You are stronger than you think
This is my experience of my first year at university, by all means other people may feel different towards starting university who are epileptic. However I hope this posts either allows people to relate or for people who know someone who's epileptic , at university to have better understanding behind how the person feels.
University is a scary place (to start off with) for anyone. As I have mentioned in the past my seizures are set off by sleep deprivation, changing your sleeping pattern and stress. Well I thought to myself uni is gonna be fun with this in consideration! But I was determined to control my epilepsy yet still have an equally good time as everyone else. Over the year I learnt how to adapt my lifestyle so I was able to have a good, and a 'normal' university experience yet still keeping my health on track.
Below are some of my tips on how I managed to do this -
1. Planning, think do I have a full day of university the next day, as I knew if I did I couldn't go out the night prior. Therefore I could go out the night after because at uni every night there is something going on, whether thats a flat party or a night out! So if you miss a night out don't worry, they'll be plenty more!
2. The next day after I'd been out I would make sure I would rest all day. As I knew if I did anything this would make my health worse. Also that night get a good night sleep. I learnt this from a very awakening experience I went to a flat party in my halls and didn't go to sleep until 5:00 in the morning and the next day had lunch and shopping with my family, fortunately I didn't have a seizure but I felt so dazed and ill. Lets just say you learn from your mistakes!
3. I don't drink when I go out, I could drink a small amount however over years i have learnt I really don't need to drink to have a good time. Its not worth it for how i feel the next day. Later I will be writing a blog post about drinking and peer pressure.
4. Balancing, making sure you get enough sleep, socialise, attend uni and do your uni work! I know it seems like a lot but it is possible! Over the year you just learn to adapt you lifestyle, and doing this means you'll have the best year of your life and equally as an amazing time as any other person at uni.
5. Telling your flat mates and friends, I wanted to tell my flat mates and friends I made in my halls pretty early on. So firstly if I where to have a seizure they'd know what to do. Secondly I wanted them to understand that I am not going out every night because due to being anti-social its because of my health. If they're decent people they'll be understanding and respect this.
6. Nights out ; I am university in london so the london clubs are normally open all night until 7:00 in the morning... i can't do that to my body. So i would make sure I would go for the night out but come home earlier than everyone else, i know this sounds like 'aw, but you're missing out'. I honestly didn't feel like I was as I was still out for most of the night.
Being frankly honest it is harder being epileptic and at university compared to other people however it is possible, and my first year was such an amazing year. Now going onto my second year I have realised I want to concentrate way more on studying...boring I know! But its your time at university so don't care what other people think of you, do what you want!
I hope this post has helped someone in the same position as me or someone who knows someone who is epileptic and at university to give you a better understanding.
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