Top tips for managing your epilepsy at university
Our Channel Marketing Manager and former student, Carl Charlesworth, gives some useful tips for managing your epilepsy at university.
With traditional learning expected to return in September most students will be worrying about assignments, exams, cost of university or even how to work a washing machine, but how do you prepare for university life when you have to add epilepsy to the equation?
Thinking about how your epilepsy might affect you may help you to feel more confident about dealing with your epilepsy at university. It also gives you a chance to make sure you have support and help in place before starting.
Talk about it
You're starting a new adventure and it's an exciting time. The last thing you may feel like doing is telling people about your epilepsy. You may not want everyone to know, but telling your course mates or the people that you are living with could give you peace of mind that they will know how to help you.
Know your triggers
Some people with epilepsy find that there are certain situations that bring on a seizure. These might include tiredness, stress and alcohol. You'll no doubt encounter all three at some point. If you know what triggers your seizures, you may be able to avoid these situations and reduce the risk of triggering a seizure.
Take your medication
Without sounding like a nagging parent, remember to take your meds! The best way to make sure epilepsy has as little impact on your life as possible is to get the best seizure control you can. Making sure you have a supply of your anti-epileptic drugs and taking them regularly means you can keep your seizures at bay and focus on other things (like doing your washing!)
Register with the university health centre or GP
Finding out where the university health centre or GP is located, and registering with them as soon as possible means that it should be easier to get an appointment if you need one. It is also important for getting your anti-epileptic drug prescriptions.
See what help is available
However your epilepsy affects you, contacting the student disability service might help you to find out what sources of help and support are available. This might involve getting financial support through a Disabled Student Allowance or it might be something that the university itself can help through its disability support service.
Last but not least…don't worry!
If you're worried about managing your epilepsy whilst at university, it might be helpful to make an appointment with your epilepsy specialist before you start University and discuss any concerns or questions you have. Just think, you only get one opportunity to experience Fresher's Week for the first time, so make the most of it! Just don't forget to take care of yourself.
If you have any other questions around managing your epilepsy at university, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find further information on practicalities of going to university including deciding on a university and support available.
Epilepsy Society's confidential helpline is available for anyone affected by epilepsy. Our Helpline is open five days a week, Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, (Wednesday 9am to 7.30pm). You can also reach us by email email@example.com.
If you are at school, college or university and you have epilepsy, a law called the Equality Act 2010 aims to make sure you are treated fairly by everyone involved in your education. This includes lessons, trips out, practical subjects and exams.
If you're considering going to university or if you’ve definitely decided that’s what you want to do, you’ll need to think about what this will mean for you in practical terms and about what support you might need, including financial support. Being well prepared will help you to make the most of your time at university.
Epilepsy is not just one condition, but a group of many different 'epilepsies' with one thing in common: a tendency to have seizures that start in the brain.
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