1. Prioritise Sleep
Do not underestimate the importance of sleep. Aim for six or more hours each night and refrain from ‘all-nighters’. Sleeping helps to repair the body, aids concentration and strengthens your immune system.
2. Eat Healthy
Eat your vegetables and fruit everyday. However, you still need to include carbohydrates and proteins as each of these has important functions to perform in your body.
3. Manage your stress
Stress is inevitable but you can learn how to manage it successfully. Get involved in extra-curricular activities but also balance your commitments; do not become overwhelmed and learn ways to relax.
4. Your Mental Health Is Important
You may feel homesick, apprehensive and confused. Entering university is a major life change and affects people differently. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, anxious or sad speak to family and friends or the Psychological Counsellor on campus who is also there to help.
5. Take Care of Your Physical Health
You can reduce the chance of catching colds or flu by getting adequate rest and eating well, but washing your hands is also a great preventative step. Adequate exercise helps to keep you healthy too and campus has many opportunities for fun and competitive exercise.
6. Know Your Resources on Campus
The UWI Cave Hill has many resources available to you. Learning what these are, where to find them and how to use them is critical for your success, especially in your first year.
7. Stay Safe and Secure
Adhere to Campus Security guidelines e.g. not walking alone at night, using safe paths, paying attention to your surroundings. Make use of the Campus Shuttle where possible. Make arrangements to be picked up or accompanied when travelling at night. Also use campus-approved housing.
8. Sexual Health-It’s Vital Also
It is your choice whether or not to be sexually active. However, having sound knowledge of sexual health and setting personal boundaries are invaluable. The Student Health Services (SHS)and UWI HARP are great resources for sexual health matters.
9. Alcohol and Substance Use?
Alcohol or other drugs do not get rid of problems or help you to cope better but often come with their own problems and add to the difficulty you may be experiencing. A better option is to talk to someone at the SHS or the Psychological Counsellor.
10. Get to know Your Lecturers
At times you may feel overwhelmed or disconnected from your lecturer, especially in large classes. Getting to know your lecturer can help you to understand his/her style, requirements for the course and can make a huge difference in how you feel about the course and your performance. So go ahead, don’t be afraid to speak to them before or after class.
11. Manage Your Time Well
Time management is an essential skill that you will need even after university. It will help you to complete assignments and other obligations on time. So plan your work and work your plan. Start now!