A Pre Move In Check List for Chronically Ill Students

As I embark on my senior year in just a few weeks I realize I have almost made it. At this point in my life of balancing being a typical college student and battling for my health every day I feel uniquely qualified to advice incoming freshman on how to do college without totally neglecting your health.

Things to do in the weeks leading up to your move in date-
  • Decide on if you are going to see specialists as well as a PCP by your school or if you are going to continue to see your old doctors. Many factors may effect this such as how far away your school is to your hometown, if your new school is in a city (making it more accessible to good doctors), and how often you plan on visiting home. If you do plan on establishing yourself with new doctors you should be setting up appointments now because waiting list can be long and you want to be an established patient ASAP in case you have an emergency. If you do not plan on having a doctor near your school make sure to research student health and see what they are and aren't able to handle and if you can see a doctor when you get to campus to establish care. 
  • In case of an emergency figure out what hospital near your school can handle your case. I made the mistake on my first ER trip to go to the hospital affiliated with my school even though it was not the best for my particular situation. The closest may not always be the best. If you are going to see doctors in the immediate area know what hospitals they work with.
  • Talk to the office of disabilities. If you qualify for disability housing you obviously need to set that up before you move in (also know things like Celiac may qualify you for disability housing). Otherwise this may be able to wait until your first week on campus.
  • Figure out how your class schedule will work with your health. If you have morning stiffness you may not want to take an 8AM. If you have problems sitting for long periods of time you may be better off taking shorter classes that meet more often. If you cannot walk fast/easily do not schedule back to back classes that are located on opposite sides of campus.
  • Start a conversation with your future roommate. Depending on how sick you are and your daily routine it might be a shock to someone else who you end up living with. I just told me roommate my diagnoses prior to move in and had a bigger discussion when we met in person.
I am going to try to make this a series about chronic illness and college so let me know if there are any other topics you would like me to cover.

Freshman Joan Wishes You Luck!

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