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Off to College with MS

August 26, 2015

Going to college is extremely exciting, but also can be very nerve wracking. This goes for anyone immersing themselves into a new environment, taking on big workloads and missing home. However, some have to pack along a few extra things, like their chronic illness.

There’s a lot that goes into choosing a school that fits your personality and there is a lot more to think about when living with multiple sclerosis. You should go on constant visits and tours, making sure the campus looks accessible enough for your needs and is a comfortable size. You might find that some campuses are just too long and too far for you, keeping in mind those hot fall/spring days as well. Also consider how far you’ll want to be away from home and your doctor, and of course make sure that medical care is easily accessible from the school’s location and what resources are accessible for you on campus.

Ask plenty of questions and make your illness known to admissions counselors and make your way to the school’s disability services office. This will help to ensure that you will have access to all the accommodations you’ll need whether you are living on or off campus. You may need a variety of things to assist you throughout your collegiate career, including assistance in class or extra test taking time, distraction reducing environments for test taking, traveling from class to class, and parking spaces closer to class in some cases.

For all of the work you’ll be dealing with, it’s good to get things done whenever you possibly can. This means no procrastinating (as much as you want to binge watch Netflix all day) push through your good days by finishing a good amount of work and then enjoying your free time. Some days might not be as easy to get work done considering it is much harder with those with MS to absorb and process information depending on the stage of their illness.

Lastly, college is expensive and no one wants to be drowning in debt for the rest of their life. Charitable foundations and associations have thankfully made it possible for college-bound students with MS to apply for some helpful scholarships.

 

There are both regional and national scholarships available for students. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society offers an annual scholarship (ranging from $1000 to $3000) for students and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America also sponsors annual scholarships through their Project: Learn MS program (ranging from $1000 to $5000), just to name a couple. While most of these are for incoming freshman, doing your research and applying wouldn’t hurt, it could help you out in many ways! 

Off to College with MS - Wed August 26, 2015 9:37 AM