College freshman with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dear Ms. Meniscus:

I’m in my first week of college and my RA is more of a problem than I thought it would be. People here don’t know how to treat me and I’m getting marginalized. My family and doctor are miles away and I won’t see them for another six weeks. What can I do?

RA Freshman

Dear RA Freshman,

Congratulations on your start into collegiate life!

As if starting life in college was not enough of a culture shock, having a chronic disease can make you feel even more ostracized from your peers. Our co-founder, Seth Ginsberg was actually feeling the same as you when he created CreakyJoints in 1999. He helped create the website from his dorm when he realized that there was a need for people like you to connect with other people with arthritis. Empathy from others with the same disease as you sometimes means more than even the most well-intentioned family who are not familiar with your case.

I encourage you to use our CreakyBoard, a forum for people with arthritis on CreakyJoints. You can feel free to ask a question to the community, or just read what others have to say. Who knows, you might even be able to provide a little bit of insight to others who are going through the same issues as you are.

Also, stop by the college medical center and let them know what’s up. They may have helpful suggestions (or preferred parking stickers), and let your professors know,too.

Make sure you make the most of your time at college. Get involved on campus, meet people, make friends, make mistakes, celebrate victories, laugh, cry, learn and succeed.

–M

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