University can often be difficult at the best of times; but add a health problem into the mix and it can suddenly get ten times harder. It’s so important to make sure that you look after yourself- and that the needs that come from your health are catered for.
GET A SUPPORT PLAN IN PLACE
Getting a support plan is something that you should do as soon as you start uni- or as soon as you are diagnosed with the condition. Speak to student services and see how you should go about doing this. Having a support plan will mean that you’ll be able to have adjustments put in place that will make your studies easier. They may give you anything from extra time in exams, being sent lecture outlines or extensions to deadlines. Getting a support plan from the very start means that you know that you have the provisions in place when you need them.
FIND A KEY PERSON AT UNI
Whether it’s your personal tutor or a welfare officer, find a key person at uni who you can contact should your health change and it be likely to affect your studies. By having a key person who is already aware, you don’t have to explain your condition to them when it becomes a problem and they’ll be ready to help you when you need them. Also, if your attendance slips because of your health there’ll be someone who is aware of the problem and will be more likely to check on you- trust me, speaking from personal experience this is a good thing!
You don’t want to leave all your work or revision to the last minute; you’ll only stress yourself out and that’s the last thing you need. Spread your work out over a few weeks so that you can do a little bit each day. This way you’ll make sure you’re finished well before the deadline.
MAKE TIME FOR SELF CARE
It’s important that you set aside regular time to relax after all the stress of lectures deadline and exams. Whether that’s a night watching netflix, pampering yourself or cooking a nice meal and sitting down with your housemates- however you like to unwind make sure that you’re making time for it.
DON’T LET ANYONE MAKE YOU FEEL BAD
There’ll be times when your condition means that you just have to say no to things. Whether it’s that 9am lecture or a night out, if you can’t manage it then that’s okay. You know your body better than anybody else and you know when its reached its limit. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for for saying no and putting your health first. At the end of the day you’re doing the right thing by looking after you.
Do you have any tips on navigating uni with an additional health need? If so, I’d love for you to share them with me in the comments below!