In college we often have to deal with things that are beyond our control. We begin college with the assumption that we’ll just breeze through four years and be done with it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen so smoothly. In other words, life gets in our way, and we have to prioritize and re-route our course.
As I’m writing this, I’m facing my second giant medical crisis of my college career.
The first happened on January 20th, 2012. It was my second semester of freshmen year, and I woke up one more finding it very difficult to breathe. Later that evening I was told that I had life-threatening bilateral pulmonary embolisms, and that it was unlikely that I would make it through the weekend. Upon hearing this news, I immediately looked at my mother and told her to call my college advisor, because in the off chance that I didn’t die, I also didn’t want to get kicked out of school for being missing in action. Two or three weeks later I was back at school, only had to drop two classes, and was able to finish the semester just fine.
This time around I’m not going to be able to bounce back so quickly. I fell on some black ice earlier this week and broke my kneecap very badly. I can’t walk, drive, or bend for at least a month. After that the doctors will start slowing bending my knee to different angles every couple of weeks for another 10-12 weeks, and then we’ll start rehab. By then I’ll actually have to learn how to walk again. I don’t imagine that this will be fun, but more than the knee, I’m upset that I’ve lost my independence, and my ability to be a student.
So, here are some tips for dealing with medical and personal crises while you’re in college:
1. Let your school know as soon as possible. This is absolutely key. The earlier you let your school know what is going on, the more they’ll be able to help you do what you need to in order to come back next semester.
2. Be in touch with your professors individually. Mass email is fine, but it’s also important that your professors are aware of what is going on.
3. Remember that you can go back. Too often, when people leave school they never go back. Remember that you can go back, and that most of the time you should.
I’ll be back to school in the fall, and in the meantime I’ll continue blogging here and on some of my other blogs.