Many students have just started college, embarking on one of the most important adventures of their life. For most people, it's the first time they have lived away from home. Even those who stay at home to attend college experience a big change. One of the things that everyone needs to watch out for is how college can affect their health. There are several ways that college can lead to illnesses or unhealthy lifestyles. Mingling with a lot of people makes it easy to catch colds and other illnesses. College can be stressful and affect your mental health too. If you want to be healthy at college, pay attention to some of these issues.
Dealing with Illness
When you first attend college, it can be easy to pick up coughs, colds and even the flu. In fact, it can happen every year. You're mixing with a lot of new people, and it will soon be winter. Feeling ill when you're away from home can be miserable. Perhaps you're used to having your parents to offer you comfort, and you feel homesick. The first thing you can do is try to avoid getting ill by maintaining good hygiene. However, it is difficult to dodge picking up a cold or another illness. Make sure you stock up on supplies to make yourself feel better and allow yourself the time to get well.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet
Everyone knows about the freshman fifteen that you're supposed to gain in your first year at college. The truth is, you won't necessarily gain those pounds in your first semester. It could happen at any time due to stress or a slip in your diet. But they're so common for freshmen because they're just starting out on their own. Being able to eat whatever you want, combined with the stress of starting college, can lead to bad habits. You're probably also trying to save money, which can influence your diet too. The best thing to do is to learn some quick, cheap and healthy recipes you can rely on.
Practice Safe Sex
College is a time when many people experiment with a lot of different things. You're learning who you are and what you like. Many people experiment with casual sex or have their first serious relationships at college. Practicing safe sex is vital. This involves not just your physical health, but the importance of consent too. Everyone should be aware of what does and doesn't constitute consent when it comes to sex. It's also essential to be aware of the importance of protection and the risk of disease. You can refer to an STD symptoms list to understand how to recognize if you might have one.
Caring for Your Mental Health
Many people experience mental health issues while at college. The stress can have consequences, and some mental illnesses first appear in the late teens and early twenties. It's important to look after your mental health, as well as be aware of resources available to you. Your college might have a student helpline or perhaps counsellors you can speak to.
You have to take responsibility for your health at college, but there are also people there to help you. Make sure you use the resources available to you.