Congratulations, you’ve made it to university🎉🎉👏🏾👏🏾💫✨.
All the late nights, the studying, the screaming from your mum when you received only 91% on your mock exams – all of it has paid off.
Go on, pat yourself on the back fella.
This might come as a shock to some, but whilst you’ve been set free in a whole new land to run amock – you still have responsibilities to attend to. Your education is one. Your health is another.
Living away from home means that mum is not going to be available to do any of the following:
- clean your bedroom
- scrub your bathroom
- pass you a hot water bottle, give you a blanket and drive you to the GP
- wash your dirty laundry
- move in as your kitchen fairy to do all of the washing up & cooking.
It’s all on you now. With that being said, here are some tips on how to survive in your new situation:
1. FRESHER’S FLU IS REAL, I REPEAT – FRESHER’S FLU IS REAL.
So as of right now – walk, catch the bus (or bump train) to the nearest Savers, Superdrug, Boots or Holland & Barrett (if you’re balling like that), stock up on your multivitamins and start taking 2 a day. NOW.
If you think I’m playing – trust me within the first two weeks you will get people coughing everywhere like they have typhoid. By starting now, you may just dodge that bullet entirely or at the very least minimise your period of suffering.
Bringing a small cache of ibuprofen, paracetemol, hayfever medication & cough medicine is also a good idea, mainly for the following two reasons:
A) You know what kind of medicine to get when you run out.
B) So you don’t have to immeadiately run to the drug store when you inevitably come down with a cold.
2. FIND THE LOCAL GP AND REGISTER ASAP.
Remember that if you have a regular prescription that you take, or if you fall ill and need to be assessed & prescribed medication – you will need access to a local GP. Therefore during the first week; it’s a good idea to sign up to your local GP (making them aware that you’re a student & that you’re only here for the school term – your main practice is at home) and to find out the location of the closest Boots/ pharmacy.
Personally I had to learn this lesson the hard way, as last year I became severely ill and ended up missing two exams & two coursework submission dates – and yes, I did not receive mitigating circumstances. Trust me, your exams won’t wait for your health to be on point. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
3. CLEANLINESS IS GODLINESS.
This is an essential guys – please remember your home training. Your mum says it, your dad shouts it, even Mufasa had to remind Simba.
You and I both know that certain acts would earn you the slap of a lifetime at home, so please don’t inflict them upon perfect strangers – you’ve been raised better. Do your part in cleaning your accomodation to avoid nastiness such as ecoli, salmonella, mould spores, etc. Don’t be the filthy flatmate that ends up going to the A&E because someone’s had enough of your dirt and poured soap & ghost chilli in your cereal. Believe me, it happens.
But this doesn’t just apply to your surroundings, oh no. If you don’t keep yourself clean, not only are you eventually going to look disgusting, but you’ll feel the physical side effects sooner rather than later. You’ll be far more susceptible to body odour, rashes, ulcers, coughs, even acne and illness in general, leaving you far away from home, sick and miserable. So please ladies & gentlemen, remain on job with your personal upkeep.
4. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE. Some conditions currently have no cure. Herpes is one. HIV/ AIDS is another. You probably already know where I’m going with this, but I’m going to say it anyway. Sexual health is just as important as your general personal health, so matters such as regular testing, use of barriers such as male or female condoms & prudence in choosing your partners is a must. Nobody’s telling you not to live your life – but if you don’t look out for yourself, nobody else is going to to do it for you.
5. ATTEMPT TO LIVE HEALTHILY.
There are four main parts to this:
- Drink your water (at least 2 litres a day) – dehydration can cause a number of issues such as a short attention span, headaches, drowsiness and dry skin, hair breakage, etc so making sure that you’re getting enough water to drink is essential. Sometimes the signals that your stomach is sending mean that you are lacking water as opposed to being hungry, therefore this is also essential for people trying to maintain/shed weight.
- Eat your greens – malnutrition is not only limited to third world countries. If you don’t eat right, you are going to feel it. The occasional pizza is fine, so is the occasional kebab (if you’re near Aston University you know about Chicken Hut). But when every meal is fried or salted, your life is officially a mess. Either convince your mum to help you cook and live off her bounty or cook yourself (to my knowledge no one has ever set the kitchen on fire defrosting frozen veg). Eating right is only a chore if you make it one. It’s not everyday Dominos, sometimes good ol’ Jollof or curry goat.
- Exercise – please attempt to do some form of exercise. You’re not interested? Ok allow me to drop this knowledge then:
ALCOHOL = CALORIES.
There are more calories in that double vodka and coke shot than in a McDonalds cheeseburger. Therefore freshers, raves, house parties, plus the post-motive munchies is going to cause your waistline, thighs, etc to balloon. Therefore staying on top of it is a must if you don’t want to have to repurchase your wardrobe to accommodate your increase in bulk. You don’t even have to join a gym to do it, exercise videos, jogging, hell even doing squats everyday can make the difference between returning a Beyoncé or a Rasputia.
- Sleep Well – A healthy adult needs absolute minimum 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep everyday in order to function at optimum capacity. So whilst the occasional late night is not a bad thing, going to sleep at the crack of dawn everyday could cause you problems later on like falling asleep in the middle of your lectures, seminars, exams😭(YES I HAVE DONE THIS)…, etc
To sum it all up:
“You don’t want zero problems big fella.”