As previously discussed, I’m currently pursuing my masters degree in History of Warfare. Studying history requires a lot of reading, which can become quite challenging if you have dyslexia. Some academic history books are written in such a complex way that it makes it virtually impossible for someone with dyslexia, such as myself, to understand the content.
I have always found reading on a screen difficult and opt for physical copies if that is an option instead. This is because reading on a screen hurts my head after a while due to the light. I also find it hard to switch between tabs as I forget what I have read. However, sometimes reading online can be easier as I can copy and paste the quotes. But I will often do this after I’ve read a physical copy. I tend to avoid books off the reading list that are only available as an eBook for this exact reason as I would be unable to focus on a large number of pages on the screen. The one type of source I will read online is journal articles as they are not available as books. As they are often shorter, I find it slightly easier to read them.
Taking my time
I also find that, if I do not understand a book or journal article, I will spend some time trying to understand the content before giving up and moving on to another text. This is because I will become confused and flustered, which causes me to no longer want to try to understand the content.
I often find lectures difficult as I’m expected to sit there and listen to the lecturer talk about a subject while taking notes at the same time. They often talk too fast, and I cannot keep up. I often choose to not make notes in lectures and simply listen. Sometimes I watch the lecture back later if that’s possible, or consult any handout sheets or power points that the lecturer has made on the topic.
I receive extra time for my assignments as it takes me longer to create my essays. This is because it takes me a while to understand a book’s content. I also do better when I work on my assignments in smaller blocks. I am very thankful for the extra time I’m allowed as I do not feel that I would be able to produce my best work without it.
Having dyslexia and studying history is not all negatives, however. I believe that my dyslexia helps me to look at things in a different way, enabling me to develop my own viewpoint which is useful for essays. Despite my struggles, I love studying history. I may have to work harder but I don’t mind. In the end, it pays off.