Transitioning to College

Resources to get your loved one ready

When your loved one transitions to college, your role as a caregiver may shift more than ever before as they take ownership of their day-to-day routines and challenges. Easing off from some of your caregiver responsibilities can take some time to get used to, but soon enough, you’ll find comfort in the fact that your loved one is growing into an independent adult!

Help your loved one build a sense of independence
Gaining a feeling of independence is a big part of what college is all about. Whether your loved one is attending class on campus or in the next room, there are things you can try to do to help them take on more responsibility.

Before the semester starts

If your loved one is learning on campus If your loved one is learning virtually Activity
Review your child’s treatment routine with them.
Create a list of contact numbers, including their healthcare providers, their cystic fibrosis (CF) Center, and their pharmacy or pharmacies.
Make sure your loved one is receiving refill reminders for their prescriptions.
  Set up time for you both to talk to the school’s health center. They may be your child’s first contact in a health emergency if your loved one can’t get to their CF Center.

After the semester starts

If your loved one is learning on campusIf your loved one is learning virtuallyActivity
Remind your loved one of foods that they can keep in their dorm room. Things like peanut butter, granola bars, and trail mix are easy snacks.
Check in with your loved one early in the semester to make sure they’re able to follow their routine without any issues.
 Discuss with your loved one whether you both will get refill reminders for their medicine for the first few months to help them out.

Talking about CF with professors

Talking about CF with professors

Encourage your loved one to be open and honest about CF with mentors in their life. Professors and other faculty members can help them succeed, so it's important that they understand CF.

Here’s what your loved one can consider discussing with their professors:

  • Explaining health needs. They should let professors know that CF makes them more sensitive to germs, so they have to be aware of any illnesses going around
  • Arranging any special accommodations. They may need to miss class or leave class early for appointments. Some universities have a department dedicated to helping students arrange these modifications
  • Agreeing on a plan. They should talk with their professors about ways to minimize absences from class. They can ask about the school sick day policy, or if lectures and notes are posted online
  • Documenting Agreements. After meeting with campus faculty, they can send a follow-up e-mail summarizing any agreed-upon arrangements or accommodations. This way, they have a record of what was agreed upon

Customize a letter

To help ease discussions about CF with professors, have your loved one download this customizable letter. It’s a great tool for summarizing CF and what it means for your loved one’s upcoming semester.

Tips for virtual learners

Even if your loved one is attending college at home, there still may be many opportunities to help them build a sense of self-reliance. If you can, consider giving these tips a try.

Their time. Their schedule.
Give your loved one the option to choose when they eat meals, when they do their treatment routine, and when they study.

Virtual dorm life.
Create an environment that feels like what life would be like at college. Encourage your loved one to test out doing their own laundry, food shopping, refilling their prescriptions, and budgeting their money responsibly. If they later transition to living on campus, they will be ready to do those tasks on their own.

Give them space.
Though your loved one is home, remind yourself they are attending college. Help them thrive in a virtual learning environment by giving them the space and time they need to find success under a growing workload of assignments and pressure.

The Dos & Don’ts of Online Classes

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