How difficult is college life for a T1?


That’s still awesome!

I was a commended student as well! Although for some reason my school decided to keep this a secret from me until a full year and a half later when I was getting all my cords and stuff for graduation and had already picked where I was going :roll_eyes:


Yeah, unfortunately for my oldest the Index score is weighted heavily towards the Reading and Writing/Language sections. He got one wrong on the math sections but since Reading/Writing counts 2/3rds towards that index score, he wasn’t even close.


My sons weak spot has always been English. He usually maxes the Math. He’s in AP BC Calculus and his mother and I cannot help him. lol. I took Calculus in college, received an A, then forgot the subject after the class was over. Any discussions around Calculus give me a sick feeling in my stomach. :stuck_out_tongue: Calculus and Economics…


I knew a T1D who rushed a frat in college. The frat assigned him his own upper classman “handler” to keep an eye on him during all of the hazing. None of the other rushers got that type of protection.

I thought that was downright responsible of them. :yum:


I haven’t read this entire thread, but I thought I’d throw in my experiences.

I wasn’t a risk-taker in college, and am not a risk-taker in general. And although I wouldn’t attribute not being a risk-taking entirely to my visual impairment and diabetes, because I know people who are blind and risk-takers and people with diabetes who are risk-takers, I definitely think that contributed to my lack of risk-taking. Not that I never took risks, but they are relatively few and far between.

I agree with @cardamom that I would absolutely not expect super tight control during college and university. My A1c during that time ran at around 8.5% or so, mind you this was on NPH, so probably A1c could be better than that, but I definitely would not be shooting for 5% unless that’s what your sons/daughters wanted to shoot for. I would shoot for reasonable control with minimal severe lows or highs and, as @cardamom said, be sure they know about DKA and sick day rules. When I was a kid my parents got all the diabetes education, and sure, I remember checking for ketones when I had the flu, but didn’t really understand why. I think the closest I ever came to DKA was one day while I was living on campus when I forgot a morning shot, may possibly have forgotten a shot the night before, slept through a class, and was so nauseated that I kneeled in front of the toilet for two hours. I think I took a giant shot and went back to bed after that, and things worked out. It wasn’t that I was irresponsible, though, just that I truly had no idea what DKA was. I didn’t really get re-educated on that until I started the pump and had a mini panic attack during pump training when I realized that you could die within hours of no insulin. I was already well-versed on dealing with lows in university, and terrified enough of them that I avoided them at all costs, but it was the DKA part of my education that no one had really thought to fill in and had just assumed I’d picked up over the years.

As for the worrying thing, I think that is much easier dealt with these days than when I was in university. I don’t think my parents worried too much back then, but as they’ve gotten older, they’ve actually gotten more worried, not helped any by some life experiences (not waking up in the morning, etc.). I’m in my late 30s and they still worry. Our solution to that is that if they see me log onto Facebook in the morning or if they text me a simple question (like “How’s it going?”) and get a response that’s comprehensible, it’s all good. If not, well…they have been known to show up at my apartment banging on my door or phone me at work and call me out of a meeting because I didn’t respond to their texts, phone calls, and messages for half a day because my phone was on DND. So I’m sure the threat of parents (or other responsible adults) showing up at the door will be enough for a young adult living on campus to always respond to texts. :rofl:

Another tip, probably good for anyone who lives alone, is to have a landline phone. I have one solely for the purposes of calling 911 (I have health issues than just diabetes, too). I’m in an apartment building, and a cell phone would let them zero in on my address with GPS, but wouldn’t tell them what suite I was in. I’d have for EMS to be going door-to-door, floor-by-floor to find me.


I used to be a risk-taking party animal, earlier in college, to be perfectly honest. I didn’t wear a CGM all the time but I was smart enough to slap a sensor on before doing anything too crazy, which definitely helped. I also was in a group of friends where everyone was kind of a party animal, and my experiences partying in high school (sorry parents) meant I was less wild than most of the group. And there was one friend that was the son of a cop and stone cold sober like 50% of the time, and only drank moderately the other 50% of the time, who kept an eye on all of us (we called him Dad as a joke). PLUS, I had another T1 who was a close friend of mine, and we kept an eye on each other, meaning we could rally the group to action when we recognized that either one of us needed assistance. I have a couple of stories about that but I fear they would totally freak out all the parents here, and you guys get stressed out pretty easily already :sweat_smile: I’ve said it before though, your student will hopefully find a support network to help look after them. And they probably have learned some common sense from you along the way too :wink:

Aside from partying, stress is another factor, and I’ve recently discussed this a bit on FUD. Just something everyone has to contend with in college, and a little more complicated for a T1.

For my first year or so at college I was seeing my hometown endo on breaks, but I ended up switching to a local endo, which works out much more easily for me, especially since I didn’t go home for summer the past two years. I would definitely suggest it to others, unless the endos around your college just totally suck. Having that local source for prescriptions is very helpful, as the health center staff at my school are semi-competent with diabetes care but obviously not specialized in it.

Also, look into whether the school your kid is considering has a chapter of the College Diabetes Network. Basically just a club where diabetic kids get together and hang out, talk about college life with diabetes. My school has one and it’s pretty awesome, there are more type 1s than I would have guessed and it’s interesting to be in a (small) room full of students that understand what you deal with day-to-day :slight_smile:


Wait, why is the PSAT out of 1520 now?? I am so confused…I thought it was out of 1600.


(SAT is 1600, though)


This seems comparable to changing the scoring in gymnastics from the totally comprehensible, universally understood maximum score of 10.0 to a theoretically unlimited top score. Really silly.


Just a thought… check if the campus medical center / infirmary has a fast path for medical deliveries. Maybe it would be possible to get something overnighted c/o Dr. SoAndSo at the Medical Center as a way to bypass the student package delivery delays.


Uber has changed university life in my town. :slight_smile:

Also: I am sorry this happened to you! Sounds bonkers! I’m so thankful your friend was willing to advocate and be direct! Good for both of you!!!

Having worked at a university I will say that there are tons of friendly individuals within the giant machine of the University. And I feel like if I knew a student needed help receiving a package, I would go out of my way to make sure that that could happen for them.

So my thought is, would it be good advice to college students with type one diabetes to make a connection on a more personal level with somebody who works at the University? I can think of ten people in my department off the top of my head who would help a student in a situation like this.

Additionally, Campus Police at both schools that I have worked at have keys to every building. And in case of a medical emergency, which not having an insulin pump technically could become, I’m sure that they could help you.

And as I tell my students every term: be polite but insistent and ask to speak to someone else or go back at another time if possible.


One piece of advice I have is to not rely on the campus medical services for anything beyond a flu shot, very basic care, or women’s health care if relevant (they are typically quite good at basic gynecological care). Definitely get your kid a real endo locally if at all possible. If in a university town with med school/academic medical center, try to get your kid into an endo there. College health centers very simply do not pay well enough to have the kind of staff on hand you want managing your kid’s diabetes. This is the same advice I give to parents of college students with any major psychiatric problems—campus counseling centers are well equipped to deal with stress, adjusting to college, ADHD, and mild depression/anxiety, but more serious problems need more serious help.