For millions of college students, winter break is over and it’s time to return to campus for the spring semester. For people who have Type I Diabetes, returning to campus makes living with their disease difficult -- it’s very easy for classes, papers, jobs and friends to interfere with managing this condition. According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 8,000 of the students entering college each year are diabetics. These students typically have a hard time dealing with Diabetes independently. Below is a list of things that students with Type 1 Diabetes should do to make their transition back to life on campus smoother.
- Make an Appointment with the College’s Health Facility. It’s a new semester and it’s time to check in with your school’s health team. If you visited your physician while you were home, bring any and all paperwork and test results to the health center so your records can be updated. Discuss any issues, such as glucose levels, with them so they are aware and can help you keep an eye on anything that needs monitoring. Your college’s health center is there to assist you with your disease -- remember, a team effort is always better.
- Review, Schedule, and Plan. With every new semester comes a new schedule. Though class schedules are typically different every day, it’s important to keep your insulin shots as regular as possible. It’s also crucial that you are eating what you need to main proper glucose levels. Come up with an insulin and food schedule and stick to it so your body gets used to the cycle.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet. Visit the school cafeteria when you return to campus. Since food is an important part of diabetes management, take the time to do some meal planning, either by yourself or with the nutritionist on staff. Make sure you’re getting the appropriate number of carbohydrates at each meal. Also, you should always keep a stash of snacks with you in case of any hypoglycemic episodes.
- Stock up on Diabetes Supplies. While you are living on campus, it is important to make sure that you are stocked up on diabetes supplies. Your list of necessary items should include your glucose meter, monitoring strips, syringes, and insulin. Further, make sure you also have urine ketone test strips and easily accessible forms of glucose (glucose tablets and small cans of juice).
Taking the time to make sure all of the above are taken care of when you arrive back on campus each semester will set you up for success in managing your Diabetes.