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With one in three teenagers starting University each year, parents will already be starting to worry about how their children will handle the transition. Starting out a university opens up a whole new world to young people – but the change can be a huge upheaval and at times overwhelming.
Teenage freshers go from a closeted home and school environment to enjoying the freedom and independence of university life. Whilst this can be liberating, it’s important that students take care of their physical and mental wellbeing to ensure they can enjoy the experience in the very best of health.
First year students are particularly vulnerable to health problems with a combination of lack of sleep, exercise, poor diet and being around hundreds of new people. Our Patient Liaison Manager at London Medical Concierge, Manuella Moore, gives her top tips on preparing for a healthy start to the new term at university.
· Make sure your vaccinations are up to date before you arrive - especially tetanus, measles, mumps and meningitis
· Talk to your home GP or Clinic about contraception
· Have a dental check up and get any treatment done before you start your course
· Register with a local GP or the University Medical Centre and a dentist on arrival
· Keep the number for your uni doctor and dentist handy/in your phone
· Keep a number for next of kin in your mobile phone under NOK or ICE ('next of kin' or 'in case of emergency')
· Familiarise yourself with where the local A&E and drop-in health centres are in your university town
· If you suffer with long-term conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy, make sure your neighbours in your halls or your flatmates know what your condition is - and where vital medication is kept.
· Freshers flu - this is the general cold/virus that many people get in their first few weeks at Uni because of the 'bacterial soup' of germs/viruses from thousands of other students that your immune system isn't used to. It's normal. All you can do is get a few good nights' sleep and treat the symptoms with cold/flu remedies. Remember, it's a virus so antibiotics won't help.
· Don’t neglect your mental health – if you’re experiencing any symptoms that are concerning you such as anxiety and stress make sure you seek help from a healthcare professional or talk to a friend or family member
· Do some research and make sure you plan exercise into your new life – join a society sports club, use the campus gym or even just go for a walk to explore your new surroundings
If you’re a parent and worried about your child’s health and wellbeing at University, you could consider accessing a medical concierge service. London Medical Concierge provides priority consultations with a network of leading medical specialists across the UK.