By Brogan (Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre and Student at Portsmouth University)
“Welcome to Portsmouth! Moving to University can feel scary and overwhelming. Hopefully these top tips will help you continue to be healthy and feel happy during your time at University!”
Register with a GP – After settling in to university one of the most important things you should do is to ensure you are looking after yourself and of course your health. This can easily be done by registering with a GP. Being at University you will become a lot more independent and less reliant upon your parents, friends etc – so don’t worry if you think there is 12784834 different forms to fill in!- at Guildhall Walk we offer an online registration process on our website, as it says registering is quick and easy!
Take care of yourself – Once registered with a GP the next step in caring for yourself is to notify your GP and the University of any current medical conditions and medications you may be taking. Being a student and a member of staff at GHW, I cannot stress just how important this is. Your medication needs to be taken according to directions given and running out of medication between moving to university from home needs to be avoided.
We all know how simple it is to put in a request for your repeat medications so again, no hard work necessary. Its also important to ensure you are 100% up to date with your vaccinations – You will be urged to get your meningitis vaccination by both the university and your GP. This vaccination is offered to students registered here at Guildhall Walk. Meningitis and septicaemia are very serious and require urgent attention. If you think you’ve got either, get help immediately and make sure your fellow students know to look out for you and each other.
Healthy Eating – Its easy to slip into the never ending cycle of ordering takeaways and eating fast food. This is not good for you! Eating healthy as a student prevents negative effects on both your health and of course your finances!
I would know, my first year diet consisted of pizza and cosmopolitans 🙂 The best way to get around the unhealthy eating is to make a habit of planning meals you will be having throughout the week and do a weekly food shop – stock up on plenty of greens and fresh fruit and you will be feeling tip-top in no time!
Engage in social activities – Sometimes the pressure of University can feel overwhelming, so it is vital to ensure you make time for your social life. When times get tough, it is good to know someone is there to help you out.
Don’t forget that everyone who is starting University is also new! Make the most of the opportunities during Freshers week and meet new people! Smile and introduce yourself. Think about how many different cultures and personalities you will be exposed too! Joining sports societies or even a gym is the perfect social activity needed between studying and partying. After a stressful session at the library, there is nothing I love more than to hit he gym and let off some of steam!
Sexual health – practice safe sex and be aware of the services provided locally (GUM Clinic). There is a huge amount of information on the ‘lets talk about it’ website. You can even order condoms to be sent to you! If you are registered at Guildhall Walk you can discuss starting contraception with a clinican. Kathryn our Nurse can also offer implant insertion and removals.
Remain hydrated – Us students are known to be pretty notorious when it comes to drinking, which is okay so long as it is done in moderation and your are taking those steps to make sure you are safe and end up home after a night out. Drinking water between alcoholic drinks will decrease the chances of having a nasty hangover. Now I am not telling you that all along water has been the secret to banishing your hangover…
Freshers flu is 100% real! – We are all human and we all carry bacteria and germs! Having over 7000 new students move to Portsmouth, it will increase your chances of becoming ill. The best remedy to help combat the monster of freshers flu is to drink plenty of water, get some rest and take paracetamol. You may feel as though you are deaths door, but I can assure you self care is what is needed – GP’s will not be able to give you antibiotics to fight the flu or a sniffle.
Simple first aid kit – Call it your own little fairy godmother. Carrying around or keep handy in your room a little pouch full of plasters, hand sanitiser, pocket tissues and paracetamol.
Be aware of local numbers –
Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre – 02392 751006
111 NHS Helpline: 111
St Mary’s Sexual Health Service – 0300 300 2016
Queen Alexandra Hospital: 02392 286000
Aqua Cars (taxi service) – 02392 654 321
Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service – 02392 843 157
Portsmouth University Student Union – 02392 845 555
HAVE FUN!!!– Going to University is an amazing experience and you will be given lots of opportunities. I know it may feel scary at first, but I promise that you will have lots of fun and you will enjoy yourself! Come and find us at Freshers Fayre!