After living with diabetes for half of my life, change is something with which I am very familiar. But that familiarity doesn’t necessarily mean I am always comfortable - in fact, both change and diabetes are often incredibly uncomfortable. My recent transition from college into my new profession, with a new job and a move to a new part of the country, brought several life changes for me. I realized throughout all of these changes that diabetes remained constant, and staying between the lines proved challenging with all of the new, unknown factors being introduced.
After graduating from Purdue University and concluding my post-graduate program with a focus on becoming a registered dietitian, I started applying for jobs. I considered various locations, settings, and practices throughout the country. I really wanted to pursue a career outside of the state of Indiana, where I grew up and attended college. I was elated to find a job posting for a program assistant position with the College Diabetes Network (CDN) based in Boston, MA, an organization I was involved with during my time in college.
When I think about staying between the lines, I think about people who have helped and inspired me to have control over my health and ultimately my life. Being involved with the Purdue CDN chapter brought many people into my life who helped me stay between the blood glucose lines throughout my college challenges and changes. I knew that moving to a new city approximately 1,000 miles away from home would also be challenging, but I was moving to work for an organization that had helped me through similar transitions in the past. This new opportunity checked all the boxes as I entered into this next part of my life.
A few things I learned from going through my college experience with diabetes and the incredible CDN chapter:
- Confidence is critical to staying between the lines. Confidence can come from acknowledging that diabetes is a unique part of yourself. It can also come from a sense of independence that can accompany a big life transition.
- Living with diabetes can also instill a sense of independence, and pretty quickly for many of us. A portion of my life is dedicated to awareness and tracking the many blood sugar influences about which people without diabetes don’t have to give a thought.
- Having a reliable support system, however big or small and no matter where I’m located, is a crucial piece of staying between my target glucose lines. No matter what change or transition I experienced with diabetes, I knew that I always had the support of my close friends and family.
Since I moved to Boston and started working at CDN, I get to work with and empower young adults living with type 1 diabetes as they become leaders and members of a network with limitless possibilities. The diabetes is still constant, of course, as are my continued efforts to keep it between the lines. I’m really lucky to do so while surrounded by an incredible group of people.
Emily C was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11 and has been involved in the T1D community ever since. Following her diagnosis, Emily attended summer camp through the American Diabetes Association. Originally from Indianapolis, IN, Emily attended Purdue University where she earned a B.S. in Coordinated Dietetics. She then completed her dietetic internship through Purdue and went on to earn her Registered Dietitian (RD) license in August 2018.