Oxford was truly magnificent. I had not visited college campuses or university towns before so I was not sure what to expect. I have to assume now that it would have exceeded even my wildest expectations.


My perspectives on college education are still being shaped. I do not know if i can go to college or even want to. The Oxford visit has certainly romanticized that notion for me. The most fascinating aspect of the visit was the manner in which the historical buildings were brought alive by conversations between young students from all over the world. The glimmer in their eyes and the spring in their steps seemed to suggest that they felt they belonged there.


The major colleges had very similar structures. Beautiful stone buildings in different shapes and sizes that were all equally charming nevertheless. As we walked around one of the quadrangulars, we heard a beautiful piece of opera coming out of a music class. We grabbed lunch from one of the canteens and sat next to students discussing their days and debating the world. We climbed to the top of a chapel, whose stairway got narrower and darker, to get a beautiful view of the city. We visited one of the oldest museums and got a healthy dose of history and perspective. We grabbed some middle eastern food while enjoying their music while sitting in a bustling square.


As we took the bus home, it was clear that the bus was as equally not ready to leave Oxford as us. All the while it took for us to get home, I continued to let myself be enchanted by memories of this beautiful place. I couldn’t help wondering if there would be more visits yet.

Swarit Gopalan

About the Author

I am an 11-yr old autistic, nonspeaker that uses letterboard to spell/keyboard to type to communicate.I live with my family in Florida and go to Invictus Academy for school. 
I find a lot of solace in expressing myself through poetry. Music and nature also help me stay in the present, there is nothing better for me than to have my movement create a symphony with nature and to truly enjoy the sights and sounds. Living in harmony with nature is my life’s mission.
Right from the time of diagnosis, we are only told about all things we cannot or will not be able to do. Along with the check that is written to the doctor for the diagnosis, it often feels like our agency is written off too, especially without a reliable communication mechanism.  
Time to change the paradigm with more non speaker voices. It has always been a dream to share my thoughts and perspectives with the world so that I can be one of the catalysts to creating a better understanding of non speakers in general. 
My hope is that my words will help change the world from sympathy and pity for those like me to one of deeper understanding of our lives and allyship to ensure our rights.

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