An Open Letter to The Average College Student

Dear Average College Student,

Hey, you. You maybe complaining that you’re broke or you’re hung over but that seems about normal. I am however the complete opposite. I am writing this out of complete frustration to be honest and I am just very fed up. I want to be the broke college student. I want to be out making memories with my friends, however I am stuck in bed. I don’t want to go out because being the only sober person in a crowd of drunks is anything but fun. In fact, I’d rather spend time alone like this because going out is a job for me. Anything average for you, is anything but average for me.

Going to the pool today?? Same! Do you have a time frame of two hours and have to drink plenty of gatorade so you don’t get dizzy and pass out?? Same!! Are you going out with your friends tonight? I’m not. The repair my body has to go through after a night out (even sober) is enough to make you wanna stay in bed. In fact, yesterday I spent the ENTIRE day sleeping because an hour and a half beach trip tore my body up. I go through period’s of questioning and frustration–even 4 years later. I’m probably even more terrified than you to start classes. My reason for not doing well in a class isn’t because I was too busy partying, rather I fall ill and physically cannot attend class anymore.

These are the days I wish I could relate to you, and make the rookie mistakes, and mess up like everyone else.

Sydney Xx


2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to The Average College Student

  1. I can relate. I have had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome my entire life but it wasn’t until my early 20s that it was accepted that anything was wrong with me. Over the past 20+ years I’ve been diagnosed with around 30 other conditions, some of which a person of my age shouldn’t have had. Two years ago I was diagnosed with EDS and it wasn’t until then that things made any sense. All the unseemingly unrelated health issues were as a result of the EDS – a gene that means my body doesn’t produce collagen properly. The fatigue, headaches, difficulties healing, autoimmune kidney disease, diabetes, gastric problems, dental, hearing, dermatological, chronic pain, psychological, abnormal blood results, etc were symptoms/the result of one larger condition.

    Like you, I spent my late teens and 20s observing life rather than participating in it. Then my 30s and now my 40s. It upsets me to see folk fritter away their opportunities and take things for granted. It hurts to know that I haven’t been able to do and will never be able to do the ‘normal’ every day things that most folk are lucky enough to take for granted.

    As someone who has lived like this for the best part of 40 years, my advice to you, if it’ll help, is to weed out the negative people in your life, reduce the amount of things that cause you stress (I can appreciate that some situations are unavoidable), surround yourself with positive people, look for things you CAN enjoy with minimal payback and focus on all the good people and things that you have going on in your life. Take time for yourself to give your mind and body what it needs; don’t be afraid to say no to folk if they want or expect too much from you. Talk about how you feel when you need to, educate those close to you so that they better understand your condition, limitations and can better support you. Remember that accepting that we don’t function like ‘normal’ people isn’t giving up. With acceptance we gradually begin to appreciate what we CAN manage to do and feel proud of what we have achieved.

    More importantly, I’d like you to know that you’re not alone with chronic illness. It’s difficult living as we do but we do it anyway. We are amazing. x

    1. Thank you for sharing your story and your advice, I so appreciate every word and I will take it to heart. Thank you for being strong and being you!!! Xx

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