Out sick? Missing class? Never fear!

green-apple-doctorLiving with a chronic illness and going to school isn’t easy. Despite this, I retain full-time student status and even work part time.

Although I live a pretty healthy and active life now, there are many periods throughout the year where my body acts up and goes into what the professionals call a flare up. During these flare ups, I find that I’m usually out of school for days or weeks at a time and it requires me to stay up to date on my classes and play mad catch up. Throughout it all, I’ve managed to keep a pretty steady GPA!

So, what do you do when you’ve living with an illness or, even simpler, what do you do when you’re sick? This could even mean routine procedures such as wisdom teeth extraction or unforeseen accidents. Well, here are some resources to help you stay on top of your course load:

 1. Communicate with your Professors

If you feel that you are ill, email or call your prof! You don’t need to send them constant updates, especially if you’re just missing lectures, but it’s really worthwhile to let them know for missed assignments or exams. The profs at UVic are SO understanding – just explain your situation.

2. See the On-Campus Doctors

The Petersen Health Centre on campus is amazing! With 4-5 doctors in rotation everyday and same-day appointments, getting in to see a doctor and get medical notation is a breeze. The doctors on campus are familiar with processes regarding academic concession, so it’s always worthwhile to go talk to them.

3. Register with the Resource Centre for Students with a Disability

The RCSD is a great place for students who may have learning disabilities, physical or sensory disabilities, mental health issues, chronic illnesses or even test anxieties! Their staff members specialize in assisting students with disabilities throughout their time at UVic to provide the resources they need to academically succeed. Accommodation examples include: isolated test rooms, note takers, adaptive technologies, sign language interpreters and more. Services are totally confidential.

The RCSD encourages students to connect with them early in their high school graduating year as accessing academic accommodations in university is different than accessing them in the K-12 school system. By starting the registration process over the summer, you’ll have no surprises once you get to UVic.  If you’re currently in grade 12 and think you’ll need academic accommodation when you get to UVic, please connect with the RCSD soon.

4. Ask a Friend or Classmate for Notes

Perhaps the easiest method to stay on task is to ask a friend for their notes. Most students take notes on their laptops, so getting them emailed is easy. Even if you’re out sick, it’s good to request the notes so that you know you have them and can look at them whenever you feel better.

5. Recognize Academic Concessions/Dates

Sometimes, despite your best intentions, the illness gets the best of you and you need to make some major decisions. For this, you should keep an eye on academic deadlines to ensure you aren’t penalized for dropping a course; however, you can also qualify for medical withdrawal if you fall ill past the dedicated dates. For these, it’s always great to check in with academic advising and get the advice you need.

There are many options out there so never feel that you are overloaded or stressed. I’ve only named a few, but there are many services offered by UVic that cater to both the mental and physical health of students.

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