Students reveal struggles of coping with diabetes in college

Junior fashion merchandising major Holly Ashcraft with her blood sugar port.

Lexi Marco

When you think of diabetes, chances are you don’t think of a young, healthy child. However, there are countless young childern who are diagnosed with diabetes at a young age and spend their whole life with the disease.

Rachel Schrantz, a junior fashion merchandising major, was diagnosed with diabetes at 12 years old. Now 20, Schrantz is the president and co-founder of Kent State’s chapter of the College Diabetes Network.

“People always assume that diabetics are either older or overweight and unhealthy,” Schrantz said. “What people don’t realize is that normal, healthy children are diagnosed with diabetes every single day. The stereotypes of diabetics are crazy, but it isn’t always what you would think.”

According to Schrantz, growing up and living with diabetes takes a lot of adjustment, especially for young kids who don’t fully understand their diagnosis.

College life with diabetes is not any easier.

“It’s a whole other world when you’re a college student with diabetes,” said Kennedy Matty, a freshman communication studies major. “Your diabetes affects your whole day, and sometimes people don’t understand or see that.” 

Matty and Schrantz are both members of the College Diabetes Network, which Schrantz and junior integrated health studies major Molly Roush founded last spring. The network acts as a biweekly club and support system for Kent State students who live with diabetes.

“It’s hard coming to college and starting this whole new lifestyle,” Roush said. “It’s hard mentally and dealing with your blood sugar while eating at the dining halls and not having a normal sleep schedule. The club is meant to help (make) the transition into college and adulthood a little easier.”

Lexi Marco is the health reporter. Contact her at [email protected].