Skip to content

Health & Balance

Managing the Stress of Chronic Disease at College

Font Size
A
A
A

Going off to college comes with its own built-in set of stressors. You're away from home, possibly for the first time. You have to get used to new surroundings, different people, and a lot more work than high school.

On top of all these challenges, if you're living with a chronic disease like diabetes, epilepsy, or arthritis you'll also have to deal with the stress of managing your condition. Making doctors’ appointments, refilling prescriptions, and remembering to take your medications -- all these need to be penciled into an already overfilled calendar of classes, homework, and parties.

Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit

The Simple Secret to a Happier Life

By Charlotte Latvala In the immortal words of the Rolling Stones, you can't always get what you want. And you know what? That's really okay. Discover how letting go of impossible (and draining) dreams puts you on the path to peace. In the 37th week of my third pregnancy, I was cruising right along with no major health problems until — bam — I developed Bell's palsy, a partial paralysis of the left side of my face. I couldn't close my eye, I drooled when I ate, and, worst of all,...

Read the The Simple Secret to a Happier Life article > >

With so many young people living with a chronic disease today -- about 7% by recent estimates -- colleges have gotten better at accommodating students with special medical needs. Leaning on your school's programs and services can make those first few months of college seem much less daunting.

Checklist for Managing Your Condition

Use this checklist for managing chronic disease at college. It will show you how to prepare before leaving home, where to turn for help while you're at school, and how to stay on top of your treatments so you can focus on what's most important -- your studies.

1. Get to know your college office of disability services. Visit this office at the beginning of your first semester. Let them know what special accommodations you'll need to help you get through the school year. You might request a single room or special diet. If you have trouble walking, you may need transportation. Let them know if you need someone to record or take notes for you during lectures, or if you need extensions on tests or papers. If your school doesn't have a disability office, ask the student services department to refer you to someone who can help you.

2. Create a circle of help. You might be embarrassed to tell a lot of people about your condition, but at least consider telling those closest to you, such as your roommate, professors, and resident advisor. Show them what to do in case of an emergency, like pointing out where you keep your asthma inhaler or your emergency contact information.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

woman in yoga class
6 health benefits of yoga.
beautiful girl lying down of grass
10 relaxation techniques to try.
 
mature woman with glass of water
Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
coffee beans in shape of mug
Get the facts.
 
jet plane landing at sunset
Slideshow
poinsettias
Quiz
 
Hungover man
Slideshow
Welcome mat and wellington boots
Slideshow
 
Woman worn out on couch
Article
Happy and sad faces
Quiz
 
Fingertip with string tied in a bow
Article
laughing family
Quiz