How Gallaudet Changed Me


Pardon me if this post is too nostalgic and mushy for your taste, but when I was browsing some of my comments, I came upon this…

I’m in my last year at Gallaudet and I have changed so much since coming here – for the better. I’ve learned so much about what it means to be Deaf and I see myself and others in a whole new light. It has really changed my perspectives with respect to discrimination, limitations in the hearing world, access to total communication, and the amount of support here is incredible. It wasn’t until my last year here, did i realize who my true friends really are. I’ve learned so much about people and their strugggles and successes and had I not came to Gallaudet, I would have never experienced a different world. I do not regret coming here one bit.

I feel pretty much the same as this poster. Granted, I’m not in my last year at Gally, I’ve still got 1 or 2 to go, but occasionally when I look back on my high school years to the person I was then and compare it to the person I am today, I am amazed.

If you asked me 3 or 4 years ago if I thought I would be living in Washington DC today, I’d probably be screaming “NOOOOO!!!” Growing up I was this very shy girl living in a tiny town, so I didn’t get the chance to socialize or make very many friends. Even though most of my family is deaf, I felt like I wasn’t truly deaf.

I decided to go to Gally because I realized that I was sick of being the only deaf person in school, I was sick of making friends through interpreters, I wanted a chance to succeed without people feeling sorry for me. I was scared, sure, I hate going to the city and feel real anxious whenever I visit one, so how was I supposed to adjust from living in a town where the number of turkeys outweigh the number of people to Washington DC?

Freshman year was hard, but sophomore year was better, I met more friends, and junior year has been the best by far. I truly feel that I am where I belong, even though I could do without the whole city-living type of life here. I feel as if my identity is clearer than it used to be in high school, I’ve made so many friends, my confidence level has skyrocketed, and I’m doing things I always wanted to do but was too scared to try. I think this is all due to Gally’s way of making everything accessible to everyone and encouraging students to succeed.

There are days when I hate this campus and am dying to go back home to the safety of my house, but then there are days where I feel as if I can do anything I want to and that there is nothing stopping me. I never felt that way at home. So, thank you Gallaudet.

Alright, I’m gonna stop the mushy train right here before this turns into Sobfest 2010. Send me questions if you’ve got ’em!



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