Hello everyone. I recently am back in college and just had a bad time with my diabetes but I’m noticing that my college has no clubs or groups regarding diabetes. I recently just spoke to my class with what I was dealing with and they were astonished. Hearing about me going into near ketoacidosis, counting carbs or what they were putting into their bodies. It was interesting though with one question my class had the week before. The question was this, “rewarding yourself with your favorite comfort food after a hard day can contribute to poor eating habits…true or false?” I was shocked when all my class said false and there is me saying true. I was right but as a diabetic hearing my class say that, it just goes to show how college students who are just out of high school aren’t thinking. I know right now I’ve been around 22.8 and 28.7’s and dropping like crazy at night but rising to those numbers throughout the day but I limit myself with carbs when I get that high. Then I look over in class after my discussion and there are a few classmates of mine with ice capps from Tim Horton’s. I’m just not knowing why even on a volunteer day, knowing there are events in this city, that not even Canadian Diabetes Association or JDRF are ever mentioned. That also gets me into this question, why isn’t there more of this involvement in colleges when only the accessible bathrooms for students and faculty have a sharps container. I honestly hate college I mean I love my program and everything but just the lack of awareness bugs me. If I could get a club together it still wouldn’t get that awareness out there. Do any of your colleges have groups or clubs or similar situations with your college?
My college doesn’t have any but our local JDRF is always doing something and they do their walk on our campus. Honestly I was also thinking of starting a diabetes group on campus and you really won’t know what it’ll do or where it’ll go until you start. One thing I noticed that bugs me is that there is a lack of healthy options on our campuses
I can totally agree with you on needing more healthy options on campus. My campus introduced Smoke’s Poutinerie this year and it bugs me how much I see it being used over the healthier options the college provides. Sure we have the salad station and sushi bar but the rest is Tim Horton’s, stir fry station, deep fried food, among a few. There is nothing though my campus does with JDRF or anything diabetes related at all. So your campus is lucky in that sense.
My campus has a College Diabetes Network chapter, where people with diabetes can get together and have others that just “get it.” I’ve loved having this group of people to talk about things with and sometimes just rant about the frustrations diabetes can cause. If you want to see if your campus has a CDN chapter, or if you want to start your own, you can visit this link: https://collegediabetesnetwork.org/content/campus-chapters
We do awareness events like hosting a table at our student union or chalking around campus. It can be really frustrating when so many people don’t know what diabetes is and how serious it can be, but I just try to take a deep breath and remind myself that sometimes they just don’t know any better. I’ve found that educating others has been really beneficial, even if it’s just one person at a time.
My university has a general disabilities support group, but I agree with you that there should be more groups on campus specifically focused on dealing with type 1 diabetes. Maybe you could somehow connect with other type one diabetics and start your own club? Making friends who share similar struggles has been one of the most helpful things for me in dealing with this disease.
Otherwise, I think that joining support groups outside of your campus would be extremely helpful. I haven’t had experience with this, but I think that the benefits of this type of support group would be very helpful, so I’m looking into this myself.
I have as well had the same questions about organizations that could be started at college. I even looked into how you can start your own JDRF local chapter, but wasn’t even very sure where to begin with this.
I started my own CDN chapter on campus at my school and it’s been a blast! I love having a group of people with diabetes who I can relate to. If you want more info on how to start a chapter, I’d be happy to help!