Over 3,300 students are currently graduating from the University of Malta – all of them with their own stories which culminate with a short but significant ceremony.
Among the graduates, a youth’s story has excelled as he was paralyzed after an accident some years ago. During Saturday’s ceremony, the student received his degree in a wheelchair and made the graduation speech on behalf of the graduates. He will not stop here and will continue to study.
As a student of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, Clayton graduated first class in psychology at the University.
The road forward for Clayton wasn’t an easy one. Fourteen years ago his life suddenly changed. “I was paralyzed due to an accident in which I fractured my neck spine and I cannot move by hands and feet”.
He adds: “You are a person with the ability of doing everything by yourself and suddenly you lose control on your life”.
Clayton decided to start studying at the University. “The experience gave me a different perspective on life, humanity and human value – therefore it was an automatic decision to study psychology”.
Technology proved crucial to Clayton. “Essays and exams. I use the computer. Now you may use your hands on a computer and I use the computer with my mouth. I could not write, so I had the facilities of being assisted to write; I dictate and the person writes what I dictate”.
As is normal to other persons, there were moments when Clayton met with difficulties. “When we see a disabled person, automatically we comment about the difficulties such persons face in life. Yes, I have my difficulties, but I look at them as the difficulties every person has in life”.
TVM asked if he is honoured to have achieved First Class degree. Clayton said he is satisfied because he believed he was capable of this success.
Clayton is determined to continue studying, saying following the results he achieved in the thesis, he will continue to study the subject and has started a Master’s in Mindfulness.
Asked about his aspirations in life, Clayton replied: “I think, to live”.