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Thriving Through Transition: Conversations with Kirsten Curtis

Just last week, Kirsten Curtis joined Emily on our monthly Facebook Live broadcast to discuss how to cope with people who don’t understand chronic illness, especially during times of transition – like starting college or a new job.

Though Kirsten lives with Crohn’s Disease and Emily lives with Neurological Lyme, Emily sees a lot of herself in Kirsten. It takes some serious strength to build a community around you that accepts your illness while also juggling new college classes or running your own business! Both these women are wonderful role models for doing just that. Check out their conversation in the video below.

Here are a few highlights from Emily & Kirsten’s conversation…

During times of transition, lean on the people you love.

Kirsten reflected on the time before leaving for college saying, “I was worried about going to college because I could never go to middle or high school because I was too sick.” But even through that anxiety, she knew she could find support with her mom. “She just wants me to succeed,” Kirsten said, “She’s my number on supporter with my illness.”

Emily agreed, “Mom’s are the secret source of strength through all of this.”

If you’re approaching a big transition in your life, like starting a new school or a new job – make sure to lean on the people you love and the people who have supported your every step of the way. They will have your back!

Tips on Navigating College and Other New Communities With Illness

Starting in a new school or immersing yourself in a new environment can be nerve-wracking, but Kirsten shared some great tips to manage those nerves and concerns.

  • Register with Disability Student Services and let them know your needs. This is especially relevant when starting college, but in any new environment it’s great to let people know what accommodations you need to help yourself thrive.
  • Get a schedule (and housing) that works for you!
  • Give yourself the tools you need. Kirsten brings her Self Care Case around campus to help manage her medications.

And when it comes to meeting new friends and putting yourself out there, it’s all about being comfortable with yourself. “Once you are comfortable with yourself,” Kirsten says, “other people will be more understanding and accepting of you.”

Both Kirsten and Emily shared many more tips and insights throughout their conversation, and we hope you’ll tune in to watch the whole thing!

Thank you Kirsten for joining us this month on Facebook Live and for sharing your story. Stay tuned for more conversations from the Mighty Well community, coming soon.

Want to connect with our community? Join us in our group, Friends in the Fight and share your tips on navigating college and other new situations!

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