9 Ways of Coping with Illnesses in College

College isn’t easy for anyone, but fighting an illness while in school can be particularly challenging.  People don’t understand that you can’t always do everything all the time.  Not to mention some classes can be real challenges.  But whatever your illnesses, here are some ways to cope with them while at school.

1.       Reduce your stress.

Avoid anything that is overly stressful.  That may even mean tweaking your major just to preserve your health.  You may want to take a full load of classes, but it's okay to go half-time or take a semester off to work on your health. Also, get your rest. It helps!

2.       Take advantage of the SDRC.

The Student Disability Resource Center is amazing. Some students don’t like to utilize them because they don’t want to feel like they need help, but please take the help, because when you’re sick or at appointments it really helps to have note takers and tutors to help you through your classes.  It's also great to have your professors know what is going on. 

3.       Find a support group.

You may be able to find a support group on a campus of students with the same disability or illness as you.  These groups are always great because you are around people that know what you’re going through and you know that you aren’t alone.

4.       Take your medication(s) and go to the doctor.

Do whatever you need to do to stay healthy. Going to the doctor when you’re supposed to and taking your medications are easy ways to do so.  Not doing these things can make matters worse and in some cases, even cause more illnesses.

5.       Don’t drink if your medications say "DON’T DRINK."

Just take the meds. You may want to skip a dose because you want to turn up, but trust me, it isn’t worth it.  If you aren’t supposed to be drinking on your medications just don’t. You’ll regret it.  I get that you want to be able to have the college experience like everyone else but honestly, you never will (at least not like that).  Drinking on certain medications is not smart and just out right putting your health at risk. Not only that, drinking on certain medications can seriously alter your personality, and you don’t want people wondering why you’re so “crazy,” when you drink.

6.       Don’t tell everyone what you are diagnosed with.

Most people aren’t going to understand and honestly, you’ll have more people pitying you than anything. Then you’ll have some that are just outright cruel and insensitive to your cause, and you don’t want that either. You’re no one’s charity case. Tell your business to trustworthy people and when you feel it is right.

7.       Exercise and eat properly.

No matter what your illness, in most cases (unless you are physically unable), exercise is great for everyone.  Even if it’s light, do something.  Also, remember to eat properly.  Your diet can affect your medications in some cases.

8.       Learn to accept help.

You may want to do everything yourself but sometimes it’s cool to just accept help from others.  Don’t let your pride get in your way all of the time, and don’t think that accepting help is a sign of weakness.

9.       Get some amazing TRUE friends.

On those days that you’re: agitated, nauseous, have inflammation, gaining/losing weight, sick, have headaches, vomiting, depressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, feeling hot or cold, gassy, have the runs, constipated or whatever from medications or just everything.  It really helps to have those real friends that understand and that will be there for you no matter what.  Now, you won’t have many of them but when you find them, remember that they’re there to help you make it through whatever you may be going through. Sometimes they'll take you to appointments, sometimes they'll annoy you trying to make sure that you stay healthy, and sometimes they're just there so you know that you aren't in it alone.  So don't be too hard on them when you're going through the storm. Remember that they are carrying your umbrella.

On those days when things aren't easy just remember that you are strong, you don't need pity, and that you can be successful and amazing at everything that you do.  Don't let anything or anyone stand in your way.  Don't use your illnesses as an excuse for failure.