College is hard. Hard enough that a lot of people don’t even attempt to go to college at all. All majors in college have their own hardships but a medical field major-OMG.
A medical field major with a chronic illness- TRIPLE OMG!
I want to share with you a few tips that have helped me along my college journey with Endometriosis along with a few things I have learned thus far.
1.) FIRST- remember that you are NOT a normal college student. You can’t pull an all nighter and you may need to have a rest when you get home before you can start studying because your body is physically and mentally tired. THAT IS OK. IT IS OK FOR YOU TO HAVE A BREAK. Listen to your body and do what you feel is best for you and if that means having a cat nap before studying, HAVE A CAT NAP!
2.) Don’t expect people you are friends with at school to understand the fact that you do have an illness. When you bring up Endometriosis most people either don’t know what it is or they know it as being just “bad period cramps.” So they are going to ask you questions like “why didn’t you study last night?” or “you don’t have a job why didn’t you have time to study?” You don’t get it until you get it- forever will be my favorite quote pertaining to a chronic illness. It’s frustrating but we have to understand that these people are just uneducated and it truly isn’t their fault they don’t know much about the illness not many people do.
3.) DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF. Like I said above, you are NOT a regular college student. You have a whole job just taking care of yourself, doctors appointments, etc.. you may mess up. You may fail a test. You may not always get the A but as long as you are passing and doing your best that is good enough, don’t compare yourself to your healthy friend who doesn’t have a job and studies all the time because she can.
4.) Make time for family and friends outside of school. Being in college it sort of takes over your life. You want to be successful so you throw yourself into school work and studying and you forget about the people most important to you. This is true for a healthy person as well but for us with a chronic illness our families are the only ones we can always count on. Make time for those people, because when you need them they are always gonna be there.
5.) ALSO MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. Have a self care day, do a face mask, take a nice bubble bath with candles lit and music playing, drink a glass of wine, binge watch your fav tv show. Just do things you love, have a day just for yourself without studying and stressing about school. We all need that it keeps you sane!
6.) Keep thermacare heat pads around at all times. Nothing is worse than HAVING to attend class/clinic when you are having intense stomach cramps. I love these little things, they are truly magic. They do have menstrual cramp ones that stick to your pants with the heat side on your tummy, BUT I prefer the ones made for your back they come with this elastic that I assume you are supposed to wrap around your belly so the heat is on your back but I use it the opposite way, I wrap them toward the back so the heat is on my tummy! I prefer these because the ones that stick to your pants are smaller and they don’t really work as well I feel like you have to keep pulling up your pants to feel the heat.
7.) LASTLY- take care of your skin. You are going to be stressed and if you have Endometriosis your hormones are already wacky. So you are bound to get pimples/breakouts. WASH YOUR FACE AND DRINK WATER! It’s good for your skin, because I know we all HATE breakouts. For me, it truly makes me so self conscious when I have a breakout I feel like everyone around me is just staring at my pimples/breakout.
I could probably go on and list a million things but these are some that I make SURE to try and do. It isn’t easy, college isn’t easy to begin with but adding endometriosis/ a chronic illness on top of it makes it even more difficult.
To all my college spoonies- YOU ARE AMAING, YOU ARE STRONG, and YOU SHOULD BE SO PROUD OF YOURSELF!
Love xx- A