Meet Rodolfo

Rodolfo is smiling

“I’m Rodolfo. I moved to New Zealand from the Philippines when I was about eight years old. I am passionate about many things. Right now, I find myself deeply intrigued by chess, jiu-jitsu, txt/phone counselling, and developmental and clinical research. I’m fascinated by Psychology and Anthropology and have always found the interplay between the two subjects interesting.

“I chose the University of Auckland because of New Start. New Start is a part-time preparation programme for those over 20 thinking of university study.

“Because I took some time to try different things after high-school, I was able to figure out what I actually wanted to do for the rest of my life. But my Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) makes it incredibly difficult for me academically. I find it hard to focus during lectures, organise my notes, sit down and study, manage my time during exams, and complete my assignments. The most helpful strategy has been to find out the conditions in which I work best.

Student Disability Services (SDS) have been instrumental in my success at the University of Auckland. They helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses. They also provided equipment that helped me in removing distractions – for example, we concluded that noise-cancelling headphones allow me to focus intensely on the task at hand. In situations where wearing headphones was inappropriate, such as tests and exams, they were happy to provide me with earplugs.


“Knowing that I have the support of SDS builds my confidence in academic pursuits. They’re always open to any questions. Moreover, they are non-judgmental when they speak to me and try to understand my experiences in an empathic way.”