a massive relief. Furthermore a Dictaphone compensated for any recollection my own memory failed to revive; this definitely made me feel more on par with my peers.

The University can always do more in terms of providing materials required to help dyslexic students learn and its swiftness in doing so. Nevertheless, UoS triumphs in both identifying dyslexia and making such students feel both safe and equal.

– Neha Jolapara

Happy International Happy Day!

be happy

Happy International day of Happiness everyone! The UN set the pursuit of happiness as a human right and fundamental human goal back in 2012, and I think I quite agree with them. We can’t all be happy 100% of the time, particularly around our exam times or during difficult placements. Even so, it’s really important that we squeeze a little bit of joy into every day and we treasure it. So consider this your doctor’s order – put that laptop/pile of notes/buzzfeed article/packet of hobnobs down and take five minutes to do something that fills you with joy!

Here’s me lost to an evening of pretending to be Beyonce

Let’s think about…


At first sight, meditation may not be your thing. Feeling “zen” and and finding “inner peace” might not sound like your cup of tea. But in simple terms, meditation is just taking a few minutes to concentrate wholly on you.

It can be done any time and any place. It’s just a short break in the day where you put everything else aside and focus on feeling good about yourself. You could sit in a park and watch the ducks swim round a pond. You could pause during your shower to focus entirely on the massaging water beating down and the pleasant perfumes of your shower gel. You could listen to a gentle talk down or nature sounds when you get into bed at night.

You probably do these things everyday, but when you take that extra minute to appreciate them more thoroughly they become really effective stress busters and have great effects on your long term well-being. I also find them great at shifting my chronic tension headaches.

If you’d like to start taking the time to look after yourself, but don’t know where do start, youtube offers some great guided meditations. These are everything from reaffirming pep-talks to taking happy adventures through your own imagination. My favourite guided meditation channel is youtube’s TheHonestGuys, and I often listen to them as I fall asleep.

The following is a favourite of mine that I return to regularly:

Love Grace xo

I Need Help Now!

If you have hurt yourself, think you might, or are in urgent need of attention do not hesitate to seek help!

If you have hurt yourself, taken an overdose, or have thoughts of ending your life do not hesitate to go to A&E or call 999. You will be treated with the respect you deserve, kindness and empathy. A&E exists to treat you in emergencies such as this and will treat you without judgement and total confidence. If you have taken an overdose or ingested poisons, you should go even if you don’t feel unwell as the effects of an overdose can be delayed by hours or days, but can be fatal.
Sheffield’s adult A&E services are located at the Northern General Hospital, S5 7AU.

University Health or Your GP
You can get an on the day appointment by calling UHS, using the app or using the online patient access every day at 8.45am. You can also visit them in person (at any time of day) and they WILL make time for you in an emergency. Do not be afraid to tell the receptionist you are in need of urgent care, they too will treat you in confidence and with respect.
Tel. 0114 222 2100

The Samaritans
If you are in need of a listening ear, Samaritans operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are one of the UKs leading confidential listening services and their trained professionals will listen with compassion at any time of day.
Tel. 08457 909090

Nightline is a student-run listening service operating 8pm-8am everynight during term time.
Tel. 0114 222 8787

Your Medsoc Welfare Team
Francesca and I check our emails on a daily basis. We are always on hand to guide you to appropriate services or even just listen, and will treat your concerns in confidence. Email us at: welfare@medsoc.net
We will be on hand at Medsoc socials, and invite you to approach us without hesitation.


 Welcome to welfare’s new blog!Meditator-with-red-heart.png

As promised, here is our online space to share with you a range of feel good media! We will also begin to add information regarding specific welfare issues (once we get to grips with this technology thing!)

We’d also love to here from YOU! Do you have any tips or advice for looking after yourself at medical school? Would you like to share your experiences with mental health so that nobody struggles alone? If you have anything you’d like to contribute, email us at: welfare@medsoc.net

Love and Happiness,
Frankie and Grace xo