How to Cope with Migraines in College

Moving from home to dorming on a college campus is a drastic change for freshman students. While the new found freedom and responsibility may be exciting, this transition is filled with situations that can trigger a headache or a migraine attack. Increased stress, new foods, and irregular sleep patterns are among the many triggers that can induce an attack. Identifying triggers and planning ahead of time can prevent migraines from disrupting your college experience.

Helpful hints to create a better college experience:

Visit your headache specialist in advance to help identify potential triggers based on your past history
You may develop new triggers in addition to your old prevalent triggers
Keep a strict headache diary as it can help to identify triggers, so you can avoid them
You may have a plan for your pre-existing migraines, but a change in plan will be warranted in this situation
Writing down how to handle potential scenarios can be helpful
Create a headache preparedness kit for your bookbag to manage sudden attacks
Stock the dorm refrigerator with water or power drinks to remain hydrated
If possible, visit the health care center at your college in advance to obtain the policy/process of reporting a headache or migraine attack
Notify your professors, academic advisors, roommates, and others ahead of time as they will be much more likely to work with you in the event of an attack.