I am aware that it’s university mental health day. Do you really want my honest opinion? Well, here it goes. I would rather study at the open university because brick universities are far too political. They control the narrative … anyone who doesn’t fit that model gets given a hard time. That goes for the education system in general. The amount of extra things I’ve had to sign as an autistic person to promise I’ll stay within the lines is absolutely ridiculous. They expected me to sign things knowing full well that my autism side would prevent me from being a certain way. The ‘rules’ cause me huge stress trying to stick to them. Then there is the rise of cancel culture. In some ways the culture helps to get rid of any undesirables from giving talks to students etc. However, at the same time, this culture could cause a much more toxic censorship culture. It’s common knowledge that universities are quite right wing. That isn’t balanced. I believe that the education system should be balanced otherwise your not opening minds … you’re creating boxed closed minds. The educated are supposed to drive change. How can they do that if their minds are just carbon copies of a certain political agenda by the time they graduate?
That isn’t good for students mental health. They’re going to be conditioned to think that the way they thought when they started university is somewhat abnormal. In my experience, it was a toxic environment for anyone that wasn’t neurotypical. I still drink to cope with open university. I can turn up to a tutorial online without them even knowing I had a drink. It helps my anxiety when I’m in a virtual room full of others. The education system is generally difficult for neurodivergent and mentally I’ll individuals. The way that it’s built is quite isolating if you don’t naturally fit in. I don’t mind working in groups but many autistic people absolutely hate that task. I conditioned myself by masking which led to many other issues.