While college is definitely a fun time, all college students probably look forward to their first break home. There are a lot of benefits of being home: a break from classes, seeing friends, spending time with parents (admit it, you missed your Mom), home cooking, showering without flip flops; the list goes on and on. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) shouldn’t get in the way of your recharging time at home. However, after some time away, a refresher on returning home with T1D is always helpful.
- Keep your independence
You have been living on your own for several months now and should have the hang of managing your T1D on your own by the time you are home for your first break. I was diagnosed with T1D in high school, so I was always in control of my management, and I made sure that was not going to change when I went home. Not everyone’s situation is the same, but no matter what, it’s important to be honest with your parents. If they seem to be a little overbearing, don’t be afraid to have a conversation with them explaining how you feel. After all, managing diabetes is hard, and you should be proud of doing it on your own, but always know your parents are there if you need any help.
- Brace yourself
Breaks from school are often filled with dentist appointments, haircuts, and everyone’s favorite - the endocrinologist. The first semester of college can be a hectic time of adapting to living in a dorm, campus life, and dining halls. Your blood sugars are inevitably going to be affected from all these changes. There is always room for improvement so keep working at it.
- Allow for changes in your routine
Coming home from school will mean a significant change in your daily schedule that will likely impact your blood sugars. When I am at school, I am much more active walking across campus to get to classes. At home, I am usually much more sedentary. Not to mention, you will be home for the holidays and surrounded by an endless amount of food and sweets. Talk to your endocrinologist about how best to adjust to these changes.
- Keep track of supplies!
Before you leave your dorm, take an inventory of your diabetes supplies and write down any supplies you will need to order while you are home to bring back to school. Going home is a great time to restock on anything you might need - snacks included!
The main thing to remember is to enjoy your break from school and get some much-needed rest. Spend some time with your family, indulge in a Netflix binge, and eat all of the home cooking you can get.
The above blog was written by a College Diabetes Network (CDN) Student Leader. The College Diabetes Network is the only organization focused exclusively on helping teens and young adults with T1D transition to independence—facilitating peer camaraderie and programs and providing life-changing information—giving young adults the confidence to take ownership of their health to live a full life without compromise. Novo Nordisk is one of CDN's Corporate Members and will be featuring several blogs written by CDN students.
The College Diabetes Network (CDN) created a Corporate Membership Program in an effort to build a sustainable business model to support its programs, and as a way to engage industry partners in building an “ecosystem” of support for young adults. CDN’s Corporate Membership provides industry partners a way to better connect with, and understand, young adults with diabetes. In addition, engaging with industry partners allows CDN to bring the voice of young adults with diabetes directly to the decision makers within these companies.