Taking your first steps into adulthood with MS

adulthood with ms

Quality of Life · Article

Being a young adult can be difficult.

Being a young adult with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can be even harder.

A lot can change as you transition into adulthood. You might move out of your family home, experience new relationships, or start to have financial independence. And this can be even more challenging when you’re living with a chronic illness. Choosing your next steps and what you want from your future, while managing your disease on your own, is a daunting task. However, living with MS doesn’t mean you have to give up on your ambitions. You just may have to rethink how to achieve them.

We hope this article empowers you to take the steps needed to achieve your ultimate goals. So, you don’t settle for less than you deserve when it comes to your education and career.


Finding the route that suits you

adulthood with ms

Just as experiences with MS vary from person-to-person, goals are unique to each person. They’re likely to mean something different to others than they do to you. This is why it can be a good idea to think about what is important to you. You may want to concentrate the next few years on further education or entering employment, or you may decide to travel or adjust to adult life before taking the next step. There is no right or wrong way to reach your end goal and it is all about choosing a route that suits you.

Below are just a few ideas to get you started…

adulthood with ms

Why not take some time to write a list of your big goals to try and uncover what you want to do with the next few years?

adulthood with ms
  • - Vocational college courses/apprenticeships
  • - Travelling
  • - Employment
  • - University
  • - Volunteering
  • - Work experience

Your MS shouldn’t stand in the way of achieving your goals

adulthood with ms

We acknowledge that your experiences with MS might make study or work seem more difficult. However, there are things to consider when choosing your future path and support that you may be entitled to. For example, if you are sensitive to hot or cold weather, working indoors may be the best option for you. Or, if you struggle with fatigue or mobility, then a job which allows you to work from home when needed might be better than a job that requires more physical labour.

While some people may be able to carry on as normal following their diagnosis, others may find that they need to make some small changes. When exploring future options, it’s important that you know that you can ask for adaptations that may help to accommodate your needs. Please be mindful that the support available may depend on the country you live in and your specific needs.

Here are a few ways in which you may be able to access support: 

adulthood with ms
  • - Part time work or education schedule
  • - Option to work or study remotely
  • - Extra time in exams and extended deadlines
  • - Ensuring accessible facilities
  • - Grants and allowances to pay for specialist equipment
  • - Access to a Disability Officer for advice
  • - Time off for medical appointments and treatment


Don’t put pressure on yourself!

Remember, you don’t need to have everything figured out right away. It's no easy feat juggling MS and entering adulthood. So, whatever your goals, and no matter where you are on your journey to reaching them, you should be proud of yourself. There is no right or wrong way to approach your next steps so be kind to yourself and remember that your MS shouldn’t stand in the way of reaching your goals. You just might have to rethink how you go about achieving them.

If you feel concerned that your MS is affecting your goals, make sure to reach out to your MS nurse or neurologist. They should be more than happy to help and direct you to the support you need.   

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