Hello! This is Blue. I’m one of the autistic students - or actually alumni now as I graduated last year- working with ARCH. I’m here to share my experiences of getting into university.

Getting used to Uni was tough for me, but I did have one advantage - I was still living at home. This meant that I had the support of my parents and my cat - later two cats. But, in retrospect, this wasn’t all upside (beyond the trials of living with two naughty felines that is!). Moving to University can be a stressful experience, but a lot of the time, stressful experiences are what provide the most growth.

Living at home was excellent as it meant that I had a safe zone to go back to. However, by that same token it also meant that I had a place to hide when I didn’t want to engage anymore. A part of me does wonder what would have happened had I been required to expand my horizons.

Fortunately, I DO have such an example. During my second year I got involved in the Chaplaincy, and was able to meet new people and grow my confidence without needing to engage in activities that I personally disliked. Eventually, I suggested a Chaplaincy Dungeons and Dragons club, where I became the DM.

I can tell you that it was absolutely a stressful, scary experience. However, I have become more confident, and now I’m helping one of my players set up their own first campaign. The DnD group has become a solid friend group for me. Whilst not everyone’s into DnD specifically, trying to get involved in one of the societies here does offer a chance to find your place in the university, even if it seems daunting.

And so we come to ARCH. The Autism Resource Community Hub, ARCH’s role is to help connect you to the university and the rest of its autistic community. Be it providing points of contact, useful advice or connection to social outlets, ARCH is dedicated to improving the university experience of the whole community autistic people at BGU. I hope to see you soon!