Going off to college is one of the most exciting experiences you have in life. When you’ve been cared for by your parents or guardian your whole life, suddenly having to take care of yourself can be daunting, and for some, an overwhelming experience. But, there are easy and even fun ways to get started.
The easiest and most convenient way to stay healthy is to start with what you put in your body, and how you take care of it. This week we discuss a few things you can do to keep your body and mind healthy and prepared for anything.
When you leave the comfort of your parent’s kitchen and start making your own food choices, sometimes things can go a bit awry (and those 8:00 am classes do not lend themselves to making healthy breakfast choices, #amiright?). But there are a few minimal things you can do to set yourself up for success.
Working out is proven to not only keep your body fit and your heart in shape, but it also helps keep your mind active and alert! And the best part about exercise is that you really can do it anywhere.
College is hard, and it’s okay if you feel like you need a mental health checkup. If you’re feeling alone, don’t! Did you know…
There are many programs on campus that help students with mental health issues. These services are usually included in your student fees, or by standard health insurance. (Remember, if you’re under 26, you qualify as a dependent on your parent/guardian’s health insurance!) And don’t forget to see if there are any free programs available. Feeling stressed about your mental health? Maybe one of these options will help.
We’re talking meditation, deep-breathing exercises, yoga, etc. If it’s something that allows you to focus your mind and helps you to decompress in a constructive and helpful way, do it!
If you’re looking for something a little informal, joining a student support group might be the best option for you. Student-lead support groups can cover a variety of topics dealing with loss, addition, stress, etc. It can be a good way to remind yourself that you’re not alone, and it’s also a great way to meet like-minded people.
Many students know your campus has a counselor, but don’t always feel comfortable going. Your school’s mental health professional is held to the same confidentiality standards as one in a hospital or doctor’s office. So there is no worry that your professor will learn about your mental health status unless you inform them.
If you have tried other options and aren’t finding any relief, medication might be the key to your recovery. Make an appointment with a trusted psychiatrist and work on a medication schedule that works for you.
Leaving for college is a huge adjustment that can take time and a lot of personal adjustment. But if you remember to stay present and plan, you can make it a successful transition.
Stay tuned to Miami Center of Excellence for next week’s “College Life” series where we discuss navigating the world of campus drugs and alcohol, and sexual health.