For some, picking a college starts in middle school, for others, as you get into high school they start drilling into you the importance of attending college. For some, it's an easy choice but for others, it's much harder. For a student that lives with chronic medical issues, picking the right college is much more than majors, dorms, and campus sizes.

I'm Madison, an upcoming freshman that was born with a rare and complex heart defect that later led to me getting a heart transplant. Most people choose a college that is as far away from home as possible but I personally wanted to go to a school that was close, due to all of my medical issues and risks.

If something happens to me, someone can get in touch with my family and they can be right over to help. Plus, all of my doctors are around this area so it would be a hassle for me to to go to a school far from home and get new doctors. If something does happen to me, I would be able to get care in a timely manner.

Another thing I considered is the class sizes. Due to the type of medications I take, I have anxiety. One of the things that trigger it is crowded spaces. When picking a college, I wanted a school that had smaller class sizes.

Another important factor for someone who deals with chronic medical issues is that having a student disability center is a must. I met with JSU's disability office during my senior year of high school and they were more than helpful. They offer so many things like, private test-taking rooms, note takers, certain types of dorms, and many other accommodations depending on what you need. They are at orientation to help you with your schedule and anything else you may need. But most importantly, their doors are always open throughout the school year if you need them.

These are among the many reasons I choose to attend Jacksonville State University. They met all of my requirements and needs for being a person who is chronically ill. From the moment I stepped on to the campus, I knew this is where I wanted to go, it felt like home and from here on out, JSU will always be home for me.