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Health & Wellness

Women’s Health in College

Heading off to college can be an exciting time for a young woman, but it can also be a challenging time. Moving out to go to college is a period when women have the chance to learn new things and to experience being independent—taking care of their own food, schedules, and financial responsibilities. These things are all valuable life skills and learning them is important, however, it is also challenging and stressful.

Highlighted below are some of the main challenges women may face with college as well as tips for coping with them.

 width= Coping with the Stresses of College


The college has a much higher workload than you may be used to, especially if you have always been a strong performer at school. The constant stream of assignments and tests at school and the more self-guided approach to learning is something that may take some time to adjust to.

Pair that with the challenges of paying your own bills and being responsible for at least some parts of domestic life (even those who live in dorms and eat on campus still need to do some cleaning and shopping), and there's a lot to handle.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed with all of these challenges. It's also easy to feel stressed and isolated if you go off to a university in a different city and are struggling to make friends. Nevertheless, going to college is a part of becoming an adult and learning how to cope with new social and financial challenges, as well as learning skills such as time management are all important for the future. Being proactive about self-care during this time can help make those difficulties easier. 1

Plan Ahead


As boring as it seems, setting a budget and trying to stick to it is essential, as is setting a schedule for your college work. It may be hard in the first few weeks of a term to watch other students partying and blowing their student loans, but they will be stressed and struggling at the end of the term while you still have some money left. Working little and often is better than cramming as well.

Learn to Say No  women’s health college


Think carefully about your responsibilities and your workload, and understand that it's okay to turn down social invitations and refuse extra work. Resist the temptation to join every student organization and take on every CV-boosting opportunity because it is easy to spread yourself too thin. 2

Treat Yourself


Build some time into your schedule to relax. Go to a yoga class or block out an hour to take a shower or bath. Buy yourself a room diffuser and start using essential oils to help yourself unwind and combat exam anxiety. 3 Get into the habit of taking care of yourself—these skills will become more and more important moving forward in life.

women’s health college Being Mindful About Alcohol


College is a time when a lot of people get the opportunity to really let their hair down. Since going to college is a time when you get to be away from home and make your own decisions, it’s easy to get carried away. Drinking at college can be a part of a normal and healthy social life, but it can also be dangerous if it is done to excess.

Each year, about 1,825 people die as a result of alcohol-related accidents such as car crashes. The U.S. government guidelines outline that individuals under the age of 21 should not drink at all and provide guidelines for the amount of alcohol that men and women over 21 should consider the maximum they should consume each day. 4

Some people make the mistake of thinking that they can bank their alcohol allowances for the week and drink a lot on one day. This puts unnecessary strain on the liver and is generally dangerous.

Biologically, women generally have a lower alcohol tolerance than men. So, if you’re going to drink alcohol on a night out, space out your drinks with soft drinks and try to consume your drinks slowly. Stop when you feel that you are getting intoxicated. You will be glad you did in the morning when you don't have a hangover.

Taking Care of Your Body women’s health college


Women face some challenges in terms of healthcare that men do not, including generally more hormonal and reproductive challenges. One thing that young women sometimes struggle with is the symptoms of PMS. Regular exercise can be helpful for reducing the symptoms of PMS. 5

Sometimes, when women who coped well with their monthly cycle when they were in high school and forced to do exercise in gym class, go to college and find their symptoms worsen because they may have become less active. They may write it off as their body changing as they get older, but the truth is that their lifestyle changes are probably having a bigger impact.

Another issue is that of sleep. Women are more likely to experience sleep disturbances than men and these can be related to hormonal fluctuations. They are also at greater risk of insomnia. 6 Regular exercise can help to improve sleep quality. It has also been found that the use of essential oils such as lavender can help to reduce improve sleep quality. 7

Just add a few drops to the edge of your pillowcase to enjoy the benefits. Getting enough sleep is important for memory, focus, academic performance, and general mood, as well as for your immune system, so don’t underestimate the power of getting enough sleep.

Conclusion


College is a great time for learning and personal growth, as well as for making new friends and learning a lot about yourself. It can be scary to be out on your own for the first time, but the beauty of being young is that you have the time to make mistakes and then learn from them and rebuild yourself into the best version of you.

Photo Credits: Pormezz/shutterstock.com, g-stockstudio/shutterstock.com, oneinchpunch/shutterstock.com, JacobLund/shutterstock.com

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