College: Please Help!

I was just diagnosed on June 4th, 2010.  I will be attending college in the fall.  Any tips or tricks you could tell me that my doctor won't know?


Please and Thank You!

are you on the pump or on the shots?? :)

As a first piece of advice: check often and have a routine!!

I'm out on my own and a sophmore at the moment. I was having trouble for a second balancing work-diabetes-school-sleep but after a moment of clarity I was able to stop....and reevaluate my ratios which really helped me re-function.

I'd say look for a way to connect with other diabetics at your new school. It's always helped me to know at least one person to talk to on a regular basis about it.

Also, attempting to stay away from junk food is a huge help. Its easy to find because its cheap and collegestudent-attracting, but its hard to control.


I'm not sure if that was the advice you were looking for... : but maybe it was!

Also, make it a point to collect every menu that includes carb amounts on it. from everywhere you go. I have the book that has almost every restaurant I can think of, and the carb amounts for everything they offer. I have a large purse and always carry everything with me. :) (maybe not all the menus, but try memorizing the amts for the foods you eat most often.)

Once you get your routine down, I think diabetes kind of becomes your new normal. I just finished my first year of college and didn't have any issues. Make sure you talk to your roommate and let them know what to do if something were to happen like your blood sugar getting too low. It can also be helpful to give professors a heads up.

Also be careful with alcohol. It has a lot of sugar in it, but if you give insulin to cover it, it can sometimes make your sugars really drop. I don't give insulin for alcohol, just correct my sugar later.

Also, everybody keeps talking about their low blood sugar.  How often does it get below 70?

Depending of how carefully you regulate, and what you are physically doing the number of lows can vary. I eat little snacks all day so I end up taking a ton of little shots throughout the day. This increases my chance of a having a low because I am constantly taking insulin to correct food. As long as you check your blood sugar often you shouldn't end up with too many. I check at least every 3 hours I'm awake.

Always carry food with you though. A granola bar, a juicebox or glucose tablets...something you won't be too tempted to eat when actually hungry. I used to have a problem eating all my emergency snacks.

On the first day of class, make it a point to notify the professor. That way they won't yell at you awkwardly for eating in class in case of a low.

I graduated in May 2009 and really never had any trouble. Definitely talk with your roommate and your RA, most people are really awesome about stuff and it helps if other people know what is going on. I usually didn't tell all my profs, only the ones in my upper level classes, but it is totally a good idea to talk to them. Also helps them get to know you. I only had trouble once my senior in, in the hardest class I ever had. I got really stressed about the final and I spiked high. Since I'd talked to the prof, she let me go get fixed up and finish the next day. I got a little low once in a while when I was late for my morning class and didn't have time to stand in line to get breakfast, but I always carried glucose tabs in my backpack.

Alcohol and parties can be really tricky. Don't go all crazy until you know how you do, and ALWAYS go with a friend. Which you should do anyways, diabetic or not. Drunk and low can look really similar, and if everyone around you is drunk too, generally not the best situation. Also, be real careful with stuff like jello shots and jungle juice. It has a ton of sugar and alcohol, which can be really hard to treat. I was never big into parties, but as long as you are careful, you should be ok if you go.

The endless food buffet in the dining halls was usually an exercise of self will. My school had the fruit right next to the dessert. The brownies always looked way better than the yogurt. Takes a lot of energy to resist.

I went to school really far from home, so I has to use a different pharmacy to get some of my stuff. There was a local one near the school that would deliver to campus. Super convenient. If they won't deliver right to your dorm, they may drop it off at your health center too, they can call you and you go pick it up.

Any other questions, ask away!

Best of luck and have fun!!

Talking to the office for disability services is totally worth it. You probably won't need it, but in case you have issues with any professors, or can't finish a test cuz you're too low, or miss class with you're high or sick... it's just good to have them at your back. 

Test often. 

For me, learning about the physiology of things like alcohol and exercise has been tremendously helpful in feeling like i know what's going on with my body, and like i have a little control. 

Find other people with D. I would not have survived last year intact without the College Diabetes Network (started by a member of Juvenation!) Juventation is great, but it's not the same as seeing someone in person. 

Time management is hard - remember that if you are not emotionally doing well, your diabetes probably won't be doing well either, and sometimes fixing the emotions is most of what you need to fix the diabetes. Almost every campus has a counseling center; don't be afraid to use it if it might help.

If your dining commons is buffet style - I actually don't really have any tips for you, it's just really hard. 

College is great. You'll do great. If specific questions come up, you should definitely ask! 

First of all, welcome to Juvenation!  I graduated from college five years ago and I've been a T1 for 23 years.  Check your blood sugar often!  College schedules can be really erratic, so make sure you establish regular/consistent meal times.  This will bring order to your days, which will in turn help you regulate your blood sugar levels.  Try to make sure you eat a balanced meals in the dining hall.  The array of desserts and sugary cererals is tempting, so beware!   Carry a snack around with you, so you can immediately deal with any lows.  I always had a juice box and pack of peanut crackers in my bag.  I carried my insulin and monitor around with me too.  If you have a roommate, sit down with them and explain the basics of diabetes.  That way, if something should happen, they'll have a basic idea of how to help.  Alcohol is VERY tricky, so be extremely careful.  I would avoid it all together, since you're newly diagnosed and still have a lot to figure out.

If I can ever be of help, just let me know! :)