I Can go to university
I’m Juan and I’m 22 from the Isle of Man. At RNC I study A Levels in Psychology, Sociology and English Literature.
I was registered partially sighted at the age of seven and then registered blind aged 17 as a result of RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa).
I went to mainstream school and sixth form and originally sat my AS Levels in 2010 but two weeks before my exams I suddenly lost vision in my right eye. I already had depleted vision in my left eye so was disappointed with my results.
Re-sitting my AS Levels wasn’t really a viable option back home, there is one QTVI (Qualified teacher for visual impairment) on the whole island and I knew I would struggle with such limited support. I’d known about RNC for a while and a friend from the Isle of Man attended the College so I always heard about the good work that they did.
Life at RNC
I began my studies at RNC in November, rather than the standard September start, because of funding issues. With additional support, I caught up with all the work I’d missed by January and was well on my way to being level with my peers again. I had already studied Psychology and Sociology at AS Level so a lot of it was refreshing what I already knew, but my teacher was there to answer any questions I had and was always happy and willing to help. English Literature was brand new to me and I had so much information given to me, the personal tutorage really helped to develop my own understanding and progress in the areas I needed to.
Being at RNC is completely different to mainstream; I have found the smaller group sizes great because it means we can really bounce ideas off each other, develop critical thinking, plus explore debates and issues in much more depth. Being at a specialist college for people with VI has given me the opportunity to make friends my own age, in a similar situation.
I am currently in my transition stage from RNC to university, completing UCAS application forms and attending interviews. I am able to carry out a lot of my own independent research but the staff at RNC are so helpful, there’s not a question they can’t answer about the university process. At university I’m going to study psychology as I find the subject area fascinating and the long-term aim is for me to go back to the Isle of Man as a counselling therapist.
With the tremendous support, advice and expertise available, RNC has given me the tools I need to get to where I want to go; I can now say with confidence that I can go to university and I can have the career that I want.
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