Kimi, I know what you are dealing with. Some of the folks here have given you some wonderful suggestions. Maybe you should read through this entire thread as it grows, and take down some notes from it on a piece of paper. Some of the practical suggestions that have been posted here are worth writing down. Then KEEP that piece of paper in a special place so you can read it every now and then. The best incentive I can offer you is that YOU WILL FEEL MUCH BETTER AND BE ABLE TO DO BETTER IN YOUR CLASSES IF YOU MAKE YOUR DIABETES CARE PART OF YOUR ROUTINE. Your brain cannot function well without its primary fuel, which is glucose -- and the only way it can use glucose is with proper insulin. So you are going to find that you won't retain information well if your levels drop too low or rise too high. When levels go either too high or too low, a feeling of being overwhelmed or a panic type of feeling sometimes happens, and you don't need glucose issues adding to your already very stressful college schedule. In fact, some of the stress you are dealing with may very well be BECAUSE your levels are not being well-controlled. That may be something to think about -- it might be interesting to see if your mental stress levels go down once you get better control over those numbers.
For a stressed-out college student, that alone is a major incentive to keep good control. So make a pact to yourself -- test before you sit down to study, or test before _____ class. If you build the testing into your current class and study routine, you will be more alert in classes and better able to retain what you read. So tying your diabetic stuff to your class schedule seems to make sense. Write it in your daily calendar. Or set your email software's calendar to send you annoying messages: TEST AT 3 O'CLOCK. Stuff like that will help remind you. In time, it will become part of your habit. But you need to be aggressive and to figure out when you need to test and set up something to remind you to do so.
Not so hard to take it one step at a time. When is the next time you need to test? OK, now, what can you do to remind yourself at that time? Surely there is something you can set in place NOW as you read this to remind you to test at the next appropriate time. Then, at THAT test time, set yourself another reminder for the next one, etc.
College may be some of the worst stress you will ever have to deal with. It was for me. I was an art student -- I had always excelled at art, and had been the best in my hometown high school. But suddenly in my Art School college, I found myself surrounded by other gifted people, and I no longer stood out as the most talented. I was just one of many, and I had to work really hard to survive in college. Your brain needs as much help as you can give it, so do the diabetes control for your own best life. That's my pep talk.
But don't be too hard on yourself. Even folks who are tightly controlled sometimes forget. I just went and bought subs for my husband and myself for dinner, came home and tested glucose. Found my levels to be at 86, and since I tend to be prone to dropping low, I decided that I should eat first, and then take my insulin so that the insulin wouldn't peak before my meal started digesting. I ate, and started folding laundry while watching a movie, FORGETTING TO GO TAKE THE INSULIN! When I broke out in a sweat a half hour later, I remembered that i had never taken my dinner insulin so I raced back and took it. My levels had spiked too high, prompting me to sweat (I do this if too low OR too high). Now I get to play catch-up for the next few hours. My plan was absolutely correct, but forgetting to take the insulin blew my good plan to smithereens. This happens sometimes and you adjust as quickly as you can. And try to learn from the mistake so you don't make the same mistake again. I should have brought my test kit and insulin to the dinner table with me to remind me. I left it in another room, and this was my mistake. Any of us can goof up at any time. The important thing is to learn from the mess-ups so you can figure out a way to remind yourself the next time. And to prioritize this now, which is what your posting the HELP request is all about. You are on the right track, methinks.
Your brother is absolutely correct. I volunteer for JDRF and you would be surprised that there are very young people already suffering from complications because they have not bothered to keep good control. I think in your teens and early 20s, people think that they are safe, that complications only happen to people who have been type 1 for a long time. I know one young man with horrible gastroparesis who says he would give enything to go back to his teen years and take better control of his numbers. He cannot digest food at all and while only in his 20s, he has a feeding tube now and cannot eat solids. He could live until he is 80, but the quality of his life has been shattered. And one teen girl who already has diabetic cataracts. This poor girl was an undiagnosed type 1 who lost her vision before any symptoms ever alerted anybody that she was a type 1 diabetic. I don't intend to scare, but just to point out that even though rare, it is very possible for terrible damages to happen to very young people whose glucose levels are not controlled. More than death, the real risk is that young folks AND older folks like me who don't take good control will live, but will suffer in life because of damages that could and should have been prevented. Alas, once symptoms of these damages appear, it is often too late for any improvement. None of this paragraph is meant to scare you -- it is just a reality, and one that folks like me who answer JDRF emails deal with and mourn over. These folks always tell us to tell other teens about them so that their loss can be used to help others. It isn't always the old who suffer from complications. So sad, so very sad...
This is your life, and a wonderful life as long as you keep that fabulous health you enjoy now, stressful though it is. Yes, we have to put effort into it, but the rewards are very real. We don't do it out of fear of complications even though it is important to realize that good control is how we prevent complications. We do it to feel good, to stay healthy, and so our brains can work properly. You know your own mind probably better than anyone. Sit a moment and think about what the best kind of motivation is for YOU. Is it to do it for your brother? Is it to do it to help ace that class? To do it because you feel more energetic when your levels are good? You have to decide for yourself what best motivates you. Then you think about how you can best set up reminders. Be creative -- notes on your bathroom mirror? On the refrigerator? A post-it note "HAVE YOU TESTED AND TAKEN INSULIN?" in a book or on top of your lunch sandwich. Think outside the box -- there are many ways to set up reminders. If you have roommates you could be more private by posting a note on the frig that simply says "REMEMBER!" Or draw a frowny face on a bookmark -- frowny face to remind you to test -- and stick it in your textbook or somewhere you will see it. Use whatever tools you use to remember class assignments to also remind you to test and take insulin.
You can do it. I survived college, and so have many of the folks who post here on this forum. It IS harder for us as type 1 folks to get through college, but it is possible. You have some great helpers posting suggestions here for you. You can do it.