It’s the time of year where students are about to begin their university adventures, here’s my advice for those living with psoriasis who are beginning their courses, I hope it helps and good luck.
Leaving home and attending university was a task I found very challenging as I was both excited and nervous to find out what may be ahead. Knowing I was moving away from my comfort zone to mix with new people wasn’t something I found difficult however having psoriasis made this ten times harder.
My mind was all over the place before I moved away as I was more or less covered in psoriasis at the time I was to move and knowing I would shaking hands with people and introducing myself was becoming a nightmare. Knowing how to explain psoriasis and what it is can often be a difficult task because making other people understand how psoriasis can come and go, change peoples self esteem and the way they feel about themselves is often misunderstood.
My experience of moving away to university was positive, people excepted me very quickly and I felt at ease to bring up my psoriasis very early on. Talking to people about psoriasis I see is a very positive way to educate others, you will often find that most people won’t change their opinion of you due to your psoriasis and it is not an issue.
Here’s a couple of pieces of advice from others for people living with psoriasis who are starting university…
I was honest with my roommates about it. It was a tough conversation but made it easier.
To be open with people about what it is&lead with the fact it’s not catching. They’ll be far more understanding than you think.
My personal advice for those who are moving away to university is first to explain what psoriasis and be truthful about how this impacts you, if there are times when your skin is sore and you want to time to relax and treat it give your self some time alone and let your friends know you are fine but need time to chill. Find a doctors surgery on campus or near by and visit to ensure they are aware you have psoriasis and they understand how your psoriasis affects you, whether you have a small patch or are completely covered it can affect us in different ways. Depending on the severity of your psoriasis you may be best to inform student services on site and see if they can support you in any way there may be support available you are unaware of.
Preparation can be key for dealing with difficult situations be ready for what is ahead and be positive.
For more information about dealing with psoriasis at university visit the psoriasis association for teens page http://www.psoteen.org.uk/pages/view/deal-with-it/school-uni-and-beyond
Good luck, Jess x