Rachel Hallett, currently studying for a master’s in journalism at London Metropolitan University, has an invisible illness that affects her studies and her social life. Writing about her experience as a student with an invisible illness in The Guardian, Rachel notes that illnesses like hers are often misunderstood by lecturers and fellow students.
The importance of support from University
Rachel writes not only of her own experiences but the experiences of two other UK students living with an invisible illness. All three stress the importance of understanding and support from tutors when dealing with illnesses that affected their studies in so many different ways.
The impact on social life
Rachel also describes the disruption to her social life and how she struggled with pain and anxiety as a result of hiding her illness from those she didn’t feel comfortable sharing it with. One other student Hallett said she felt like an inconvenience and a burden on her friends and praised those who took the time to understand and made adjustments.
Openness can make a difference
We would encourage all students with an invisible illness to talk to the appropriate staff at their university to get to help they need. Small adjustments can make a huge difference for students with invisible and visible illnesses, and it is important that students can be open with their university about their struggles and needs. You could even get in touch with your student union and talk to them about how you could raise awareness about the issues faced by students in the same boat as yourself.