College is a unique and fleeting moment is the scheme of one’s life. As well as being fun-filled, socially-engaging and eye-opening in equal measure, it can be chaotic, stressful and exhausting. If you suffer from migraines, the college environment is certainly one that will need to be managed if you want to get the most from this (probable) once-in-a-lifetime experience. With that in mind, here are five important steps you can take to make your experience that more memorable and productive.
Don’t keep it a secret
Suffering from migraines, as any sufferer knows, can be deeply debilitating. Like any illness of chronic condition, it limits your productivity at certain times, and can set you behind the curve. Quite simply, make sure that you share your condition with everyone who needs to know. That includes roommates, classmates, friends and lecturers/tutors. Never pretend that everything is OK, even when it is not, because that immediately means that you must cope of your own, and although you feel you can do that, is a problem shared not a problem halved?
“Think of the benefits that can come with sharing your condition with roommates, for example. They can then begin to adapt their behaviors to a way which facilitates your good health, and can assist you when help is required. Share with them what it is you need, and let them help you build a support network,” says Sheila Lee, a psychologist at Academized and Revieweal.
Speak with professors
Your main objective at college will be to learn, study, and obtain the qualification you are looking for. To this end, make sure that you speak with academic staff at the beginning and explain to them how your migraines manifest and what they allow and don’t allow you to do. Quite often understanding staff will assist in facilitating a study program which maximizes your potential. Even if it is just extending a deadline because you are laid-up with a migraine, this will be of incredible help to you ads a sufferer.
Understand your limitations
For many migraine sufferers, the condition can be made worse when limits are not respected. Of course, there are other times when a migraine arrives at a most unexpected time, but try to live in a way that facilitates your health. So, ensure that you are getting enough sleep, that you are eating healthily, and that you getting the required amount of exercise and fresh air.
“There is always a temptation at college to slip into bad habits, and to live to excess with the alcohol and fast-food intake, while burning the candle at both ends. It’s true that some individuals can manage this load, but most people will suffer as a consequence, either in their health, both physical and mental, and in their academic achievement. If you suffer from migraines, this type of lifestyle will absolutely not suit your needs,” warns Sandra Wright, a health writer at UKWritings and Essayroo.
Develop healthy routines
Similarly, college life can be become one lacking routine, but migraine sufferers often need the crutch of build-in habits which maximize health. Roommates can help here by respecting your needs, but once again it is important to share what they are, and when there are danger signs that you need to be left alone. Develop a routine for when you actually suffer a migraine, allowing others to become familiar with what your routine is so they can respect your boundaries.
Develop a support network
As well as those all-important roommates and professors, develop relationships with other people who can be advocates for your needs. In class, develop mutually respectful relationships where you can assist in gathering notes or other resources when someone misses a class for whatever reason. As a migraine sufferer, be realistic and accept that there will be times when you need to miss a class and have a plan in place for what happens then. Do the same for others so it becomes an environment of respect and assistance. Similarly, if you are part of a social group or sports team, foster relationships which offer you support in your time of need. This again requires being honest about your condition – going it alone is just not an option.