Student life: three years spent in a vortex of exams, essays, pub crawls, fancy dress and hangovers with the faint smell of cider and super noodles. Does this sound like you? Well, you’re not alone.
For many, moving out of home to go to University is a big step on the road to adulthood and one which isn’t taken lightly. As everyone’s second favourite superhero Spiderman once said, “With great power comes great responsibility”.
With that in mind then, here are a few ways to keep control of the often hedonistic student life, rather than let it control you.
Now I don’t want to be a party pooper but as harmless as it may seem, consuming large quantities of alcohol is bad for you. Aside from the hangovers and less-than-flattering Facebook photo tags, binge drinking can cause a number of long term health effects such as heart disease and liver problems. Also, the mental impairment caused by alcohol can lead to injuries and accidents – not to mention unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancies.
There are a number of things you can do to lessen the effects of drinking on your body, such as having a large meal before you head out or ordering water in between drinks.
However, even with these precautions you should still give your body alcohol-free days to recover. And as tempting as it is to hit the tiles every night (especially after student loan payments) you should say no on occasion. You’ll be surprised at how much money you save!
As if often the case, STIs come right after binge drinking because even with the best intentions, accidents do happen. Always keep a condom with you, just in case.
The most common STIs in young people are Chlamydia, genital warts, genital herpes, gonorrhoea and the less common HIV. You may not experience any symptoms so it’s possible to be infected without even knowing. And if left untreated, you risk long term health problems as well as potentially passing it on to other people. With or without symptoms, if you’ve had unprotected sex you are at risk, so the best thing to do is go for a sexual health check up to be sure.
You don’t need to be a Michelin-starred chef to cook yourself healthy student meals. There are many student specific cooking sites containing thousands of recipes, ranging from vegetarian to meat-heavy.
Another tip is to cook a big batch and then freeze the rest; that way you can just heat it up whenever you’re rushed for time or can’t be bothered, or cook combined meals with housemates.
When shopping, prepare meal ideas in advance, make a list and stick to it and be sure to include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Your body will thank you for a varied and nutritious diet.
Lack Of Exercise
What will all the assignments, exercise is probably not at the top of your list of priorities but it shouldn’t be forgotten altogether. If you’re able to, skip the bus and walk to uni as often as possible, or try to get out and about on the weekends for a stroll.
Students often get cheap deals to join gyms – but remember, becoming a member isn’t enough, you have to actually go. You’re more likely to stick with it if you rope your friends into coming along with you, that way when you’re having a lazy day they can spur you on and vice versa.
Stress can be down to any number of reasons, including money troubles, exam worries or being separated from your friends and family. University can be a challenging time and if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed then there are a few things you can do to help.
Make a list and prioritise what needs to be done, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, stay on top of your work so it doesn’t build up too much and stop comparing yourself to others.
Don’t be afraid to speak to your friends, lecturers or student counsellors to see if they can do anything to lighten the load. Check out this guide to student health for any more information on how to deal with stress or any other issues.
Do you have any more tips for a successful student life? Share in the comments.
Jodie Ashdown is a creative person and a keen blogger. She currently lives in Cardiff and loves to write for Dr Fox.