If you’re a college student with diabetes, it can be difficult to cope. You’ll face a unique set of challenges, but we’re here to help. Read on to discover how to survive in a college as a student with diabetes.

Avoid the Freshman 10

The “freshman 10” phenomenon occurs when first-year students first get to college. As college students adjust to their newfound freedom, they may gain some weight—usually around 10–20 pounds. While this isn’t always accurate, it’s true to a certain extent. Students faced with so many food options, whether because of their own money or through a school’s food plan, are more likely to gain weight.

As a student with diabetes, you can’t afford to do this. Put yourself on a strict diet and stick with it. Explore your options and choose the healthiest. If you have problems with moderation, implement healthier choices in your diet. Otherwise, you put your health in jeopardy.

Use the Gym Liberally

It’s important to maintain an active lifestyle. Most colleges have a gym that’s open 24/7. As a person with diabetes, you should be using this liberally. One great tip is to get on a fitness plan. There may be students doing work studies as personal trainers. If not, ask other students for pointers or watch athletes work out. However, always ask your health-care provider before you start an intense regimen to get the green light on the best exercises for your needs. This is a key way to survive college with diabetes.

Get Acquainted With the Disabilities Office

The disabilities office at your school is a goldmine. Make sure you stay current on any policies that may be in place and your rights as a student with disabilities. Make sure you bring proof of your condition to your teachers and work with them. Don’t keep your condition a secret because diabetes can greatly impact your academic career. You may be fatigued or have a day when you feel sick. Regardless, you’ll want to let everyone know what’s going on so that they know how to support you.

In short, going to school with this condition can be tough, but you don’t have to walk this path alone. You’ll have all the support you need; you just need to reach out and grasp it.