Top Tips for Staying Healthy during Freshers’!

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[Alex Jungeling | Training Manager]

Whilst Freshers’ will be full speed ahead, and you’ll be preoccupied with meeting new people, testing your liver limits and settling in, you need to make sure you stay healthy and avoid that dreaded Freshers’ Flu. So here are our top tips for survival!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

Even when you’re a student getting up at midday everyday, just because you can, there are so many foods that take no time. A bit of cereal, toast, chuck some beans in the microwave, no time at all. Boom, no fuss. Fixing that funny feeling stomach the morning after and giving you energy for the day ahead.

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Water! Water! Water!

There’s a tap in every kitchen in halls. Use it! The recommended daily allowance is around 8 glasses of water, but as a Fresher you’re going to want to go that little bit further to keep yourself hydrated and prevent those nasty hangovers.

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Societies and Freshers’ Fair!

Over the course of Freshers’ Week, there will be taster session sign-ups for sports and societies, especially at the Sports Fair and Freshers’ Fair. Don’t miss this opportunity! If you want to try something new, or carry on with something you’ve enjoyed doing for a while, or even go back to something you used to do and have missed, go and sign up! Go to as many tasters as you can and find the things you want to stick to. It’s a great way to stay healthy socially and physically, and you have most time in your first year, so don’t leave it!

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Catching some zzzzzzzz… Sleep!

This is probably the one week of the academic year where you will have very little to be stressing about and will have the time to sleep. Don’t waste it! You may be going out and about at night and meeting new people and exploring the uni, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with sleep, or even catch up as soon as you can! This advice is for all year round as well, sleep is the best thing a student can have. Worrying tires the brain, so relax and enjoy the week! You only get one Freshers’!

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Fruit and veg.

This is probably the first time you will be fully reliant on yourself and your cooking skills, and for many Freshers, it can be a total disaster… Your parents might not be cooking you a nutritionally balanced meal but you can at least attempt to do so yourself. Especially during this first stressful week in a new place, try and get into the habit of cooking and eating well. It will give you great grounds for a healthier year. And for reference, no, ketchup doesn’t count as a tomato!

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Stay happy.

An important thing people forget when thinking of health is psychological health. Keeping happy is one of the best things you can do. This can be easier said than done, but there are always things to do to help yourself. Even though Freshers’ Week is about meeting new people, trying new things, being in a new place and starting your independent life, you don’t have to force yourself into a new environment and make friends by not speaking to old ones! Keep in contact with those who make you happy and keep you sane, Skype is great for this! I’m sure you will have some stories to tell, for instance halls often don’t have particularly thick walls…

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Relax!

This first week of uni is a huge amount to take in and a true rollercoaster of a week, I’m sure any student will tell you that. Amongst all the fun, activities, organising work and your course beginning, find some time to chill out. Have a cup of tea and biscuits in bed, listen to some music, watch some telly, or go for a walk. Just do whatever it is you need to take some time off for yourself and relax. This is great advice in general for the year and for your uni life, you’ll thank yourself for it, trust me.

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Fresher’s Flu

Is not an actual illness! Freshers’ Flu is not the name for a strain of the flu, it’s just a term given to the fact that Freshers’ Week is full of new people from all over, all put together in fairly close proximities, in a new environment. You come into contact with so many people in such a short space of time, with alcohol often lowering immune systems. The best way to avoid this is to keep that immune system up and running properly, eat healthily, sleep properly, exercise regularly and don’t drink too much. Some of these are probably harder to avoid than others, especially during Freshers’ Week, but try to stay on top of it! (For more information on the Freshers’ Flu check out News Editor Laura Slingo’s article)

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Sexy times. Stay safe.

The best advice here is just to be safe about whatever you chose to do during Freshers’ Week. Everyone knows that there will always be new people and plenty of opportunities around during Freshers’ Week, but you don’t want to start you time at uni with an STI. Stay stocked up on protection, know what you’re comfortable with and stick with it. Be safe, not sorry!

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Don’t feel pressured to drink.

This is very important. Most people starting university will be confused or unsure about things in some way, and feeling pressured into anything can become very easy when you are in a new place, often on your own. People will respect your decision, whatever it is. There is no shame in saying no, to alcohol or anything else. There are plenty of students who don’t drink at university. Never do anything you are not comfortable with – no matter what week of university it is, or where you are in your life.

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If you need any advice on student health and wellbeing, contact the team at studentwellbeing@herts.ac.uk or drop in and see them in the Hutton Hub on College Lane

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Top Tips for Staying Healthy during Freshers’!