College

Your Next Big Adventure!

You have made it to college. You and you alone! But have you thought about the many different challenges you are about to face? If your answer is no it’s probably a good time to sit down and really think about what it is you are about to embark on. Read on and let this be your survival kit for your journey through college or at least your freshman year. There are so many different ways to stay healthy that you could reasonably spend all your time thinking about nothing else, but let’s face it you are about to dive into what will probably be the most active and exciting phase of your life to date. You will need as much head space as is possible to think about essay deadlines, dates, parties, exams, when the rent is due and for the first time how you manage haemophilia yourself! So here are 5 quick easy ways to ensure that you will be healthy enough to juggle all of the activities above.

Managing your Haemophilia

Staying healthy during your time in college is now your responsibility. Your supports don’t just disappear because you are 18 and out of school. However, you will need to be mindful of things you normally left up to your parents to worry about. Keeping your doctor’s appointments and making it to your hospital visits should be a priority. Listen to your body – when in doubt check it out.

Exercise

This is probably one of the best ways to combat the 3 main causes of stress.

Diet

What, when and how much you eat can have a major impact on your health. How much money you have to spend on food is also a major consideration for students. Many students complain about not being able to eat well because they cannot afford good food. What they really mean is “I spent all my money on going out and I would gladly go without food if I had enough money to go out tonight”. Having a balanced diet is very important and I suggest if you do nothing else for yourself while in college EAT WELL. Having a balanced diet will fight fatigue, depression and illnesses such as the common cold and stress. As always vegetables are the winners in any balanced diet. Brown bread, beans, fruit and fish will also go a long way in keeping you healthy. You can keep the cost of your food low by bulk buying with several other students. Go to the market to buy your vegetables, fish and meats. Keep your caffeine intake low and always start your day with a breakfast.

Time management

This is the biggest cause of stress in college and is cited as the major cause of students becoming depressed or dropping out of college. It is also the easiest to manage, in theory anyway. You must be a good time manager or you wouldn’t be here in college. You managed your time for the leaving cert. The only difference is you don’t have your parents and teachers on your back reminding you, pressuring you and most of all encouraging you. The first year of college can be a real shock for many students. It is in your first year that you will be hit with deadlines when you have just spent 3 days partying. It is the people who can manage to juggle social life and study commitments that will excel with the least amount of stress.

Read ahead if at all possible

Study groups will greatly reduce your study time and act as a great support. Identify when you study best i.e. morning or evening and develop a study plan around that. Make an appointment with the college guidance counsellor and get his/her help with putting together a study plan or even study groups.

Developing a social network

Many students complain of the loneliness when they go to college first. They feel displaced in unfamiliar surroundings. The key thing to remember here is that most of the people around you are probably feeling the same way to a lesser or greater extent; they just mask it better. There are many pitfalls to this loneliness but remember always keep in mind that the friends you make in college will probably be the most important ones of your life. Many students fearing being isolated embrace their social lives to the exclusion of all else. Drinking and partying too much can lead to many problems such as:-

Having no money for food, books/equipment, clubs or medicine.

Falling behind in college work.

You become more susceptible to colds, flu.

The list goes on and you all know the whys and why not’s of drinking too much.

There really is nothing you cannot achieve while in college. You have got yourself this far, but remember as we get older our lives get more complicated so don’t be afraid to ask for help because people may not be in a position to check in on you as much as you may like. Be honest with yourself. If you are struggling, listen to your body and let the important people, such as your lecturer, tutor, parent or counsellor know where you are physically and mentally. There is always someone to talk to and advise. Use your student’s union and your college counsellor.

Enjoy your time in college and make your own life great.

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