June 14, 2024

Conquer College: 9 Vital Health Concerns Every Student Must Address

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Entering college marks a significant transition, laden with excitement, newfound freedoms, and academic pursuits. Yet, amidst the thrill of new experiences, students often encounter a host of health challenges unique to the collegiate environment. From managing mental health amidst academic pressures to fostering healthy relationships and practicing self-care, maintaining wellness becomes paramount. Here are the top nine health concerns for college students and proactive measures to address them:

  1. Mental Health
    • Stress, anxiety, and depression are common challenges in college. Resources like Anxiety Toolbox, Let’s Talk sessions, Peer Wellness Coaching, AcademicLiveCare, acupuncture, and WellTrack are available to help students cope and find support.
  2. Sleep
    • College life can disrupt sleep patterns. Tips include reducing caffeine intake, avoiding long naps, limiting screen time, getting natural light exposure, exercising earlier in the day, establishing a bedtime routine, and utilizing sleep aids like acupuncture.
  3. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
    • Practicing safe sex, getting tested regularly, discussing STI status with partners, and considering vaccinations for HPV and Hepatitis B can help prevent transmission. Medical Services offer testing and treatment options.
  4. Seasonal Illnesses
    • Preventative measures against colds, flu, and COVID-19 include getting vaccinated, frequent handwashing, staying hydrated, covering coughs and sneezes, minimizing contact with sick individuals, and disinfecting surfaces. Seek medical attention for severe symptoms.
  5. Meningitis
    • Vaccination is key to preventing meningitis, a serious infection. Recognize symptoms like confusion, fever, headache, sensitivity to light, and stiff neck, and seek prompt medical evaluation if experienced.
  6. Substance Use and Misuse
    • Peer support sessions and workshops help students navigate substance use, while programs like Buffs Discuss Substance Use and the Collegiate Recovery Community offer resources for those seeking recovery. Naloxone and fentanyl test strips are also available.
  7. Eating Changes
    • College life can trigger unhealthy eating patterns. Seek support from Nutrition Services, the Collegiate Recovery Community, and the Buff Pantry for guidance on intuitive eating, body image, and food insecurity.
  8. Unhealthy Relationships, Abuse, or Sexual Assault
    • Resources like the Office of Victim Assistance and the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance offer support, workshops, and counseling for recognizing and addressing unhealthy relationship dynamics, sexual harassment, and assault.
  9. Physical Injuries
    • Safety precautions for biking, outdoor recreation, and driving can prevent accidents. In case of injury, utilize campus services such as Medical Services, Physical Therapy and Integrative Care, Recreation Injury Care Center, and AcademicLiveCare for treatment and support.

As students embark on their collegiate journey, embracing holistic wellness becomes foundational to their success and happiness. By being proactive in addressing these nine health concerns, individuals can navigate college life with resilience, thriving academically, socially, and emotionally. Remember, your campus is equipped with an array of resources and support systems to assist you in prioritizing your well-being. Embrace these opportunities, and may your college experience be one of growth, fulfillment, and vibrant health.

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