Getting through college with a disease

Donnetta Shanklin, Courier Staff

Living with a disease while in college can be very hard. But the thing to know about them is that they are not all the same. Everyone experiences things differently and that’s okay.

Some people are scared to get help when they need it and that can be very stressful as well. No disease is bigger than another, but all people have their hardships. With the stressful curriculum and rigorous coursework, who would want to go get help when they don’t have time?

Here at WIU, the Disability Resource Center is very helpful. They often help with students who need extra time on their work, extra time to get to class and they can cover for you when you’re genuinely are not feeling so great.

Another thing that can be hard with having a disease or a disability in college is that it might not always be physically evident. Someone can appear to be healthy, but that does not mean that they actually are. The flipside could also be the case; there could be someone who looks like they need extra help and they don’t, and that can be hard as well. It’s always great to lend a helping hand when you think someone needs it, but it could also get annoying to the person if they don’t. It’s easier said than done to go get help, but it’s something that everyone should be encouraged to do.

Just because someone has a disease or disability does not mean that they have to fight with it alone. There are plenty of resources here that can help you get through college and get the help that you need. The great thing about the Disability Resource Center is they are very understanding and can relay the information back to your professors. Again, it’s not always evident that someone has a disability or disease, but if you let the professor know then they might be understanding. If you don’t let the professor know, it’s hard to expect them to know what’s going on and you might fall behind in school.

There are people who have adapted to school without getting extra help and that is completely fine. No one is forced to get extra help but for those who want extra help, they should not feel like that can’t. Some days are easier than others and it’s always great to feel like you have a safety net at school, and in a welcoming environment that is open to all types of people.

There are many resources offered at the Disability Resource Center on what steps to take to get the extra help that you need and they will be willing to make sure you feel safe. For the people that want to hide having a disability so they don’t feel different, that is completely fine as well.

No one should feel uncomfortable dealing with whatever may be going on with them and that’s a great thing about this campus. You can be as open as you want about your life and you can also be as private as you want.