I spent about six years in my undergrad degree. Of course I got really sick, which is something that delayed my graduation. But, I also think there were some things that I did that delayed my progress. Here are three things I’ve learned that I need to do while in school:
1. Register with the school’s disability office as soon as possible. Registering with the DO is a lifesaver. They create legally binding paperwork and accomadations that your professors must meet, for you to succeed in the class and when you get sick. For me, my accomadations were always to be granted (reasonable) extended time if I get sick and miss deadlines or exams and reasonable accomadations to the absentee rules. Both of which I used when necessary.
2. Communicate. When I first started the semester, I always sent my professors an email giving them the low down on CF and what could happen. I tried to always introduce myself in person, so they could match a face to the email. And, most importantly, no matter how often you get sick, always keep them in the loop.
3. Tone down the shame. For me, it was incredibly tough to send that second, third, or even forth email saying I was sick. I always thought that my professors believed I was taking advantage of my illness or faking sick. They don’t. I was also embarressed that I got sick, again. Needed a deadline, again. Except having a mutated genetics isn’t something I can control, nor the way they affect my body. I think what helped relieve that embarressment and the shame that tagged along, was recognizing that I am worthy, regardless. That everyone intrinsically is worthy.
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