Transitioning into College

Rebecca Boyer

Spring 1996

Hi! My name is Rebecca Boyer and my life as a student at California State University, Sacramento, has been everything that I expected and more. Cystic fibrosis hasn't really affected my life at college, except that it's a longer walk to my classes than in high school. Even though I am usually out of breath by the time I go from one class to another and the stairs are a killer, my parents remind me that it's good exercise! I am a nursing major, which means that I have signed up for five years of study. Having cystic fibrosis definitely played a role in my career choice. I want to help others in the same way that nurses have helped me throughout my life. Also, I have a first-hand sense of the kind of nurse I want to be. I do not like nurses who don't know what they are doing, who are not self-confident and appear to have a lack of training and empathy. On the other hand, I have appreciated caring and concerned nurses who took good care of me during clinic visits or hospital stays. My health was obviously important to them. That's the kind of nurse I want to be.

I'm currently carrying 17 units this semester and it's quite a load. My main subjects are chemistry (five units) and English (three units). The other classes include Health and safety, Magic, witchcraft and religion, and Government. My hardest class is definitely the chemistry course. Even with an A in high school chemistry, that was nothing compared to the college-level chemistry taught at Sacramento State.

In addition to my normal classes, I am also an active member of the local sorority, Chi Delta. This has been a great experience for me and has definitely helped me with my transition into college. I have met so many great girls who are so understanding about everything in my life. It took me a long time to tell them that I had CF. They just thought I was sick all the time. In time I told one or two close friends. Their response was so supportive, I began to feel safe enough to let the other sorority members know. The sorority has helped me to gain a sense of who I am in relation to others and to my community. I have improved my communication skills and have learned how to use the self that I am to better help others. Coming to CSUS with only a few friends was hard, but now I have 45 new friends and I couldn't be happier.

My sense of well-being and feeling accepted at college have helped in other ways, too. My doctor has been happy with my health this year, requiring only two home IVs (down by half from last year's--YEAH!) So far this semester, even with the weather being so cold and damp, I've been lucky. I haven't caught any nasty infections. A clean bill of health is a definite plus for my parents who constantly worry about me.

The other big part of my life is my boyfriend, Daniel, who is a senior pre-med student at the University of California at Berkeley. We met at a party through friends about six months ago. He helps me a lot, not only with school but with my health. He is not only a Certified Nursing Assistant, but also an Emergency Medical Technician. My parents feel safe when I'm with him because there's always "a doctor in the house." He is great and I couldn't imagine my life without him.

Nothing has made me happier than to attend a four-year university. Life at college is wonderful and I would say to all of you who are thinking about it, "Go for it!"

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