Our marketing executive and former student, Helen Skipworth gives some useful tips for managing your epilepsy at university.
Most students worry about assignments, exams, cost of university or even how to work a washing machine, but how do you prepare for university life when you have to add epilepsy to the equation?
Heading off to uni can be daunting for anyone. I remember the night before I left home to start my degree, franticly googling if it was possible to do the course from home! Almost 7 years later, I'm glad I decided to show up on that first day. I've made friends for life and came away with invaluable skills. There's no reason your epilepsy should stop you from having the same experience.
Thinking about how your epilepsy might affect you may help you to feel more confident about dealing with your epilepsy at university. It also gives you a chance to make sure you have support and help in place before starting.
Talk about it
You're starting a new adventure and it's an exciting time. The last thing you may feel like doing is telling people about your epilepsy. You may not want everyone to know, but telling your course mates or the people that you are living with could give you peace of mind that they will know how to help you.
Know your triggers
Some people with epilepsy find that there are certain situations that bring on a seizure. These might include tiredness, stress and alcohol. You'll no doubt encounter all three at some point. If you know what triggers your seizures, you may be able to avoid these situations and reduce the risk of triggering a seizure.
Take your medication
Without sounding like a nagging parent, remember to take your meds! Often the best way to make sure epilepsy has as little impact on your life as possible is to get the best seizure control you can. Making sure you have a supply of your anti-epileptic drugs and taking them regularly means you can keep your seizures at bay and focus on other things (like doing your washing!)
Register with the university health centre or GP
Finding out where the university health centre or GP is located, and registering with them as soon as possible means that it should be easier to get an appointment if you need one. It is also important for getting your anti-epileptic drug prescriptions.
See what help is available
However your epilepsy affects you, contacting the student disability service might help you to find out what sources of help and support are available. This might involve getting financial support through a Disabled Student Allowance or it might be something that the university itself can help through its disability support service.
Last but not least..don't worry
If you're worried about managing your epilepsy whilst at university, it might be helpful to make an appointment with your epilepsy specialist and discuss any concerns or questions you have. Just think, you only get one opportunity to experience Fresher's Week for the first time, so make the most of it! Just don't forget to take care of yourself.
If you have any other questions around managing your epilepsy at university please email us firstname.lastname@example.org