Episode 05 - University

Illustration by  Vicky Neville

Illustration by Vicky Neville


For a lot of people, going to university or college is a right of passage to finally understand your purpose in life. It’s also the chance to meet lifelong friends and make some amazing memories. But leaving home and taking on a Cystic Fibrosis lifestyle all on your own can be very scary. When you get to university though, you’ll often realise that you’re less alone than ever.




Ru studied Financial Economics at Kingston University. She found that her flatmates were incredibly supportive with her Cystic Fibrosis routine and she slowly integrated it into her everyday life at university. Her tutors were also very helpful when she had to go into hospital, with one tutor going the extra mile.


Liz & Jerry

My Mum and Dad were hugely involved with making sure my university choices would suit my Cystic Fibrosis needs and that I was ready to take on everything independently when I left. Unfortunately, it wasn't always without challenges. You can hear more from them in this episode’s Extra Breaths.



Matt was one of my tutors when I studied Film & Animation at Birmingham City University. He speaks about the various ways the university supported me with everyday Cystic Fibrosis needs and the times I had to go into hospital.



Ange is a social worker at Nottingham's Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre. She helped me apply for Disabled Student's Allowance (DSA) before I went to university to ensure I had any equipment and assistance I may need. Ange also speaks about the different care options available to someone moving away from their home clinic. You can find out more about applying for DSA in this episode’s Extra Breaths or by visiting the official website.



Sydney was my flatmate during my first year at university. She talks about how we introduced ourselves and how much she was aware of my Cystic Fibrosis lifestyle.



Beth studied Journalism at Worcester University and graduated with a 1st. She was always keen to maintain a good social life at university as she felt it was one of the most important aspects. Beth was very well throughout her time at university but she says how that's partly down to having a healthy mental attitude by not letting her Cystic Fibrosis control her life.

I always put life first, and then Cystic Fibrosis second.
— Beth

Dr Helen Barr

Dr Helen Barr is a respiratory consultant at Nottingham's Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre and explains the safe ways to enjoy drinking alcohol if you have CF.



Presented and produced by William Marler.

Recorded at Birmingham City University.

Featuring the voices of Ru, Matt, Ange, Sydney, Beth, Dr Helen Barr and my wonderful Mum & Dad: Liz and Jerry Marler.

Music by Ben Weatherill.

Illustration by Vicky Neville.

Thanks to Sam Lewis for his keen ear and ever-helpful advice.

William Marler