The Harbinger Online

My Life With Tics: Preparing for College

Tics are noises. Noises are disturbing. Disturbing noises annoy people. I make disturbing noises.

Do I annoy people?

This is a question I’ve struggled with my whole life – especially these past six years.

If I go to a library to do work, I’m bound to let out a few squeaks. People can handle that, right?


People usually don’t tell me to stop or get angry. They just stare for what feels like 30 minutes, then close their book or shut their laptop and leave the library.

The same thing would probably happen in school if my classmates didn’t know that I had Tourettes. Luckily, my classmates have more manners than the library patrons, so they just continue about their work. But I still can’t shake the fact that I’m annoying my 20-something classmates.

Next year I’ll go to college. That means 300 people per class – half of which don’t even know about Tourettes.

As hopeless as I’ve made my college life sound, I’m actually very excited to be a Wildcat.

I contacted the K-State Student Access Center a few months ago to ask about accommodations. They said that most of the accommodations I’ve received in high school, such as extra time on tests as well as a private testing room, would carry over into college. Thank God.

Many adults I talked to have said that I’m already prepared for college because I’ve done so much work from home for the past few years. I’ve had to learn, work and keep track of my time on my own. I’m also used to emailing my teachers when I have questions and using academic resources available to me (such as the math tutoring at JCCC).

Next year will be filled with new exciting experiences. I can educate people about Tourettes, but whether I annoy people or not is not within my control. So as I prepare for my college career, I look forward to a brighter, less tic-filled education.

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Scotty Burford

Son of Christ. Family Man. Geek. These three phrases are my priorities in life. I'm just your everyday kid who happens to have Tourettes Syndrome. I've got the best friends and family anyone could ask for. I've been blessed with a mind wired for technology. I'm a Apple, Google, and Android fan (in that order). I enjoy sharing my opinion, and I usually don't care what people think of me for doing so. I plan on going to K-State next year to major in Journalism. EMAW and ... Read Full »

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