Chronically Sick and Successful

My parents didn’t want me to leave the bubble of safety they had created for me in Middletown, CT. They had seen me go through it all ever since my diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease at the age of ten. So the thought of me going off into a new environment that is filled with triggers to my disease, scared them. College scared them. But Bryant University was the only place I wanted to go to, and even though it’s close to two hours away from home—I knew I had to at least try it for myself.

How do you not let a chronic disease get in your way of being successful? The answer is simple—you fight with everything you have. People told me that college would be extraordinarily difficult for me because of my disease, and that I might become sicker if I put myself in that environment. But I had to do it. It hasn’t been easy, I was not only learning how live on my own as an adult but I was also learning how to live on my own as a person suffering from Crohn’s Disease. For the first time I realized just how much work goes into keeping me relatively healthy. My body at first had a hard time adjusting, it was shocked by this new world but my mind was in love with it all. My thought process and sheer determination helped me overcome the obstacles I faced.

Once I started to become more accustomed to everyday college life I realized that I needed to know where all of my on campus resources were. Thankfully, Bryant has a large array of places and people to go to, to cater to all of the different needs that I, and everyone else have.

Everyone at Health Services now knows me, which makes me feel comfortable with going to them with any of my concerns. I also found peace of mind from counseling services. They helped me make the emotional transition into adulthood easier for me. I have also developed extremely important relationships with my professors. Because in the end, if I for some reason get sick, these are the people that are going to have to understand and work with me the most. Thankfully I have had wonderful, and understanding professors that have helped me along the way.

This transition from high school to college is already a scary one, but throwing in a chronic disease as well just makes it seem like an unfathomable experience. But fortunately enough for me, it hasn’t been. I have developed more as a person because of it, and am more grateful for where I currently am in life. As I like to tell other people who are just as sick as me, and who are scared of what college has to give them—don’t be. This life is too short to second guess ourselves and to never chase our dreams. If you told me eleven years ago that I would currently be sitting in Bryant University, flourishing and enjoying my first year of college, I would have said you were crazy. But here it is, happening.