Tips For Surviving School With A Chronic Illness

Going back to school can be stressful enough, let alone if you have a chronic illness or chronic pain condition to manage on top of that. I wanted to help make back to school season less daunting, but as I have only been sick for 1.5 years and I spent a year of that off school and the other half doing online school, I don’t have much experience. So I reached out to some of my friends who were kind enough to share with me their advice, for me to share with you.

While I haven’t been to school since I got sick, I was at school when I was having vision issues (due to a past horse accident). And the biggest thing that helped me was telling my friends about it. I explained to them what would happen when my vision would happen, why it happened, things that would trigger it like me running around too much and what things helped settle it down. People aren’t mind readers and can’t understand or help you unless they know. I am still so grateful for the friends that helped me when I was at school, it made everything less stressful and scary. The same thing goes for any type of chronic illness or pain condition. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or just tell your friends so they are aware of your situation.


ANNIKA CASSIDY  – @confidentlychronic

I ask myself constantly “what are you working towards?” As daunting as the question may be, I feel it’s super important. My number one tip for any high school student with chronic illness and pain is to take everything one step at a time. My Mom has a quote that goes “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The same goes for school. My trick is to stay organized. I always use sticky notes in my planner so I can cover things I don’t need to worry about right now. This reduces stress and makes me feel like I am in control. I really hope this helps someone who’s in the same boat as me. You’re strong and you have got this in the bag! Sending love and spoons


AMIE LIANE – @helloamieliane

This might be cliche advice by now, but the best thing I can say to you is “Listen to your body”. Pushing yourself to do things when you know you’re not up to it is only going to make you feel worse. Make sure that your teachers understand your condition by having them speak to your parents or your doctors. If your school is understanding of your limitations then it can take the pressure off you. Remember that your health is, and always will be, the most important part of your life.


PEYTON – @andpajamas

If education is important to you, there is always and will always be a way to make it work. It can be frustrating, it can feel like the mountain of work is forever building and you’ll never catch up, or that everyone is out to make finishing school impossible; but the saying is true, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Work with your resources, don’t be ashamed of accommodations if you have them, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself, and take charge of your education. Be proud of your accomplishments, proud of the work you’ve done, and know that you’re never alone. Personally, looking back I’m amazed at myself for how far I’ve come and what I’ve achieved in my education. In the end, it all came down to my drive to make it happen, ability to advocate for myself and my needs, and my passion for learning. I found ways to make learning work for me, gave it my all, and I’ve done better and more than I ever thought possible. Back to school can be hard, just try to remember: you are not alone, you can find a way (even if it’s non-traditional), and there’s no shame in taking care of yourself. Good luck!



HANNAH – @fightingwithhamps

My top tip for getting through school is to be in constant communication with your teachers. From my experience, teachers want to help you succeed and will try their best to make sure you do well! Communicate your needs and how they can best support your success in their class. Outside of classes, make time for things like spending time in nature and hanging out with friends. Try to remember school isn’t life or death and though it might not feel like it in the moment, one grade won’t determine your fate.


VEERA – @veeraelisabeth

My number one tip for surviving school with a chronic illness is pretty simple. Alwaysss have a water bottle and some kind of snack with you at school!! It’s important to keep yourself hydrated, especially when you have some kind of illness. Whether I’m feeling tired or a little dizzy (or simply thirsty) water makes me feel refreshed.
And when the school days are long and hard I always get hungry and that’s when the snack comes in. I get easily irritated and I can’t focus on my work when I’m hungry, so it really helps my studies to have some type of snack with me. Plus if you take your snack from home you save some money!
My main tips for dealing with a chronic illness is to be completely honest about how you’re feeling. That’s with your teachers, your friends and your parents. If you’re struggling, you NEED to tell someone so adjustments can be made – bottling it up and pushing through it won’t get you anywhere, in fact, it will probably make you worse. If you’re honest with yourself and the school/college, they’re much more likely to be able to support you! Also, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. School is hard enough to get through, let alone when you have a chronic illness to deal with too! If you need to rest and ask for an extension, just do it! Being at school with a chronic illness means you HAVE to learn to be your own advocate and believe it. It will also be good practice for your adult life!
 – What’s your biggest tip for surviving school with a chronic condition? Comment down below, I’d love to know! xx

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    1. Aww yay, so happy you loved it! I found school really difficult before I even got sick and it’s taken a while to learn to adapt.I’m hoping this post helps anyone in the same shoes find it a bit easier!
      – Elina xx

    1. So happy to hear you loved it, I can imagine going back and forth from hospitals would make things really hard! I hope 2019 brings better health and fewer hospital visits for you!
      – Elina xx