Fall Semester Health Tip
Surviving First Semester: Freshan Adjustment Tips
Eat Right—Be sure your diet is well-balanced and avoid fast food, which is high in sugar and fats. Good nutrition translates to energy, clear thinking, and good health.
Get Plenty of Sleep—Sleep needs vary by individual, but usually 7-8 hours are needed, and remember, some of you are still growing and may need the extra rest. An occasional all-nighter may be necessary, but too many nights without adequate sleep usually results in illness.
Exercise Regularly—The recommendation usually is to exercise at least three times a week for at least 20 minutes. If you played high school sports and were active at home, the change to a sedentary lifestyle can result in weight gain and general de-conditioning. Sports for both men and women, organized through the Athletic Department, include both intercollegiate and intramural football, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, cross county and indoor track and field, and bowling. Walking is always an exercise to consider. You may also join various sports' clubs and exercise in the James Gymnasium facilities.
Take Time to Relax—This relieves the tension and stress associated with adjustment to the college environment and academic pressures.
Learn to Manage Your Time—Make and follow a daily schedule that includes priority time for classes, reading and writing assignments, exam preparation, meals, exercise, a job, and social activities.
Create a Budget—Your income must equal or exceed your expenses. It is easy to nickel and dime your way through your monies, especially in the first weeks of college. Going out, while fun, can be expensive. Divide your resources for the months throughout the semester.
Get Involved—Participate in clubs and organizations, campus events, intramural, and religious groups. It's a good way to meet people with similar interests, and also get involved on campus. That way, if those feelings of homesickness and adjustment problems come, you will have some established resources.
Learn and Practice Good Study Habits—These include setting goals, learning effective reading, note-taking, and test-taking strategies, attending classes, completing assignments on time; and organizing your study area. Some students choose to study in the library, away from the distractions of the dorm.
Assert Yourself—Clearly communicate what you do and don't want out of dates, party situations, and a roommate. Alcohol consumption, particularly binge drinking, is a problem for some students on campuses today. Students can also face other issues such as casual sex and consequences of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, emotional trauma, and pregnancy. The misuse of drugs, including legal prescriptions, tobacco, or stimulants to aid in staying awake can impact your academic performance. Alcohol is often a factor in sexual assaults, and injuries that can happen as a result of fights and car accidents. Use your head and make safe decisions without the influence of alcohol. Off-campus parties are often an exciting proposition for new freshmen. If you choose to attend, be sure to stay with a group of friends, choose someone that is not drinking to act as an advocate and to watch out and keep everyone safe. Do not go somewhere alone with a casual or new acquaintance.
It is important to remember that although most students do not drink to excess, smoke, contract a sexually transmitted disease, experience date rape or assault, or have a drug problem, one bad decision could have consequences that last a lifetime. Henry Wise Wellness Center is here as a resource. The emergency contraceptive pill, testing for sexually transmitted infections, counseling, and referrals are also available.
Utilize resources on campus if you have a problem.
Learn About and Use Campus Resources that Can Help You—Student Life Services, your faculty advisors, Henry Wise Wellness Center and Counseling Services, tutors, local clergy, and other campus professionals are available—it just takes a phone call.
The transition from home to the end of the freshman year can vary between an easy to difficult phase, and probably for most students, a little of both with ups and downs. Relax and take college one day at a time.
And when you are walking around campus, look around... freshman do survive... sophomores are walking right alongside you at BSU!