By Dr. Matt Noble and Emily Grenfell
Your University years expose you to some very specific health problems and opportunities, and getting these right can make a huge difference to your achievement levels.
Cases of Meningitis W have been on a steep rise since 2009, and it carries a higher death rate than other strains of the disease. If you’re beginning University this year you are in a ‘high risk’ category because you’ll be mixing with a lot of new people, some of whom may be carrying the meningococcal strains. A vaccine is available to protect you against Meningitis W, A, C, and Y. If you were born between the 1st September 1996 and the 31st August 1997, you should receive a vaccination invitation from your GP, but students are eligible up to the age of 25, so make sure you get this done.
Up your vitamin C
Going back to University means colliding with a host of infections and viruses brought in from all corners of the country and overseas. Do your immune system a favour and stock-up on vitamin C before your return as there is some evidence that this can help. You need 65 to 90 miligrams a day, although many supplements contain more than this because vitamin C is water-soluble so it’s almost impossible to overdose.
Register at a doctor
It’s useful to be registered with a GP, but do you register at home or at University? babylon is a really great way of getting around this. Install it on your phone now and have the peace of mind of having doctor’s advice available when you need it, without having to change surgeries.
Avoid the stress of your workload by getting on top of it early and spreading your work out from week one. Everyone has their own way of organising themselves when it comes to deadlines. But if you’re yet to identify your ideal working routine, set yourself a weekly word-count deadline with a week to spare before hand-in. This will see you casually editing your content and tweaking your footnotes while everyone else is panicking. It also allows you time away from essays every week, safe in the knowledge that you’ve got it under control.
Get your head straight
Universities offer counselling services, which are great and often free. Take advantage of these now, because once you leave private counselling can be expensive. The benefits of counselling are huge and will stay with you for years to come. Make sure you leave University with everything in place to face the world, including a decent mental outlook.