I spent 5 years getting one, 3 year degree in university—I was balancing asthma, other health problems, ADHD and a learning disability that went undiagnosed 4 of those 5 years, and working part time. Fortunately, I wasn’t also having to be self-sufficient, and my tuition was covered. When I think about student health, though, I think about how much work it can be to stay healthy as a student. For International Students Day, we’re going to take a look at resources that may be available on campus for students, to make managing their health a bit easier!
Clinics staffed by nurses or doctors may be available right on campus for students to access—if on campus clinics aren’t available, there may be agreements with nearby clinics. And of curse, most universities offer a health plan for full-time students.
In addition, more and more universities are covering the cost of campus gym memberships for students, and may offer fitness classes right on campus for a fee (hopefully small!). More often, campuses are gearing towards healthy food options for students, so eating well on campus can be easier than expected, depending on the leanings of your campus.
Some campuses have access to mental health or counselling service right on campus, sometimes through the campus health centre. Insurance packages may include counselling, or students training for roles as counsellors, psychologists, social workers, or marriage and family therapists may require practicum experience and need clients to work with as they prepare for careers. These programs may be free or have a smaller cost than other professionals in the field.
If your campus does not offer these programs and you are in need of mental health support, look at other academic institutions nearby. Contacting you school’s Accessibility Services or Disability Services department may help you find resources—and don’t worry, they’ll keep your inquires confidential.
Clubs exist on campus for a reason! Joining a club related to your faculty (or unrelated!) can help you meet people on campus and make new friends! As well, if you’re a student with a disability, find out if there’s a lounge for students with disabilities—in my final year of university, I connected with many new friends who have connected me to new opportunities and interests, just because I hung out in the Accessibility Resource Centre on campus! In their own ways, students understood both the health and learning challenges I dealt with, and shared lots of strategies for technology—and things unrelated, like sports!
If you live with chronic illness, it can also be helpful to wear Medical ID, especially if you are living away from home. Find many styles of medical ID jewelry on our online shop.