The summer after my freshman year at RIT, I developed a severe muscle injury in my shoulder girdle and right arm. Since my condition wasn't that bad, I started my sophomore year at RIT, thinking that my injury is just a temporary pain. As the semester progressed my condition got worse, and balancing class work and my injury became a uphill battle. I realised I had to drop all my extra-curriculars and take a short break from coursework. I went to my professors and advisor and explained my situation to him. They were very understanding and sympathetic to my situation. They supported me and told me what my next steps should be. I ended up finishing the semester successfully with good grades. These few months were the most difficult time I've had. But, this experience taught me some important lessons.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Your health should always be your No. 1 priority
College and career can wait, but not your health. Know when to stop and get help! Taking a break or getting help does not make you a failure.
Keep in touch with your professors and advisors
Your professors and advisors should be the first one to know if you have a situation that is resulting you missing classes or not completing your coursework. Professors are understanding and offer support. They know about resources offered by RIT and the policies. They will be more than willing to help you figure out your next steps. I couldn't have completed my semester successfully with good grades without the support of my professors and advisors.
Utilise the resources provided by the university
RIT offers help and support to students both with chronic as well as temporary injury/disability. If you think that an injury/disability is hindering you from completing coursework or attending classes, it is important that you talk to the Disability Services office at RIT.
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