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Success stories

  • I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to receive specialist mentoring because of the wonderful personalised support that has helped me get through university

    I’m a third year Zoology student and have received specialist mentoring over my last two years at university. My mentor has made my time here so much better through the support they’ve given in my studies and personal life. Every session is different depending on what my current needs are, and they help alleviate my worries me by doing things like talking through my feelings or helping me carry out tasks that I’ve been finding difficult. They also make me feel really comfortable and accepted; I feel like it’s a safe space where I can express whatever I want with no judgement. Some days I’ve been feeling down, but after my session I leave feeling infinitely better because it’s an outlet for whatever’s on my mind and my mentor’s warmth and enthusiasm is really uplifting. It is really nice to have support from someone with experience of ASD as well, because it feels like they have a much greater understanding of what I go through and can therefore provide more appropriate help. I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to receive specialist mentoring because of the wonderful personalised support that has helped me get through university and feel better about myself­­­.

    Cansu T, Zoology Student

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  • With the help of my mentor I have done things I didn't think I'd be able to

    I started at the University of Reading in September 2015, everything was a big change, that took a lot to get used to, but with the help of my mentor, I was able to succeed and really enjoy myself.

    With the help of my mentor I have done things I didn’t think I’d be able to, like present a poster at a conference, and now, I am a PhD student and the happiest I’ve ever been.

    Oliver B , Phd Student

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  • When I first came to university, I was extremely anxious having never been away from home

    I’ve been seeing my Specialist Mentor for almost 4 years. When I first came to university, I was extremely anxious having never been away from home or having to deal with so many new situations and changes at the same time. I went to meet with my mentor every week and initially found it difficult to talk but over time, I was encouraged to open up and talk about my worries. My mentor has been instrumental in helping me deal with various concerns by talking through them and coming up with strategies to help manage them. As my mentor, she has been very supportive of any issues that have arisen and has offered support outside of the set sessions e.g. coming with me to a dentist appointment. She has given me the opportunity to talk about my week, allowed me to verbalize my plans and help me figure out what to do next. Without her help, I do not think I would have come as far as I have and be as comfortable in social situations as I am now.

    Vincent S , Phd Student, Robotics

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  • I feel more in control

    I suffered with panic attacks daily. My heart was beating so fast I felt as if I was having a heart attack. I was dizzy, cold and sweating. I was convinced something medically was wrong with me.

    My symptoms did not stop here it only got worst. I stopped working.

    I started having counselling sessions which literally changed my life. I still get panic attacks but this time I know how to deal and live with it. I feel more in control. With time I let myself slowly face the situations that used to paralyze me. I am now back at work and have reconnected with my friends. I started with meeting out in the open to now being able to have a drink in a bar. I feel happy and back in control.

    I cannot thank enough my counsellor for her support, kindness and wisdom. You have changed my life! Thank you.

    Mark R , Tewkesbury

  • After just first session with my therapist I regretted not starting therapy earlier

    My decision to start psychotherapy happened overnight.  I was up late watching YouTube videos on how to deal with painful childhood memories and how to forgive my emotionally detached parents. As a grown-up woman with three children now I had to let go of my childhood pain and stop my internal turmoil of sadness and anger that I felt towards my parents. I wanted to be free. I booked my first session the next day.

    After just first session with my therapist I regretted not starting therapy earlier. Although I have read lots of self-help books only during my therapy sessions I was able to start to let go of years and years of anger and sadness. I learnt how to process my emotions and view the events in my childhood with a different perspective.

    Before therapy I used to cry for days and argue with my parents all the time. Now after the therapy I feel huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’m more creative, I have lots more energy and I real like myself.  I have new goals that I am working towards. Thank you for being my therapist!

    Sue J , Gloucester

  • I can’t stress enough how much Specialist Mentoring had a positive impact on my university experience

    I can’t stress enough how much Specialist Mentoring had a positive impact on my university experience. I started at the university of Reading in 2015 feeling very scared, anxious, and alone; I graduated in July 2018 feeling so much more confident and happier. I began mentoring in January 2016, and I knew it was going to be a positive experience from the very start. Specialist Mentoring gave me a form of security – whenever my anxiety began to get out of hand, I knew that there was someone I could turn to who could help me, and who understood what I was going through. Having the opportunity to meet with someone on a weekly basis and just talk about how I was feeling was so good for my mental health – I began to feel less alone. My mentor was wonderful: she took the time to get to know me on a personal level, and I found that I could talk to her about literally anything, whether it was academic or personal. I felt like I was listened to, and that my struggles with anxiety were taken seriously. Mentoring taught me so much: how to manage my time better, how to revise efficiently, and most importantly, how to cope with my anxiety on a day-to-day basis. Specialist Mentoring made my university experience a positive one, and I don’t think I would be the person I am today without it.

    Sara G , MA Sports Journalism

  • I have massively benefitted from the help that my mentor has offered

    After finding out I was entitled to DSA support in my Second Year, I was partnered with my Specialist Mentor. My mentor has always been an incredible help from Second Year, during my Year Abroad and now in my final year. Weekly sessions help me to organise my week and feel less stressed and anxious about any deadlines I have coming up. I know that if I need any extra support from her, my mentor will willingly be there for me to help me through the harder times of university. We organised phone calls whilst I was living in France and Spain and even overseas, my mentor was always so helpful and made me feel so relaxed and less anxious, even whilst I was in a foreign country and she was in the UK!

    Laura D , BA French & Spanish

  • I am eternally grateful that I was assigned such a compassionate and inspiring mentor to help guide me through university life

    I have been seeing my Specialist Mentor for the past four years at university, throughout my undergraduate degree, and now whilst I am embarking on an MSc, she has been a vital person and support system throughout my journey.

    It is fair to say that when I started university I was riddled with anxiety and self-doubt, but through the consistent help and advice my mentor has provided me in my weekly appointments, I feel like a very different person today.

    Whether that be through her allowing me to vent, helping me organise my life, breaking down my assignments into manageable chunks, or generally making me realise that it isn’t all that bad and I can do anything if I put my mind to it. Without my mentor I do not think I would have managed to conquer my crippling anxiety, make friends, complete my undergraduate degree and now pursue my dream of working in the field of climate change.

    When I joined university, I didn’t know this service was available to me, and was apprehensive at first, but I can now say that the support has helped me in ways which I did not think possible. I am eternally grateful that I was assigned such a compassionate and inspiring mentor to help guide me through university life, and would encourage anyone who has this service available to them, to accept it.

    Elizabeth M , MA student, Climate Change

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