As anyone that has suffered from migraines can attest to, getting things done can sometimes be impossible. So what happens when you’re a college student taking a full-load of courses, working a part-time job, and trying to have some semblance of a social life? I’ve suffered from Chronic Daily Headaches (CDH) for over 7-years now, but I can say with confidence that I am living life as a successful college Junior despite my pain. I’m not saying that my headaches are gone, and I’m not saying that the pain doesn’t ever get the best of me. Being away at college, though, has provided me with a unique opportunity to take control of my health. Here are some things I’ve discovered about my headaches in the last two and a half years at college:
- Migraine attacks are going to happen. And they are likely to happen at the worst possible time. Getting upset and stressed about it is a normal reaction, but it’s not going to help anything. Take some medicine, get some sleep, and focus on getting out of the cycle. Deal with everything else once you’re feeling better.
- People are more understanding than you might think. Talk to your professors, your roommates, and your employers early on. It’s up to you to make your college experience as headache-friendly as possible.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. If you’re having a migraine attack, it may not be a bad idea to stay in for the night. There will be more parties. You may feel left out in the moment for not going, but that’s better than not being able to get out of bed the next day because you overdid it.
- Don’t be afraid to say yes. This is college! These four years go by faster than you can imagine, and you want to look back on it with no regrets. If you’re letting the anticipation of a headache stop you from diving in, you’ll miss all of the amazing opportunities college puts in front of you.
- Remember, you are not alone. I came to college thinking I had no one here to turn to. Ironically, within the first month of school, I had made a great friend through my Rhetoric class that turned out to have terrible migraines five or six times a month! It was important to know I had someone to talk to that understood what I was going through. Since then, I’ve met a handful of other people experiencing the same thing.
Dealing with headaches is never an easy thing to do, especially when living the hectic life of a college student. All of the tips and tricks in the world won’t change that. But if you take the driver’s seat, your college experience doesn’t have to be anything less than amazing. So for all you college students out there, what’s your advice? Tell us about your life at college, and how you cope with your headaches!