As graduation approaches, I am finding myself saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new. I am getting ready to embark on a new journey of the unknown. There is a big world out there with a lot of opportunities, but also disappointments at the same time. I constantly find myself wondering if/when I find an employer; will they be receptive to my situation? When I say receptive, I mean an employer who is understanding, patient, open to change, and most importantly has the ability to believe in me as an employee.
Unfortunately, there are preconceived notions that people have about various groups in society, such as blind/visually impaired individuals. With this in mind, there is this heightened pressure to prove others wrong and debunk the stereotypes. According to several studies, employment rates among blind/visually impaired individuals are low, due in part to employer’s attitudes. One way to set an example is by continuing to believe in yourself; mind over matter. I truly believe that our way of thinking impacts our actions, which helps determine the outcome. I know the process can be frustrating, but when one door closes, another opens. For example, my first internship was a complete stressful situation because I did not feel supported by my supervisor. I felt that there was not a lot of openness to change or modification of task completion, which left me feeling out of place.
Eventually, I left that internship and found myself without a placement. It took several months for me to find the right internship, which proved to be the best choice. But, when beginning my second internship, I was nervous because of all of the negative experiences that I had my previous placement. However, despite my nervousness, I had a mission to show the people at my new internship that I could do the work in a sufficient manner. So far, I am in my 11th month of being at my second internship and am about to close the door on this chapter in my life, so I can open a new one. My request to you all, sighted or blind/visually impaired individuals, is to not give up and keep believing in yourself because you are a unique person who deserves nothing but the best in life. Plus, not only are you a unique individual, but you are also an inspiration to others around you. You never know who is watching you and in admiration of your daily actions!