Going off to college can be filled with new adventures and challenges. When living with diabetes, these new experiences may be challenging as you are trying to balance “normal” college student life and taking care of your diabetes. Navigating the additional stress of diabetes during college doesn’t have to take away from your college experience. This blog post is going to discuss ways you can prepare for your college experience with T1D and the major stressors you may encounter along the way.
Always Carry Low Blood Sugar Treatments with You
There is nothing more inconvenient than having a low blood sugar– now that you may have to walk across campus to get to class or drinking alcohol on weekends, you may experience low blood sugars more often. Making sure that you or your close friends/roommates always have snacks readily available in case you experience a low blood sugar. Unlike high school, there won’t be a snack box in your teacher classroom or a nurse's office that is easily accessible. So, it will be your responsibility to make sure you are stocked up with low blood sugar supplies. Additionally, carrying glucagon around with you and teaching your roommate how to use it in case you need to bring your blood sugar up quickly.
Keep Up with Your Supply Refills
When navigating a hectic class schedule and exams, the last thing you want to deal with is trying to get in touch with your doctor’s office or pharmacy because you ran out of supplies or refills. You may want to consider asking your doctor to write your prescriptions for 1 year and opt in for automatic refills with your new pharmacy. This can make sure that you get your prescriptions on a regular basis and take one thing off your plate (so you can have more time to study for your exams!).
Know Your Campus Resources
As a college student with T1D, you have the right to accommodations. When you make your decision to attend a school, you should contact your college’s Office of Disability Services to see what resources they offer. Some accommodations you may want to consider include:
- Access to a refrigerator in your dorm room for storing your insulin.
- Having nutritional information available at dining halls
- Notification to your professors that you have T1D and may require breaks, snacks in class, or special testing accommodations
- Ability to reschedule exams if experiencing hypo- or hyperglycemia
Apply for Scholarships
Between high tuition costs, textbooks, housing, food and transportation– the costs of attending college add up quickly. On top of that, the rising costs of healthcare in the U.S may put added financial pressure on students with T1D on how they will afford their insulin or diabetes supplies. To make life just a little easier for T1D students, Skin Grip is offering $1,000 scholarships to 25 individuals. Requirements are as followers:
- Must have a diabetes diagnosis
- Must be a senior in high school, undergraduate enrolled in a degree program (either 2 or 4-year), or enrolled in a graduate program.
- Must submit a video (two minutes or less) showing how you live fearlessly with diabetes.
- Video can be filmed via cell phone, Zoom, etc. and is due by February 1, 2023. Submissions can be made through bold.org.
We believe that diabetes shouldn’t hold you back from anything, including thriving during your college years. We’re excited to be helping more T1D undergraduate students live life without limits.