As a student living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), you most likely had a more well-established routine at home. Now everything has changed—your living arrangement, your eating habits, and your environment. By planning ahead and being proactive, you can quickly and completely adjust to your new home on campus:
Obtain a map of your new campus and ask your Residential Advisor (RA) to help you locate where all the restrooms are in the buildings you will spend the most time in. Although maps are useful, nothing takes the place of your own personal tour—walking and seeing where all the restrooms are located will help you better familiarize yourself with their exact locations.
Become familiar with your new medical environment: learn where your campus student health services is located as well as how far you are from the closest emergency room and hospital.
Ensure that you have enough medication to last you through at least your first month on campus. Also find out where the nearest pharmacy is or if campus student health services can fill your prescriptions.
Check with campus food services to see whether meals that meet your dietary requirements are available. Be sure to also make good judgment when you dine out in your new community. You may be tempted to try different types of food you never had before—just remember to do so with caution and moderation
College should be one of the best times of your life, always have fun and try new things—but be smart and realistic. We know that alcohol and drugs can be a part of the college culture, but you know better than anyone how your body can react if you ingest certain substances. You should also be aware of the many risks that alcohol and drugs can have when they interact with your medications. Not taking precautions is not worth the high cost of your health, well-being, and life.
If you need further assistance with any of these issues or any other challenges, your campus should have someone for you to speak with, such as a professional from the campus counseling center or even your RA . You may also want to connect with other students living with IBD nationwide through our online community to receive support, ask questions, share experiences, or just be there for someone else.
Check out this infographic for quick points to consider about inflammatory bowel diseases!