School is back in session, and while everyone is excited to see their friends, meet new people and build up a foundation of knowledge, there’s one thing that might be ruining some students’ mood — hearing. Some people compare hearing loss to getting the flu – both elicit a feeling of being disconnected from the world around you. Unfortunately, this “flu” never goes away. But it doesn’t have to stop you from participating in life — especially when you’re in college.
We want our readers to know that you should never have to choose between your grades and your hearing health. Hearing loss is manageable, and there are many solutions for you. Here are a few tips for young adults entering into a campus environment:
Join the Club
It can be challenging to get involved but growing your social circle will make you happier, more confident and help you find those like-minded individuals that share your passions.
Your campus may have a center or resource office for students with disabilities. It’s essential to get familiar with the resources they offer, like seeing an audiologist, taking speech or sign language classes, or requiring professors to turn down the volume in their classrooms.
Get to Know Your Teachers
You can notify your teachers about your accessibility needs ahead of time with the help of your advisor. This will alert them to your classroom requirements while also allowing you to begin preparing yourself and your environment for optimal educational acquisition. Try to meet with them within the first week of the new semester and establish an appointment by email.
Some students put up a short description of their hearing problem and recommendations and tactics that they and their teachers might utilize to make studying more efficient. It can be sent to them as an email or printed for them to read. Requesting lectures or meeting agendas ahead of time might help you prepare better, and following up to check material can keep you on track.
Disclose Your Hearing Loss to Others
It’s not easy to do, but it’s crucial to be your own advocate. Doing so in college will give you an advantage when you start working professionally. Your classmates may not have had any prior encounters with deaf or hard-of-hearing people. When it comes to successful communication, this may set the tone for them to be unsure, just as it may for you. Take the time to meet with a few people who you believe will be involved in your studies or class assignments to be more informed about your needs and help you be more productive and engaged.
There are various solutions available, and the one that speeds up clear communication is likely the most useful. You could say something like, “I have hearing loss in my left ear, so it would really help me participate in our discussion if you faced me and/or spoke more to my right side.” Practicing disclosure with a trusted friend or family member before using it in college or university would also be beneficial.
Choose the Best Seat
Examine your classroom or lecture hall and place yourself in the best seat possible. Choose a seat away from windows, doors, high-traffic areas, and loud fans or ventilation systems. Give the lecturer advance notice of your plans, and depending on the room’s arrangement, try to sit up front and in the middle for the best vantage point. This will provide you a better view of your lecturer when they talk, as well as any audio-visual aids they may utilize.
Treating Hearing Loss
If you started college this year and are concerned about your hearing loss, contact us! Our team of committed hearing professionals will ensure that you have the treatment you need to understand your lecturers and classmates. Our unobtrusive hearing aids come with fantastic programs to help you hear better in the classroom and at home. Find out how hearing devices can help you have a successful school year, from directionality features, speech augmentation, and background noise reduction to the most advanced streaming features.