Your Health - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Your Health

Your parents aren't with you in college. While many students think that's a good thing, it also means you're responsible for your own health. Remember to take care of yourself with these tips.

Getting Enough Sleep

Between working, studying and social activities, an early bedtime can be pretty hard to stick to. The average college student should be getting between seven and nine hours' sleep each night. So if you have an 8 a.m. class, you really shouldn't be up until 2 a.m. each morning. Short naps can help, but if you sleep longer than 30 minutes during the day you may have trouble sleeping at night.

Controlling Stress

Let's face it. College might be one of the most stressful experiences of your life so far. There's a lot to balance, and plenty to worry about with tough classes, lack of money, relationships and a busy schedule. If you're feeling stressed, try to:

  • Cut back where you can. Maybe you should put off one of the organizations you're involved in until next semester or reduce your work hours.
  • Even out the class load. If you know you need to take a demanding course for your major this semester, balance that by taking one of the less-challenging general education courses.
  • Stay on top of things. Keeping up with your assignments and studying helps. A lot. Try not to put off projects – you don't want to have to complete three essays while studying for a couple of mid-terms all in one weekend.

Eating a Balanced Diet

Remember the food pyramid? Tips for healthful eating may help you stay on track.

Using Campus Health and Counseling Services

If you're feeling overwhelmed, remember that student counseling services have professionals who can help you deal with different situations, often at reduced or no cost. The same goes for health services.

Making Smart Choices

You know what's smart (and legal) when it comes to drugs and alcohol. You'll also find yourself in situations where you may want to join in. Only you can decide what to do, but remember that your main goal right now is to succeed in college, which is hard enough without the problems caused by substance abuse.

Staying Active

Remember that great workout facility you saw on your campus tour? It's probably still there. Go check it out. If that scene doesn't appeal to you:

  • Circle campus. Walking or jogging around campus varies the scenery, and maybe you'll even see some things you didn't know were there.
  • Find a group. Do you miss P.E. class? Are you up for some broomball or ultimate Frisbee? Many college campuses offer intramural or club sports teams. Contact the student or campus life office for more information.
  • Hit the stairs. High-rise dorms and stadiums are great places for one of the best cardio workouts of all time – running up stairs (walk down so you don't fall).
  • Have fun. A workout doesn't have to be work. Consider biking, rollerblading, cross-country skiing or other activities that you enjoy.

 

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