Asthma On Campus: Starting the semester off right

No matter how much I prepared the first week of the semester always felt like a whirlwind to me. Getting back to the rhythm of going to class, studying, and doing homework is always a change of pace from the summer routine. This is one of those weeks where I would be glued to my planner or phone trying to keep on top of everything that needed to be accomplished. Of course there are all the usual college things like figuring out where all your classes are and locating the perfect study spot. I also had some less typical things to take care of like checking my allergy shots into the student health center for the semester and wrangling a dust mite encasement around my mattress(much easier as a two person job). I didn’t make any special or specific requests but made sure to introduce myself to my Resident Advisor(RA). It gave them a frame of reference for why I decline an invite to the big bonfire school spirit event. It’s easier when the RA has a complete picture of who I am. Knowing that I have asthma helps them understand why I might be low energy if I’m flaring or where a roommate conflict might bubble up. I thankfully had great roommates every year who were happy to help with trigger avoidance and good at sleeping through my coughing.
I’d usually put medication alarms in my phone for the first week of the semester and any weeks that were likely to be extra busy such as finals or week with a big project due. It was also a good time to put all my pharmacy refills in my planner to make sure I called them in ahead. Or once I got on the auto fill bandwagon to be make sure that I got into town to pick up the medications. I didn’t have a car at school my first 3 years and really this wasn’t a huge difficultly. I was usually able to find a friend with a car to give me a ride or my pharmacy offered delivery service.
This is also a good time of year to find some study buddies in each class. Agreeing ahead of time to swap notes ahead of time if either one of you misses class can really put your mind at ease if you get sick. Of course reading the syllabus for all the usual things like due dates, tests, and absence policies is a good thing to get out of the way. For those who might have accommodations as I’m sure you’ll see in your syllabus or be told by the accessibility office, now is the time to talk to your professors. Make sure you take note of which professors will need a doctor’s note for you to miss class in general, to make up a test/quiz, or get an extension on a paper. You don’t want to realize you will have to drop the class or get a bad grade just because you didn’t get a sick note from the doctor.
Now that you’ve gotten organized sit back and enjoy another semester of learning! What is on the top of your to-do list for the start of a new semester?

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