Tips for freshers from Crohn’s and Colitis students

11 September 2019

King's College London's Crohn's & Colitis Society give their advice on living with Crohn's or Colitis at University. 

With research showing an increase in diagnosis amongst young adults, it is particularly important to consider the impact the condition may have on student life.

We hope some of these tips and advice from current students with Crohn's or Colitis will help provide some help and support.

Student services

Find out about student services and visit them during Fresher’s Week, followed up by formal contact, such as an email, to determine what help they can offer you throughout your degree. 

Reaching out to student services may involve a meeting and needs assessment but will be invaluable in providing you with necessary support. This may include things such as coursework or deadline extensions. Furthermore, the disability department, with your permission, has the ability to contact your course leads and tutors and inform them of any provisions and support that you may need on the course.

The university support services may also help you assess if you are eligible for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) funding. This may help provide additional financial support for any requirements you might need to make going to university a little easier. They may also be able to explain the alternative funding that might be available to you from the university.

Your personal tutor will be a cornerstone of support and information regarding your course throughout the entire year. They can help with many issues and should be available to meet on short notice if needed.


Controlling and preventing stress are key aspects of managing your mental health and Crohn’s and Colitis. Getting involved with opportunities and passions outside of your studies will work wonders for your overall welfare at university, whilst being a great way to socialise and make friends.

The beauty of university is that there will be a student society for everything. From countless sports clubs, volunteering, cultural, political and tech societies, meditation, wellbeing and healthy eating societies, to even Harry Potter and other common interest groups.

We all have incredible potential that we can fulfil best when our physical and mental wellbeing is flourishing.

We believe that by supporting, empowering and growing student-led spaces of wellbeing, we can create a happier, healthier community together at KCLSU and beyond.

King's College London, Student Union

Being independent 

Being away from home will mean taking that extra bit of responsibility in managing and maintaining your health, registering with a new GP should be a priority, as well as booking any appointments and treatments in line with your new timetable.

With a tonne of new information and opportunities being thrown at you, you'll have an entirely new routine to learn. Therefore, ensuring you keep track of daily medications and appointments will be crucial.

Calendar and reminder apps, like MyIBD Care, will be fantastic aids to ensure you stay on top of your medication and ultimately your health.

​It might also be helpful to familiarise yourself with the nearest accessible facilities, both at your accommodation and your campus and confirm how to access them e.g. a radar key or code, in case you need to use them urgently. If you're not already a member of Crohn's & Colitis UK to get your Can't Wait Card and Radar Key can sign up here. 

For more information about living as a student with Crohn's or Colitis read our guide.

Our thanks to KCL Crohn's & Colitis Society for their guest blog. 

See the impact the society has had on their university.