Five young adults who are deaf or hard of hearing were interviewed for the Transition Roadmap Project. Here are some seasoned words of advice from them to you on life after high school.
"My advice is to remember that this is your life and your transition, so it can go however you want it to. No one is living your life except you. Just because you're working with a transition program or case manager or whatever, you still have full and complete power to make your own decisions and choices, no matter what anyone says to you. You're the boss here." ~ Jaemi Hagen, Duluth, MN
Black and white image of Jaemi, his hand resting under his chin
"My advice for students making the transition is google something like important skills or something to learn before starting college. I HIGHLY recommended setting an appointment with the Disability Resource Center and learn what they provide in terms of accommodations. Ask questions! Also know your preferences of access like ASL Interpreter, CART, notetaker, etc. beforehand so you know what you need for access (This applies to things like extended test taking and more). Join the VRS for not only college, but for things like setting up resume, proving interpreter for job interview and more! However, there is one thing about VRS that students and parents need to know is that they do not always pay for college tuition and they will be selective and cautious in doing so. Also, prove to them that you need their help." ~ Luke Stadelman, Lakesville, MN
Smiling man with glasses sitting on a large rock outside
"Take advantage of all services offered, enjoy the college experience as much as you can, and stay on top of your homework as it is easy to get behind. If you stay on top of your work in the first two years, that is about building the base for the next two years." ~ Sonjay Sivarajah, Lino Lakes, MN
Smiling man with beard in front of a white shiplap wall
"Don't care what anyone thinks about you. No matter what, you will never make everyone happy. So the only thing you can count on is making yourself happy. That is the key to really enjoy the college process and life in general. Also, if you are Deaf or HOH, understand that there will be anxiety because you can't hear. Also, understand that if you can't hear someone ask them to speak up because you can't hear well. Lastly, don't worry about anyone talking s*** about you. If they are, it is because deep down they are insecure about something in their life. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. Also, don't stress if you miss a couple of classes. Everyone does every once in a while." ~ Sam Bondhus, Faribault, MN
Smiling man in front of living room fireplace and shelves with books
"The most important piece of advice I'd give to someone planning to go to college is that if you need help don't hesitate to reach for it whether it's something you struggle with in class or with mental health or anything else." ~ Maeve McDevitt, St. Paul, MN
Female wearing blue. She is standing in front of a house and tree with her arms crossed.