5 Tips to Staying Healthy in College
Coming from someone who got her Hepatitis B vaccination in the waiting room of my doctor’s oﬃce (by a seriously dedicated nurse who came in on her day oﬀ) days before take-oﬀ to my abroad destination of Belize, I’m here to talk to you about common mistakes (and proactive tips!) of staying on top of your health (and health records) in college. Here are some 5 tips that I wish I had known before embarking on a nearly solo adventure of keeping on top of your own health in college.
- Student Health Services is your friend. Seriously, these nurses and doctor’s love adolescent health. I went abroad with a Nurse Practitioner and former head of a college health service, and she said it was the widest array of interesting health issues she’d ever had the chance to face in one place. And they’ve heard it all–so don’t be shy.
- Make sure you keep your vaccination records up to date! Have your home doctor fax them over to make sure all your records are in the same place.
- Insurance. If you’re not using the college insurance plan, make sure your own insurance pre-approves you for all your new visits at Student Health. This can avoid some serious hassle in the long run.
- The awkward bucket outside of your R.A.’s door is not the only place to pick up some condoms. Not applicable for everyone, of course. But, if you’re nervous about buying them at the drugstore and don’t really want to awkwardly pick them up on your way to class, talk to Student Health. If applicable, your college is probably more than likely to help you out here. They can also talk to you about STI (also known as STD) testing. A quick trip down there can you save your hours of turmoil on creepy (and inaccurate) nerve-written internet forums or cyclical convos with your dorm-mates. Just go.
- Put a smile on your face….the counseling oﬃce is NOT scary. Trust me. Having a counselor you meet with once a week can be a huge help for any diﬃculties you might be facing, and, even if you aren’t facing anything major–talking it out with an unbiased source is a great way to help yourself mature. A lot of college counseling oﬃces even oﬀer yoga, meditation, or mindfulness groups. Take advantage!
There you have it. 5 tips to be a happier, healthier college student. Now, about that sneeze…probably the ﬁrst (and last!) time in your list a quick-ﬁx is right around the corner.
Happy (and healthy) studies!
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