As of the 3rd of September I will be moving across the country for university to start the new chapter of my life in Dundee. I will be studying Community Learning and Development (it's like a branch of social work). I am scared and excited at the same time. It is such a new experience that I don't know what to expect, if I will fight or flight, if I will cope or crumple.
I find it difficult at home to control my type 1 diabetes, but I have my sister and mum to prompt to and make sure I do what I am supposed to. Sometimes it is overbearing but I appreciate it because whenever something has happened, both my mum and sister were there, making sure I was alright. At Uni, as I will be staying in halls, I will be surrounded by people who probably wont know about diabetes, which means I will have to make sure they know what to do if I'm ill. Most of the time, I will have to deal with my diabetes myself, and not have anyone to remind me that I do need to take care of myself. This is the scary part.
On one hand, moving away from home means independence. I can make my own mistakes and learn from them. On the other hand, I'll have to do everything. I will have to learn how to cook, do my own washing, do the shopping, book my own appointments, order my own prescriptions. At home, my mum does a lot for me, so it is going to be a culture shock having no one to rely on but myself.
The nights out scare me a lot. Alcohol lowers blood sugar naturally, and that increases the risk of severe hypos. Alcohol obviously gives the liver a lot of work, and because the liver is hard at work filtering out the toxins, it can't give out glucose to bring me round from a hypo, so I have to be extra vigilant. I worry that I will accidently get myself in a state and end up in hospital, or worse. I just have to find a balance and keep an eye on my blood sugar.
When I get a job I will need to explain to them about everything. At my previous job I was allowed to take a break when needed, but what if my new employer isn't as accepting? I find the "what if's" are the worst. "What if" my employer doesn't accept that I'm diabetic and I may need to take a day off if I'm ill?
As far as the University learning itself, I'm not as worried. I've met with the disability team at Dundee University and they are putting provisions in place for me. All the lecturers will know I'm diabetic in case I'm ill and I'll have advanced notes in case I'm not able to attend because of illness.
I'm both nervous and curious about what this new chapter in my life will mean for me. Meeting new people, having new experiences, all of it is daunting, and the "What if's" are scary