The Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition

Health and Welfare

This is a preview to the chapter Health and Welfare from the book The Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition by Tina L. Quick.
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Taking Care of Your Health

Proactive Health Maintenance

College is demanding and, particularly in the first year, requires a lot of focus and energy. It is, therefore, imperative to stay on top of your health. The last thing you need is to be down with a flu or mononucleosis at finals time. Just as you would take care of your car to keep it running smoothly, so you need to take care of your body to maintain its functionality. Rather than having a let’s-wait-and-see-how-much-my-body-can-take-before-getting-sick attitude, be proactive in maintaining good health. Eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly are the best ways to boost your immune system and stay healthy. It is also important to have fun, be in relationship with others and have relaxation time. College isn’t all about studying, but it isn’t all about socializing either. It has to be a healthy balance of both.

Think proactively about all aspects of your health. What else do you need to do to stay healthy?
  • Have you considered taking a daily multi-vitamin?
  • Are you keeping up-to-date with regular dental and medical check ups?
  • Women (particularly if they are sexually active) need to think about having an annual pap smear.
  • Steer clear of others who are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms.

Eating Right

How do you avoid the infamous “freshman 15” (gaining 15 pounds – or more – in your first year) when you have a meal card you can swipe anytime of the day or night in the campus cafeteria, various snack bars across campus or even local restaurants and take-outs?
  • Avoid the buffets unless they are salad bars or offer healthy choices.
  • Stay away from going crazy at fast food restaurants that serve up fried foods and high-calorie burgers and go for restaurants that offer nutritional guidelines on their food choices like Subway restaurants.
  • Choose to eat at restaurants that serve seafood, vegetarian or Asian cuisine.
  • Make sure you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and dairy products since these are the part of nutrition that help protect your immune system but are often forgotten by college students. They will fill you up and not out.
  • Drink lots of water and stay away from sugary drinks that offer lots of calories with no nutritional value.

Getting Enough Sleep

With so many activities on campus to be involved in, social events to attend, time to hang out with friends, classes to go to, and homework to get done, it may seem there is little to no time left for sleeping. But just think about it – there are 168 hours in a week. Each week if you were to:
  • Spend approximately 15-20 hours in classes and labs (and this could be more depending on your field of study and number of courses you decide to take),
  • Spend 45-50 hours doing course work, and
  • Spend 45-50 hours socializing,
then you would be still be left with 48-63 hours to sleep. That’s the equivalent of seven to nine hours per night. Notice it also means you have six and a half to nine hours to socialize and six and a half to nine hours to work on your studies each day! Now it is up to you to balance your schedule to fit your individual needs, which may vary from day to day and week to week. We will talk more about that in the following section on time management.


Along with good eating comes regular exercise. The combination of the two will keep you energized and focused. Unlike back in my time or your parents’ time, colleges and universities today compete to attract students. One way of doing that is to provide state-of-the-art exercise rooms, pristine swimming pools, and a plethora of playing fields. Lack of facilities or equipment will not be an excuse for not exercising.

There are many opportunities to play the sports you like without having to make the commitment to a varsity squad. Perhaps there is a sport that interests you and you would like to learn how to play. Many schools have intramural or intermural sport teams that are always looking for new players, even if you are a beginner.
Oftentimes schools will have nutritionists on staff to help you eat well and trainers available in their fitness centers to help you reach your fitness goals. Take advantage of what the school has put in place for you to enjoy.
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What else is in the chapter 'Health and Welfare'?

Stress Prevention and Time Management

Stress, a major component in the life of a college student, if left unchecked can lead to depression, fatigue or physical illness. Stress wears away at your immune system causing ...

Health Care

You would be the rare exception if you survived your entire college career without a visit to the health services, so be prepared ahead of time. Every country has definite ...

Medical Records

It is important, especially if you have a chronic medical or dental condition or are on regular medications, that your new physician, dentist and other providers have copies of your ...


Most schools have a list of mandatory immunizations to be completed before matriculation. Since some require a waiting period between doses, it is best to ask right away which ones ...

Campus Safety

Security Incidents

In the aftermath of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) massacre in April 2007, concerns of safe campuses have become a priority for students, parents and administrators. ...

Staying Safe

Most campuses, whether urban or rural, have security “blue lights” set up so students can call security for rides or problems. On the extremely large University of Massachusetts at Amherst ...


Theft of personal items is always a concern no matter where you are living. You may want to consider insuring some of your more valuable items such as bicycles, computers, ...

All Things Monetary

To make your life less complicated check out which banks have ATMs on your college campus. Then visit each one to see who offers the best deals for setting up ...

What You Will Need

A checking account is the most fundamental way to manage your money. With a checking account you can pay your bills by using a check or online banking. A checking ...

Credit Cards

A credit card is basically a loan from a financial institution that you can use instead of paying cash and repay on a monthly basis either all-at-once or over time. ...

Types of Credit Cards

There are three types of credit cards: ...

Identity Theft and Identity Fraud

Identity theft and fraud are crimes that take place when someone wrongfully steals your personal information in some way that involves fraud or deception and uses it for their own ...

Check Fraud Scams

Don’t fall prey to check fraud by accepting a check written for more than the intended amount, whether it be payment for something you are selling, a service you have ...

Banking Tips

▪ To make life easier and avoid unnecessary fees, try to find a bank you like with an ATM on campus. ▪ Sign up with your bank to have customized alerts ...

In Review

Staying alert, using common sense and paying attention to what is going on with your body, your time and your finances will keep you on target for a good term, ...


"Tina Quick's initiative and book is a brilliant revelation of the phenomena of Third Culture Kids and their many challenges..."

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