Heading off to uni? Here are Top Ten Tips on how to stay well while you study – and have fun – from Dr Lisa Neligan, a GP at Kingsbridge Private Hospital in Belfast, part of the 3fivetwo Group.
1. Get Vaccinated
University and college students should be vaccinated against Meningitis C and mumps before they start their studies. A dose of mumps can affect fertility in men, making them unable to father children in the future.
2. Keep it Clean
Wash your hands (always after the loo or before preparing food) as well as after using a communal keyboard so you are less likely to pick up germs.
3. Fresher’s Flu
Avoid headaches, coughs and colds by getting enough shut-eye, eating lots of fresh fruit and veg and drinking in moderation. The recommended number of units of alcohol per day is 3-4 for guys and 2-3 for girls.
4. Sign Up
Register with a nearby GP so you can get advice and help quickly. Or pop into the drop-in GP service at Kingsbridge Private Hospital.
5. Sweat It
Why not sign up for an activity that will enable you to meet new people and take on new challenges? Getting outdoors is a great way to boost levels of vitamin D, circulation and concentration.
6. Safer Sex
Talk to your GP or sexual health clinic about your options and practise safe sex. Chlamydia, the most common STI among students, is tested for free on the NHS. Alternatively if you would like rapid testing with instant results for most STI’S or need to see a specialist you can find out more here http://3fivetwo.com/healthcare/serviceinfo/Sexual_Health_Clinic1
7. Student First Aid
Stash a supply of basic medications in the bathroom cabinet – eg oral rehydration sachets, painkillers, antacids, cough linctus, antibacterial cream, plasters
8. Super Student
Shore up your body’s natural defences by taking a daily vitamin and mineral supplement.
9. Don’t Do It!
Drugs are illegal, they will get you addicted and they will damage your mental and physical health. Stay away from them.
If you are feeling lonely, worrying about money, battling with depression or struggling with an eating disorder, help is at hand. Speak to your doctor, personal tutor, a university counsellor or a student support services staff member.