For most of us, college life means unbounded freedom. Whether you’re living at home with your parents, or in a hostel, flat or PG, for several hours, we are completely free of any parental control. While that does come with its own set of benefits, it also means that we end up missing out on parental care. This is especially true for students living in a different city, away from home, and although there are plenty of calls from our mothers enquiring about our health, we fail to do a good job at taking care of it ourselves.
Here are some of the common health issues faced by students:
Common colds and viral fever is very common everywhere, but it hits especially worse for students. Even diseases like swine flu affect students worse, and for a variety of reasons. Building up immunity is essential for being protected from any disease and that comes with a healthy lifestyle and balanced nutritional diet. College students often eat unhealthy food and the lack of exercise leads to a weak immune system, making them more susceptible to such diseases. Further, living in hostels and PGs and travelling by public transport regularly means constantly being exposed to unhygienic factors. Since we don’t have our parents around to constantly remind us to wash our hands before dinner, we simply don’t, and put ourselves at further risk.
Stress and Sleep Disorders
Pulling all-nighters is simply what college students do, right? However, as common as the practice may be, it leads to several health concerns. Staying up all night to fit in last minute studying is a usual activity and the same becomes a regular schedule, even on normal days. Most students stay up till 1 or 2 in the morning, engaged in their smartphones and laptops. This does not change the fact that they still have to wake up for early morning classes. Not only does this lead to tiredness during the day and increased stress levels, lack of adequate sleep and messed up sleeping patterns can have adverse effects on health.
Another common issue with college students is eating disorders. One form of this is not eating enough in hostels or at home but eating too much junk food outside. There is no shortage of street food and junk food vendors, cafes and restaurants which are pretty affordable for students. The other side of the story is students, especially females, who do not eat enough due to body image issues, building an unhealthy dieting cycle. Either way, students fail to gain the required amount of nutrients causing several other health issues.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Most students decide to start drinking in their first year of college and they are quickly exposed to other substances as well including cigarettes and drugs. This has a direct effect on their health, as it severely impairs eating and sleeping habits. There is also a lack of consciousness in deciding what amount of consumption is accurate and students often end up consuming excessive amounts, resulting in major issues.
- Mental Health Disorders
An issue that is commonly avoided but causes the worst effects out of all is mental health. With several changes taking place in student lives, it can be hard to deal with all of them and they include, but are not limited to, academics, relationships, peer pressure, etc. While counselling and awareness can help students deal with this problem, there is a lack of both, leading to several serious disorders such as Anxiety disorders, depression, etc.