Health & Wellness

Back-to-College Health Checklist

Going from summer fun to the classroom is a big transition, and for some of you, this will be your first time away from home. When packing up and crossing items off your to-do list, it’s easy to overlook the little details. Shake off your nerves and check off these items to stay healthy and safe this semester.

Locate your closest ER. Accidents and emergencies happen when you least expect it, so it’s best to prepare for any mishaps. Locate your preferred emergency facilities near campus and your dorm or housing.

1. Manage your mental health. The change of pace and intense workload from classes can be overwhelming at times. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress, especially when learning to balance between classwork, extracurriculars, and the social scene. A few tips to managing your health are to get enough sleep, avoid alcohol and drugs and take time for yourself.

2. Utilize campus health amenities. Sometimes students overlook their on-campus health and fitness offerings. Take advantage of the campus gym, enjoy the stress-relieving activities and resources available during finals or join a social club.

3. Prevent cooking calamities. A lot of “firsts” happen in college, and one of those may be cooking. Be sure to follow all instructions, thaw and handle raw meats properly and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Better to ask for a hand than risk the possibility of food poisoning.

4. Get vaccinated! The protection your childhood vaccines offer can weaken over time, and you may be due for some immunizations in order to stay healthy in your adult life. Ask your primary care physician about which vaccinations are right for you.

5. Balance your meals and stay active. It’s easy to grab quick meals or takeout when you’re studying for a test, but junk food can leave you groggier than before. Anthony Carnell, DO, primary care physician at CHI St. Joseph Health Primary Care Austin’s Colony, says, “Eat regular, nutritious meals to keep your energy levels up, and try to get at least two and a half hours of physical activity per week.”

6. Keep your insurance card handy. You never know when you have to visit an emergency room or your doctor. Traveling with your insurance card in your wallet is a safe and secure way to make sure you have it when you need it.

Need a primary care physician in your new hometown? CHI St. Joseph Health has primary care facilities located throughout the Brazos Valley. Also, you can ease your mind knowing that CHI St. Joseph Health emergency services are available 24/7, including holidays and late-night study sessions.

Sources: CDC - Tips for College Health and Safety CDC - College Health and Safety

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