I am going off to college soon. What is your advice for someone with a bleeding disorder in navigating their freshman year?
Dear Frantic Freshman,
Congratulations on going to college! This will be a huge next step in your career. As with any major change, it is always important to consider your bleeding disorder before moving away. Here are some important things to keep in mind as you navigate your freshman year of college.
Do I have reliable access to my medication?
It is important to discuss your college plans with your HTC and/or specialty pharmacy before you head off to college to ensure that you will have access to your medication. This may be your very first time living independently, so it is important that you understand how to order your medication and infuse yourself. Make sure they have your new address and figure out shipping methods to get your factor to you in a timely manner.
Bring extra factor to college!
Whether you are attending college close to home or far away, it is important that you have plenty of factor and supplies in the event of an injury or emergency. It could be possible that there are no HTCs near your college, so it is crucial that you are prepared if you need to treat yourself.
Who knows about my bleeding disorder?
Your bleeding disorder is something you didn’t choose to have, so you might as well embrace it as part of your identity and own it! It is a very important advocacy skill to be comfortable explaining your disorder to someone who isn’t familiar with bleeding disorders. If you are living in a dorm, make sure to speak with your RA at the beginning of the year to make them aware of your disorder. It would also be useful to tell your roommate(s) and friends you will make at school. It is important for people to be aware of your situation, so they know to respect your boundaries and are prepared to help if you ever need it! It is also useful to register with your school’s disability office to receive accommodations. Whether you think you’ll need it or not, bleeding disorders are a qualifying health condition to receive accommodations at school. Typical accommodations include flexibility with class attendance, extended testing time, and flexibility with due dates. All of these can be useful should your bleeding disorder ever limit your ability to make it to class.
Apply for scholarships!
HFA and many other organizations offer plenty of scholarships every year for people with bleeding disorders! The deadlines for most applications have passed. However, most applications begin to open around January, so keep an eye out! HFA keeps a comprehensive list of scholarships available for people with bleeding disorders and siblings.
College is a great time to develop your independence by branching out and trying new things; Get involved on campus and stay active! Clubs, intramural sports, Greek life, and volunteer opportunities are great ways to meet new people and make the most out of your college experience.
Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone, just make sure to keep your bleeding disorder in mind!
Have a question? Email us. Your name will be changed in the response.
HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed “Dear Addy.” Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.