This Is My Life Going To College With A Disability
Start writing a post

To The Sick College Student, Even When The Odds Are Stacked Against You, Keep Pushing

How I went from a straight-A student to a disability student within a year.

college student sick in bed
Daryn Allen

I love Louisiana State University. I was raised to bleed purple and gold, so when I got accepted and started making plans I was so very excited. I would be a student at Louisiana's flagship school. I mean how cool? All of my dreams were becoming true. I had prepped for this experience my entire life. I was always placed in AP classes, took as many science courses as I could squeeze in, and was considered a "gifted" student since 2nd grade. I dreamed and dreamed of what my experience at LSU would be. I would be pre-med and become a pediatric oncologist. I mean I told everyone that starting when I was in seventh grade. So yes, I was finally living out my dream.

But then reality set in.

I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. A life changing one which shook me all up and tried to convince me I would never be able to follow my dreams. Through high school, though I found ways to always keep A's and yes a few B's, but a C was unacceptable. Most teachers did not know how I managed to miss weeks of school but was always able to keep up in class with everything. I spent many many days and nights in the hospital and when I felt good enough I'd ask for my homework. I was determined to succeed. I remember walking through the halls of high school, and thinking "if I can do all I need to do now, then I should be just fine for the next few years."

But then college started and reality REALLY set in.

I was 18, I was young, I was terrified I would not succeed or find friends in classes. The amount of anxiety I would feel on certain days, well it would make me walk all the way to my class and then back to my car; I could not face it. Why? I realized I could not keep up. I was considered smart, but it was not reflecting on my grades and how much work I was putting into succeeding. What I realized was that my illness was very much real. I know that sounds silly, but my freshman year of college I accepted that I was going to severely struggle with school. Let's face it, how are you to pass a class when you are too sick to walk around campus without having to sit and take a breather. My illness slapped me right in the face and I realized that school was taking a toll on my body, my life, my grades.

After an emotional doctor's appointment with my rheumatologist, he suggested I reach out for help. He got all my paperwork together and told me to go to the disability office on campus. I was confused. I thought I was smart. I was not facing the reality. I couldn't hold a pencil and write notes quickly, I could not walk all over campus, and I felt as if I had disappointed myself for not being brave enough to ask for help earlier. So, one day I decided to head to the disability office. I will begin by saying I was so emotional, even talking to a counselor. After learning about me and my story and struggles, he gave me a medical tag to park on campus and the ability to not get penalized for missing a class. I left feeling a bit sad because I thought there could be more for me than what was offered to me. I have days where I cannot type on my computer and I was not even allowed a note taker or recorder. I was all alone and having to face this head on. I was going to struggle.

I was not happy with the disability's office assistance I received. I wanted HELP. They told me to get a tutor instead. To try to pay more attention in class. To use a device to help me walk better and faster. All suggestions that have nothing to do with the disability office; the people that make a living off of helping students with disability conquer their dreams failed me. Why? I think it's because they know we most likely will not make it an entire four years at LSU. They could not provide for me because I seem perfectly fine on the outside, but they had no idea what was going on inside of my body. They were not sympathetic, in fact, they were quite the opposite. They made me feel weak and as if I was using my health as an excuse. News flash, I was not. I was in dire need of assistance, of any sort and I did not receive it.

The disability office should always offer note takers, recorders, and time off of school when you are ill that will not penalize you. They should work harder and more efficiently and take each student case by case. They should send out emails asking how things are going for you, just check in every once a while. My illness might not be the same as some people, but it's there. Trust me, it is there. Going to the disability office not only opened my eyes to what I was suffering with but how there is not much help for struggling students. It is not fair, it is not beneficial, and it definitely took a lot of my pride.

The reality is a disability student has nothing to be ashamed of.

I was once so embarrassed at first, but if you need it I highly suggest taking the steps needed to meet with someone. I hope LSU makes some improvements to our disability office, because I know I am not alone. Friends, if you are in that "struggling illness" phase, use your resources, and chase the dream. Do not stop until you get there. You can do it.

Again, our illness does not define us. I promise you, when I graduate I will not be thanking the disability office, I will thank my family and friends who have been on this crazy journey with me. I pray for a day where illnesses are taken more seriously especially in our college years because if you are like me, we definitely need it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

No Boyfriend, No Problem

Why it is okay to not be in a relationship when you are 19

No Boyfriend, No Problem
Blakeley Addis

I think that as a 19 year old girl that is in college, we often get caught up in the idea of being in a relationship.

Keep Reading...Show less

Summer Slump

Summer isn't alway just fun in the sun.

Summer Slump

Summer is a time for fun in the sun, hanging out with friends, and living it up, but for some people, that's not the case. Summer is a nightmare for idle minds. Let me explain what I mean by that. For people with mental illness having the extra time to think and relax can be devastating for their mental health. Now, this isn't a problem for everyone but for some people who suffer from mental illness, this is a reality.

Keep Reading...Show less

Which "Star Wars" Character Are You Based On Your Zodiac Sign

"The Rise of Skywalker" really got me thinking...

Which "Star Wars" Character Are You Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Here we go...

Keep Reading...Show less

NYC Classrooms struggle with marijuana and high students

The Cannabis landscape has changed, and so have what schools experience

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that about 35.7% of 12th graders in the U.S. had used marijuana in the past year, and 11.8% reported daily use. As for coming to school under the influence, specific statistics can be hard to come by, but there is concern that the increasing social acceptance of marijuana may lead to higher rates of use among teenagers.
Keep Reading...Show less

The Best Capital Cities in the World To Visit

It's easy to overlook some of these, even just one - don't.

The Best Capital Cities in the World To Visit

Why think locally? Think big and consider traveling to the best capitals in the world.

What makes a capital "the best" – culture, sights, history & things to do, to say the least.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments