Choosing Your College
"I chose my college because I knew the community would help me manage my disease." - Brian Ward, National Council of College Leaders
Where will you be happy?
It is important to choose a college where you can be successful, happy, and healthy. Take into account the doctors and hospitals in the area, as well as proximity to home.
What kind of meal plans does the school offer? Ask specific questions about the food services and dining hall options. What kind of special options are available to cater to your needs? Is it possible to have a kitchen?
Can you get a private bathroom or bedroom? If so, would you get to sign up before other students?
Your medical care
Be sure to research gastroenterologists, other specialists, hospitals, and clinics in the area and their capability to give you the care you need when necessary. If your doctor requires monthly tests, make sure that there is a facility close to your school that is covered by your health insurance. Other questions to consider:
- Will you be able to get medication mailed to your dorm?
- Are there pharmacies nearby?
- If applicable can you get medical infusions for your Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis at your campus medical clinic?
- Who are the doctors at your clinic? What are their hours?
Make sure that you will have the ability to get involved with things you enjoy on campus, and have a time and place where you can relax.
Check if your school has a disability resource center (or its equivalent) and learn what accommodations they may offer. Make an appointment before your college visit to understand the system. For more information on ways to be active in your rights as a student, click here.
- Tour every school you are considering, ask all your questions, and feel free to include your parents in the discussion if that is helpful.
- Create a list of pros and cons of every school and take everything into consideration before making the decision.
- Above all, make sure you choose a place where you can be happy and healthy.