Value of the SWD National Conference!

Value of the Students With Diabetes National Conference!
By: Paige Wagner

This year will be the 5th annual Students With Diabetes National Conference. I have attended every conference and each one is better than the last.

From my involvement with Students With Diabetes, I’ve learned how important the diabetes community is to my overall health. I can count on this conference to connect me to LOTS of peers who understand life with diabetes. I’ve made some of my closest friends at these conferences – peers who will text diabetes memes and celebrate in range blood sugars!

That’s not all, though. I’ve learned more applicable diabetes knowledge at the SWD National Conferences than anywhere else in my life. Some topics discussed at the conference are simply never addressed in any other setting. For instance, I learned a lot last year in a breakout session about insurance and being a young professional.

Last year, seeing so many people wearing a Dexcom G4 Continuous Glucose Monitor opened me up to the idea of trying it out. I fell in love with my CGM instantly. Similarly, I was introduced to the Tandem t:Slim insulin pump at a SWD conference and now I wear one. The use of these tools have helped me reach the best A1c I’ve ever had, and if it weren’t for this conference I probably would have never gotten there.

It is important to recharge (especially at the end of a semester when it’s easy to feel burnt-out) and I see this conference as the place to find my motivation to engage in healthy behaviors. I find inspiration through the many conversations I have with fellow attendees about our shared struggles and strategies to achieve goals. Knowing that we’re in this together is enough to get me on track.

It’s no exaggeration to say this is my favorite weekend of the year. I feel that I leave each conference a better person than I came with more friendships, more knowledge, and more motivation.

If you’re on the fence about going, I cannot recommend it enough.

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