How to Manage Arthritis in University

Don’t let arthritis hold you back from the degree you deserve. Follow these 12 tips to finish your school year with straight A’s!

1. 
Register with your college’s accommodation centre. Benefits include extra time and breaks during exams.

2. Apply for physical disability scholarships, loans and grants for scribes and arthritis-friendly equipment like a lightweight laptop, an iPad and voice recognition software to record lectures.

3. Apply for a scribe. Not only will they take your notes in fast-paced lectures, but they can also provide you with notes if you miss a lecture for an appointment. 

4. Learn to type your notes. Color-coordinated notebooks look pretty, but they may put an unnecessary stress on your hands.

5. Apply for a handicap pass and parking pass. Ask for permission to park in multiple parking lots, so you can park close to each of your classes or so you can drive across campus instead of walking.

6. Meet with your professor to explain your disease. This will help them understand how they can further assist you. 

7. Get online textbooks. Use an iPad to view textbooks instead of carrying heavy textbooks.

8. Download the PowerPoint presentations on your iPad instead of copying out notes you can fill in the blanks. 

9. Leave enough time in your schedule to walk between classes.

10. Don’t book an 8 a.m. class if you experience fatigue and morning stiffness. Make sure you have flexibility set up in the schedule when you select classes. Start after 10 a.m., take evening classes and try to have a day off!

11. Don’t be afraid to take a reduced course load or spring courses. You can still graduate on time, and your body will thank you for it. Remember you will have to miss classes for appointments, and it’s better to take on an amount you can handle. 

12. Keep your joints moving by using your campus gym and sign up for cheap fitness classes. Don’t forget that yoga, biking and swimming are all arthritis-friendly activities at a reduced student rate! 

Follow my journey on instagram: @chronicallykelsey

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