Tips on How to Stay Healthy and Safe in College
By Space Coast Daily // August 11, 2020
Being a college student will require you to become more independent. Your parents will no longer control your every step meaning that from now on you should take full responsibility for what is going on in your life.
You will be the only one who will decide on when to study, where to live, and what kind of lifestyle to have. College is a good place to practice being an adult; however, it is not always a safe one.
Since college is full of new things, from meeting new people to living away from your parents, it may be stressful. In college, you will have to develop a new routine, manage your time, and learn how to live on a tight budget. Below, there are a few tips on how to take care of your health and ensure safety on campus:
Get regular check-ups
Make sure you have a doctor at your local clinic that you can visit every time you have any health concerns or need to get another check-up.
The latter will help you ensure that you are healthy or address any health problem as early as possible. Don’t forget about getting vaccinated for HPV, flu, meningitis, and so forth.
Make sure you get enough sleep
If you lack sleep, the chances of you developing various chronic diseases, such as depression, heart diseases, etc. are significantly higher.
Boys and girls who practice late-night study regularly don’t get enough sleep and thus may suffer from daytime drowsiness, split attention, and difficulty focusing on schooling and making big decisions.
Those who lack sleep are at a higher risk for bad grades, low academic performance, depressed mood, and so forth. Moreover, it is much harder for them to make new friends and build and maintain healthy adult relationships.
To sleep well, avoid caffeine, create a better sleeping atmosphere, set a sleep schedule and stick to it, and stop doing your academic assignments, such as writing an argumentative essay, creating a business plan, etc., late at night. If none of the mentioned helps, then don’t neglect to consult your health provider.
Add more physical activity to your routine
Make sure that you practice sports for at least two and a half hours a day. Playing sports will help you improve both your mental and physical health, reducing your risk for serious chronic health problems.
Do exercises that promote deep breathing and increase heart rates and make sure you do enough to improve your muscle strength. Pay attention to sports, such as dancing, jogging, and aerobics.
Stick to a balanced diet
Apples, bananas, baby carrots, and other fruits and veggies are great sources of energy which, however, are low in calories.
Include them in your diet to maintain your energy level. In college, you may gain weight because of those many buffets and cafeterias serving unhealthy foods and soda.
For this very reason, it is better if you avoid such places and always have a fast, yet healthy snack, such as fruits, veggies, cheese, nuts, and seeds, at hand.
On the other hand, you have all chances to lose weight in college mainly because of the stress that you are very likely to experience as a freshman.
To stay healthy, talk to a nutritionist about how you can maintain your weight safely. Keep in mind that bulimia, anorexia, and other eating disorders are serious health issues that must be addressed immediately.
Take care of your mental health
Feeling homesick, sad, and stressed-out is normal, especially if it is your first year in college. However, if it continues for a long time, it may be a serious problem.
Being stressed out all the time can take a toll on your wellbeing. Feeling anxious is normal; otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to study harder for a test or concentrate on important assignments.
However, if you cannot calm down or if feeling anxious prevents you from doing your everyday tasks, it is most likely that you suffer from an anxiety disorder.
You can address this problem by spending time with your old friends and making new ones, talking to your teachers and asking them for a piece of advice, and including more physical activity in your daily routine. And every time you think about suicide, call a suicide hotline immediately.
Avoid substance abuse
Many teenagers start drinking, smoking, and doing drugs when go to college. This is mainly because they believe that doing so will help them make new friends. There is even evidence indicating that 80% of college students drink alcohol and 20% of them drink heavily.
Heavy drinking is one of the three main causes of death in teenagers. Moreover, it is associated with smoking, physical violence, sexual misconduct, etc.
Avoid driving after drinking, choose safe places to spend time with friends, and avoid places that allow smoking for your safety.
Maintain a healthy relationship
Building healthy relationships will help you increase your self-esteem, improve your wellbeing, and live life to the fullest. Feeling insulted, scared, and trapped are all signs of unhealthy relationships. Make sure that you spend time with people who love you and treat you with respect.
Having good friends in college is hard to overestimate. These people will be a great source of support for you, especially if your parents are a few hundred miles away.
Another serious problem that affects many college students’ lives annually is sexual violence. To reduce the risk of sexual abuse, make sure that you avoid relationships with people who consume much alcohol, do drugs, and behave aggressively.
Every time someone treats you with disrespect, talk to your parents, teachers, or counselor, and ask them for advice. If you know someone who has become a victim, don’t hesitate to call 911.
When you choose from many colleges, choose the one that has proved to be a safe place. Just like academic and geographic considerations, safety is an important thing to consider, too.
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