Talking to your Roommates
Moving to college can be worrisome for anyone, not to mention the unique challenges that an IBD patient may face. Something that will inevitably arise is how and when to tell your roommates about IBD. Remember that IBD does not define you as a person, and your roommates will not judge you for having this disease. Telling your roommates may seem daunting at first, but it is nonetheless an integral part of the college experience to make them aware of the situation in order to be prepared to deal with any issues if and when they occur. After you inform your roommates about your disease, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Establish quiet hours so that you are able to rest and get the sleep you need. Fatigue is one common symptom of your disease and you will need to make sure you are able to get adequate rest.
- Inform your roommates of your dietary restrictions, especially if you have a kitchen or expect to be cooking meals within your living space. This makes it easier to shop for snacks and other foods that you tolerate well.
- Communicate your need to access a bathroom in urgent situations. If you have communal bathrooms, there may be plenty of stalls available, however if you are sharing a full bathroom, ask your roommates to check in with you (or all roommates) before it will be occupied for long periods of time.
- Talk to your resident advisor about your needs as well.
Read more about these tips in this blog post by an NCCL member, Amy Bugwadia.