Hey guys, so this is my first article and I thought I would tell you a little bit about my journey to college while being in a wheelchair.
It's my second semester living on a college campus and here's what I've learned:
1. Find people who understand you without judging you. College is new and different for everyone but, it can be especially hard if people judge you by the way you present yourself. Mainly, for me, that has been a big factor in the difficulty for me to build relationships. I'm fortunate I have found a group of writers, introverts, and affectionately known "geeks" to fit in with.
2. Don't miss out on the life you are living; wishing that you lived the life you once had. For me, going into a wheelchair was a tough step because in high school I was an active manager for our sports teams and a member of a few clubs, Here, I had to adjust to not only a new way of looking at my mobility but, also a new way of looking at my future. Find something in college you love and chase it even if it leads you on a path you never expected.
3. Take time for yourself. As a student, People always preached self-care to us in an attempt to make sure that we didn't crack under the pressures academically. This is your free pass. If you live with chronic illness take care of you first. The rest can wait. Even if it's just 5 minutes of silence if that what you need at that moment, do it.
4. Push life's boundaries. If you wanna try something new college is the place to make mistakes. My biggest regret was taking life too seriously. Now, if I get a C, I get a C. Life isn't worth stressing over my dad used to say "If you have to worry over it, it's not worth having." So challenge normal, typical, and build a life worth living. There are going to be days you want to curse, curl up, and quit but, I promise there's something just over that hill in life that's worth living for.
5. Know when to step back and ask for help. Number five was and still is the hardest thing I have to do in my life. I know I have a large support system of some awesome, amazing, and fearless individuals who would fight for me if I couldn't fight for myself. Take care and remember life rolls on.