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Survival Tips for the College Bound

By HERWriter
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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

As summer comes to an end, many parents are packing up their cars and driving their kids to their freshman year of college.

According to the College Student Journal, "30 to 40 percent college students drop-out before obtaining a degree." The reason for the drop-out rate may be due to academic or social changes.

One of the keys to surviving freshman year is being prepared. Your first few weeks will be a transition and adjustment period. As you experience your new found freedom, it is vital to be prepared and roll with the punches.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if there is a situation where you do not know what to do. Your university has free and valuable resources. And, remember, your situation isn’t new. There are other students who may have been in your situation.

Here are some tips to prepare yourself or your loved one for their freshman year.

Sexual Health:

• According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ʺif you are a female age 26 or younger, get an HPV vaccine to help prevent cervical cancer.ʺ

• Condoms. Condoms. Condoms. Protect yourself against SDTs and ask your partner to wear a condom.

The Freshman 15. Dr. Mallika Marshall, a practicing physician at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Chelsea Urgent Care facility, recommends the following to avoid the ʺfreshman 15ʺ:

• Avoid eating after 6 p.m.

• When you order a pizza, also order a salad. Eat the salad first and save the extra pizza for a later day.

• Don’t use a tray in the cafeteria. Only carry what you can eat. Cafeteria trays invite extras like dessert.

• Eat fruit and vegetables for snacks.

• Avoid junk food.

• Exercise regularly. Try intramural sports at your college. It is also a great way to meet new people.

Other freshman survival tips:

• Before you leave for college, make sure you get all your shots.

• Avoid caffeinated drinks up to eight hours before you go to bed.

• Limit your time on Facebook. Facebook is a great way to waste time to avoid studying.

• At night, do not walk alone. Use the buddy system.

• Invest in mace, pepper spray and a whistle.

Add a Comment1 Comments

Thanks for the tips! I'm a junior in college and I found this helpful. Another key thing is: room mates. They can make or break your first semester. Get there information as close to moving in as possible. Make sure there numbers are on hand, especially if you forget your keys in your room or other small emergencies. I probably would not have made it through my first semester with out my room mates. I got very lucky; they were great!
Also make sure you know who your RAs or other such people are if you live in the dorms. (Resident assistants) They are there to help you and are great mediators for when you and room mates can't get along. They can also help direct you to people to get you a new room or room mates when issues can't be resolved.

August 19, 2011 - 9:10pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.