Nicole joined us for her second Beta Change Minisode in early August. Check it out if you haven’t already! Below, Nicole outlines a few important themes when it comes to “adulting” with diabetes in college.
During the fall of my freshman year in 2016, I established the NYU Chapter of the College Diabetes Network to foster, support, and raise awareness about diabetes. Even though I’m the group leader, I sometimes found myself apologizing to people about diabetes, especially when I was sharing meals with people whom I recently met.
They would always tell me *not* to say “sorry” and to continue talking about what life is like with diabetes. It is of the utmost importance not to disregard people who are unfamiliar with diabetes, but to use the opportunity as a way to raise awareness for
those affected by diabetes – and for the disability community at large. If we don’t educate people, who will?
Don’t worry about what people think
When I was beginning my college career, I was very concerned about what people who were not familiar with diabetes would think of me. I was mainly worried about how my roommate would feel about me having to often wake up in the middle of the night to test my blood sugar, then perform insulin injections multiple times per day, and sometimes not be in a great mood due to high and low
I have learned that 99% of the time, people do not form opinions about what I am doing when I am managing my diabetes. Usually, the issues I have with doing these things in front of people stem from my own thoughts of how people are judging me. Surprisingly,
the vast majority of people I’ve encountered have been very supportive of my journey with diabetes.
I’m a non-confrontational person. I felt timid about advocating for myself in various settings at the beginning of my college career. While I understand that it can be intimidating at times to stand up to people in order to satisfy our medical needs or tell them they are overstepping boundaries, we — people affected by diabetes — need to be our best advocates. Whether we are in class, work, or social settings, it is important to prioritize our health, even if that means taking a step aside from the busy pace of our activities. By taking control of our diabetes, we never allow diabetes to control us.