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What It's Actually Like to Be a College Student With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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You might be reading this thinking, “Oh, just another teenager complaining,” but I can assure you this is not the case.

My name is Chloe and I’m a 17-year-old college student with moderate chronic fatigue syndrome. That might not sound that bad, but it’s debilitating.

selfie of college student with purple hair and necklaces and a caption that reads 'you think you're holy when you're not. I hate to break it to you baby, but your'e simply lost.'

It means my muscles are on fire after doing only one day at college. It means having to sacrifice a day out with my friends so that I’m not in bed feeling poorly a couple of days later for a week. It means not being able to work because it would kill me. It means having virtually no immune system to protect me from getting ill.

Chronic fatigue syndrome isn’t just being tired and it’s not being lazy. It’s being in chronic pain and being ill at least once a week.

I’m actually currently writing this while I’m lying in bed sick with the flu because of how terrible my immune system is.

Essentially, the point I’m trying to make is that a lot of people don’t understand what chronic fatigue syndrome is. When I tell someone I’ve done a six-hour shift once a week and it’s put me in bed ill, I usually get the response of, “Oh, you just need to get an early night,” and people don’t understand that it’s just not that simple.

So here I am, writing about my condition in hopes that I can maybe raise awareness – even just a little. Maybe I could do this regularly if people enjoy it.

Chronic fatigue syndrome isn’t just being tired. It’s being chronically ill.

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Originally published: April 21, 2017
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