Post Edited (kix2989) : 9/14/2009 11:25:30 PM (GMT-6)
Hi Kix, I know how you feel, I was diagnosed at 18 just months after I moved 5 hours away from my beloved parents to go to university (there are no universities near my parent’s place so I was forced to move). It was one of the hardest times….. I was alone, with no friends, only my boyfriend and my sister, and I suddenly got crohn’s, I was living on my own, with no money, was forced to maintain a casual job waitressing as well as having crohn’s and studying full-time because without the job I simply couldn’t survive. But somehow I managed it. It was extremely difficult at times, because I had to work and study full-time hours (I did a communications degree with majors in Public relations and Journalism)….. I didn’t have any time to be sick; I just had to get on with the job. I found that my lecturers and tutors were extremely understanding, just let them know you have crohn’s, give them some details about what the disease consists of….. They should be understanding. I had to supply a lot of doctor’s certificates, but this is only fair, and I only had to supply them if I required an extension of 2 or 3 days.
I ended up in hospital once or twice during semester, with severs flares and on a drip for a week or so, and when this happened I was determined I was NOT going to defer….. I just got extensions on my work and made up for it. I am a perfectionist and a fighter though and so I push myself, that’s just how I am. I know a lot of people who went to uni and deferred or quit even though they were able to live with their parents and were healthy as could be – they simply couldn’t handle the stress of uni. I guess it is just up to the individual – but if you want it enough, it can be done. I graduated the year before last and my GPA was so good I was even offered Honours!!! All the hard work paid off and I was so happy with myself being able to achieve a degree through all the hard stuff….. makes me feel like I can do anything if I set my mind to it, its very liberating.
My advice would be to be as open and honest as you can with your teachers….. let them know you are doing your very best but you are very ill….. they will admire your perseverance. Communication is key. Make sure you have a good dr who will give you medical certificates if you need them for extensions….. get lots of rest and relaxation times for yourself if you can….. don’t worry about ‘missing out’ on the social scene, it may be more exciting in the U.S but I don’t feel like I missed out on much of anything socially over here!! Getting completely wasted and passing out somewhere was not my idea of fun anyway!
You can totally do this!!!
Illini it sounds like we had very similar university experiences!! I only had a close few friends, but they are still my best, closest friends, some of whom I made at uni, others from long ago, and so I still had a social life, just a quiet and relaxing one….. a wild lifestyle will always be bad for crohn’s…. even my friends who were at uni and 100% healthy didn’t have too crazy a social-life, because they were poor students and couldn’t afford it!! But there is a lot you can do that doesn’t cost much and its company more than anything that counts. I also lived with my boyfriend so we lived quietly together and stayed in a lot but we didn’t mind at all!! I definitely needed more sleep than most too, probably a large part of that had to do with my anaemia.
I think your success at university as a student has much more to do with your drive than your disease. Even people who are 100% healthy can flunk out of class if they are not devoted enough….. Just do as much as you can, and concentrate on the study part of the experience rather than this social scene….. that would be my advice. It got me through with flying colours!