What high school is REALLY like in a wheelchair

After missing a year of school due to illness, It was decided that I was FINALLY stable enough to return to school and boyyy was I wrong about what the whole experience would be like. I had waited for what felt like a lifetime just to get all the necessary meetings and precautions put in place, just for it to even be considered that I could go back to being a somewhat “normal” teenager (or what I had pictured it to be anyway) and over that time, I had plenty of lonely days in bed and chats with my parents about it, to be able go over all the different scenarios in my head of how the whole thing was going to play out. The majority of the time, I imagined it to be exactly how it was before I left; full of teenage drama, boys and well, classes. Believe it or not, it certainly isn’t how I pictured it.

Getting around;

First of all, I definitely underestimated how big and inaccessible my school is- I go to one of the biggest schools in the country, so it was probably pretty naive of me to believe that getting around on wheels was going to be the same as my own two feet. In addition, the shortcuts through my school were definitely a no-go for me, meaning most of the time I have to go the long way round. All in all I’m usually pushing at least a couple miles a day.

The couple of lifts that they do have, also break down every couple days- so that’s not exactly helpful either 😩. I miss out on a lot of important classes and exams because of this combined with bad weather and exhaustion which stop me from getting from A to B.

The people;

Next there’s the people- other students, staff etc. I obviously expected a few questions and a bit of extra unwanted attention, but what I didn’t expect is how rude and cruel other kids can be. Even 5 months on, I still get called names, “meals on wheels” seems to be the most popular, stared at CONSTANTLY and people even sing “the wheels on the bus” as I go by. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that sometimes it’s just a laugh or whatever with their mates, but I’m always being reminded how different I look, I literally cant forget about it for a second whilst I’m at school with the things people say to me, the whispers In the corridors as people have to move out the way for me. Another common thing that happens to me is kids pretend I’ve run over their toes- erm no, first of all I’m pretty good at avoiding hitting or running over peoples toes (I mean, unless I don’t like you- then I’m definitely not ruling it out 😂) second of all, this is extremely embarrassing so I’d really rather people didn’t draw more attention.

Staff have been okay, compared to the students that is. It was always going to be awkward between me and teachers when they first met me, but some of them have made me feel like a big issue, and the bare minimum of them go out of their way to make sure I’m included in everything. Plus I’d like to add that I get barely any extra support, and not many of the things we agreed to make happen for me have actually happened… ugh 😑. As for the few teachers and staff members that have taken me under their wing- I’m very grateful for them and I could have never keep going without them.

Thankyou for tuning in if you got this far- and feel free to subscribe by e-mail or contact me with any questions you have, I’m usually very happy to answer them ☺️ Niamh xoxo

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4 thoughts on “What high school is REALLY like in a wheelchair”

  1. Wow, I’m sorry to hear that kids are still so ridiculous about this stuff, but you seem like a smart girl with a good sense of humour! Hopefully you know you’re tolerating their stupidity more than they’ll ever have to tolerate wheelchairs in their environment…


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