My whole life I have suffered with severe eczema. It has always had a big impact on my life and so was a major influence on my decision to go to university.
Before starting university, I was relying heavily on my family to help my manage my condition. I needed them to help me apply creams and put bandages on my arms and legs, and take me to and from hospital for my weekly appointments.
Living at university meant I wouldn’t have this support network around me anymore which made the decision to move away from home a greater challenge. I also knew I would have to miss a lot of lectures to go to hospital and worried my learning would be hindered because of this.
Nevertheless, I knew I had to get a degree to achieve my career goal of becoming a teacher, and I was adamant on living at university so I could fully experience university life. This meant I had to find a way to manage my eczema away from home.
Because of this, I had to plan extensively before I moved to university. The most important thing for me to do was make the people I lived with and my lecturers aware of my condition.
This way, the friends I made in my flat were able to take on the role my family previously had, and help me manage my condition. I have been very lucky in the sense that I have made great friends who still help me put on bandages and cream whenever necessary.
Telling my lectures about my condition helped prepared them for the fact that I had to miss lectures for hospital appointments. They were then able to pass on notes I missed to my friends to stop me falling behind on my work.
In addition to this, I had to plan what washing detergents I could and couldn’t buy once I was a student, what foods I could and couldn’t buy, where I could find emergency supplies of cream and bandages close to the university and how I was going to get my medication transferred from home up to Worcester.
Now, I am completely independent in managing my skin condition which has made me far more confident in my ability to care for myself.
Initially, it was extremely scary knowing I couldn’t rely on my family for support anymore. I was worried I wouldn’t have the support at university that I needed to care for my skin. It was equally scary having to factor in my skin care schedule to my new daily routine.
However I was able to overcome these fears quickly with the help of friends and caring for my skin has never been easier because of it. I am complete self-reliant and it feels great knowing I am fully in control of my own condition.
To conclude, the moral of my story is to never let an illness, condition or disability of any kind stop you from achieving your goals.
By planning ahead I was able to keep control of my condition at university and have been able to achieve everything I ever wanted to in throughout my time here.
I believe with the correct planning and a little bravery to take the first steps, others with a condition like mine can do the same thing.