Feminist Aspie

Autistic Fresher To-Do List

on October 12, 2016

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✓ Meet flatmates

✓ Worry I’m not outgoing enough or not making the right small talk and they won’t like me and I’ll be lonely all year

✓ Gradually become comfortable enough in the kitchen that I’m mostly not too scared to use it whenever other people are around

✓ Get used to all the little noises

✓ Go to welcome events

✓ Experiment with earphone volume and sheer repetition until the walk to campus isn’t a wall of sensory overload

✓ Worry that everyone else seems to know each other already

✓ Bolt from that one event that gets really overcrowded

✓ Beat myself up about it because if only I’d stayed, I might have made loads of friends

✓ Visit freshers’ fair

✓ Survive the general sensory onslaught of freshers’ fair

✓ Sign up for lots of things I’m interested in, and also some things I’m not interested in because I can’t say no to people on the spot especially when I’m just trying to process the input

–  Blog?

✓ Go to course inductions

✓ Meet people on the course

–  Explain to the people I just met at the induction why I froze up at the cafeteria afterwards

✓ Make a note of when the fire alarm is tested so I’m less likely to jump out of my skin every week

–  Avoid thinking too much about how warm the crowded rooms get

✓ Go to postgraduate welcome drinks… for ten minutes, then leave and beat myself up about it

✓ Realise how safe and comfortable I feel in my new room, having just got back from postgraduate welcome drinks after ten minutes

 Adequately explain to friends why I left postgraduate welcome drinks after ten minutes

✓ Survive a tube journey

–  Explain what’s happening when I start to shut down on a busy tube with new friends

✓ Catch up with old friends

✓ Get home from inductions on the tube without almost being hit by a car afterwards because I’m in such a daze

–  Understand how other people are crossing the road almost without even stopping

✓ Immediately bolt from another drinks event following a chaotic and overloading induction

–  Explain to flatmate why I accidentally abandoned her at the drinks

✓ Worry about how new friends are interpreting autistic traits because they don’t know I’m autistic; Worry about how new friends might see me differently if I say I’m autistic

–  Blog

✓ Start classes

✓ Receive “you don’t have to apologise so much” comments from friends and lecturers alike

–  Work out how to tell people that I know they mean well when they say things like “you don’t have to apologise so much” but they’re only making me even more self-conscious, which is the opposite of their aim

✓ Accidentally hit rush hour on the tube, survive tube journey anyway

–  Survive rush hour tube without almost passing out when I’m back in my room or, failing that, get better at avoiding rush hour

✓ Complete GP registration

✓ Complete disability service registration, even though I wanted to bolt and hide and ignore it

✓ Go to societies

–  Get into a full routine by figuring out which societies I will be attending regularly

✓ Struggle with the “So what do you do in your spare time?” question, because my socialising mainly comes from university societies and I am yet to completely figure out which societies I will be attending here

✓ Accept that it’s cold now and, after much deliberation, start wearing a jacket

–  Wear jacket on the tube (possibly when visiting a flying pig?)

–  Explain why I’m so anxious and out-of-it at a particularly overloading society welcome

✓ Survive bus journey, realise that this is much easier and contrary to previous worry will not cook me alive (at least not in October…)

✓ Mess up at least two really really basic meals

✓ Successfully eat food the vast majority of the time

✓ Find an excuse to mention autism on Facebook where some new friends might see it

–  Actually talk about autism to new friends

✓ Remember I need to think about future career paths

✓ Continue being frustrated with how much more competent and grown-up all my friends are

–  Work out where to even start with future career paths

✓ Observe increasing evidence that everything is going to be okay and I’m not slipping back into old bad habits

–  Fully convince myself that everything is going to be okay and I’m not slipping back into old bad habits

✓ No, really, blog

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7 responses to “Autistic Fresher To-Do List

  1. suzannah says:

    wow almost every single thing on this list has happened to me in the past few weeks, especially
    “Explain to the people I just met at the induction why I froze up at the cafeteria afterwards”. kinda spookily accurate! good on you for going to societies as well as uni, i’m not sure i can manage it.

  2. YIKES! And — amazing! Yay, you.
    I don’t even want to think about my list, even though I do love lists.
    Thanks and love and GOOD LUCK!!
    Full Spectrum Mama

  3. Megan McLaughlin says:

    One minor point. I think you will eventually find out that your non-autistic friends are actually LESS competent and grown-up than you are. If you have made it this far, you are AMAZINGLY capable.

  4. […] Feminist Aspie on being an autistic college freshman […]

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