5 Ways to Enjoy College While Battling Disease

Being a college student living with a disease or disability can be frustrating. You may feel like you don’t relate to anyone, or you’re missing out on the “college experience” you’ve dreamt of your entire life.

I know I felt this way during my first few years of college; I wasn’t allowed to drink and that’s often what my friends looked forward to every weekend. Therefore, socializing and meeting new people didn’t always come easy to me. I had to find alternatives to drinking so I could enjoy my time in school. Whether or not your story is comparable to mine, here are five tips on how you can have fun in school while battling disease or disability:

  1. Have a movie night. Gather up some friends and have a movie marathon! Warning: binge watching the Austin Powers movies may cause some of your roommates to say, “No, baby.” If you didn’t get that extremely corny Austin Powers reference, do yourself a favor and watch it right now.

    drink 1
    Freshman year visiting Michigan Tech. There’s only soda in there, I promise!
  2. Go out with your friends. Regardless if you can or cannot drink, spend a night out with your friends. Branching out and socializing not only benefits you, it’s also fun! If you can’t drink, it can be really annoying constantly being asked why you can’t. I learned to bring a red solo cup along with me and fill it with soda. Worked like a charm every time!
  3. Go out for dinner, or order in. Going out for a nice dinner with friends is the perfect way to put your mind at ease. Don’t want to leave the dorms or your apartment? Ordering in can be just as fun. You may have diet restrictions depending on your disease, but it’s ok to splurge every once in a while… Everything in moderation, right?
  4. Become involved with a campus organization.   Not only do future employers like to see that you’re involved with outside orgs, it’s a great way to have fun, meet new people and form friendships. There are hundreds of college organizations and clubs on campus; find one you enjoy and become an active member!   UW-Madison has a cheese club. What more could you ask for?
  5. Get off campus for a day. As students, we don’t venture off campus very often. Take a break from your pile of homework and go for an adventure! If you or your friends don’t have vehicles, many campuses have buses that will take you to the destination of your choice. Get some retail therapy, visit the local humane society, rock out at a concert or treat yourself to a movie at the theater.

    Umphrey's McGee concert in Madison, Wisconsin (2014).
    Umphrey’s McGee concert in Madison, Wisconsin (2014).

There are endless activities you can do on or off campus for fun.  These are just five tips that I enjoy doing and hope you will, too!

If you’re on Twitter, tweet me (@lauren_wilmet) if you have any questions or suggestions for future blog posts. I’d love to connect with you!

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