Diabetes and University - Learning How To Manage

Moving away from home to go to university is a big deal for anyone, but when you have diabetes it can be an even more frightening experience. Having moved out of home for uni myself a couple of year's ago, here are a few thing's that I learnt whilst living away and how I found the experience.

The course I wanted to study for my under-graduate degree was at a university that was located just half an hour away from where I normally live. The reason I chose this uni was that they were so supportive of my sport and it meant I could travel back to go training. But I took the decision to still move out of home so that I could have a full experience of university life. Although I'd been diagnosed with diabetes for quite a while by this point, it was still a scary thought.


Before moving to halls I had a look at what accommodation was available at my university. In addition to thing's such as proximity to campus, I needed to think about where I would be able to store my diabetes stuff including my insulin that needed to be refrigerated. With this in mind I made the decision to live in shared halls, as this would provide me with my own fridge in my room. So I knew no one could touch my insulin and I'd know where it was at all times. And it also meant I would have more storage space for the rest of the diabetes stuff that comes with the territory- blood strips, needles etc because I was still on insulin injections when I started uni.

Moving Out

Whilst moving my things from home and out to the new university halls, I made sure to pack all of my diabetes stuff last in order. So that the insulin wouldn't be out of the fridge for too long and I also made sure to clearly mark it. This was to enable me to quickly find it and unpack it the other end. Moving is such a busy experience that I didn't want to get side-tracked or for the package to get lost in transit. I also made sure to order enough supplies in advance that I wouldn't be struggling for quantities when I got to uni. Because although your diabetes is important, you don't want to let it get in the way of settling in and making new friends.

Fresher's Week

Fresher's week or fresher's fortnight as it was in my uni was a great time to meet new people and make new friend's. I decided to tell the one's that I lived with about my diabetes when it came up in conversation. They didn't make a big thing about it, but I felt that it was important that they knew just in case of an emergency. With the amount I train and the fact that I'd be going on night's out, it was important that people knew about my diabetes in case I should need help in anyway. Also during fresher's week it was a good time to join in with different societies and do new activities and you want to be able to get on with doing this without once again, worrying that your diabetes is going to spoil your fun.


The enrolment process could be quite a lengthly one when your registering for new classes. And with new lectures this is when I started to keep a bottle of sugary drink with me at all times. Just in case things over-ran or I wasn't sure yet where I could get food from. Aside from my lectures one of the important thing's that I had to register for was the on-campus medical centre. Once again it never hurt to have people close by that new about my diabetes. They never bothered me about it the whole time I was there, but if I was unwell at any time with something such as the flu which runs rife with so many people in one place. Then they would be able to treat me/ refer me really quick without me having to explain again about the diabetes.

All of these thing's really aren't a big deal individually, but they add up to having a fun and safe fresher's experience. Allowing you to enjoy your time at uni without having to worry about your diabetes too much. Learning to manage your diabetes whilst away from home is all about learning to take responsibility for it and gain independence and this is the first step.


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Meet The Author

My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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