The transition to college can be both challenging and exciting. Luckily, there's a lot you can do ahead of time to get ready to get well and stay well at UNH!
Pack a Health Kit
Be sure to pack a health kit when you come to UNH. If you're not feeling well, it's really nice to have what you need so you don't have to make special trips to the drug store or pharmacy.
Here's a list of our other suggestions:
- Salt (for salt water gargles for sore throats)
- Eye Wash
- Sore throat/ cough lozenges
- Aches/Pain/Fever Medicine, non-prescription analgesics work well for fever control and pain, including headache
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol®)
- Ibuprofen (Motrin®, Motrin IB®, and Advil®)
- Allergy Medication (if needed)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) for itchy bug bites or allergy of many kinds
- Cough/Cold Medications
- Always read labels carefully, particularly on multi-symptom medication to avoid “double-dosing.”
- Take medication as directed on package.
- Call the pharmacy with questions.
- Decongestants are highly recommended for nasal/sinus congestion and clogged ears
- Pseudoephedrine (purchased from behind pharmacy counter)
- Cough medications such as guaifenesin are expectorants and help to loosen phlegm in the chest
- Robitussin®, Mucinex®
- Band-Aids (various sizes)
- Ace Bandages (various sizes)
- Rubbing Alcohol/ Hydrogen Peroxide
- Antibacterial ointment such as Bacitracin
- PeptoBismol®/ Antacid
- Waterless alcohol-base (at least 60%) hand cleaner.
- There is no need to have antibacterial soap or hand cleansers; in fact, these items are often expensive and are not as effective in killing germs/viruses as soap and water.
- Heating Pad
- Ice pack or chemical cold pack
- Humidifier/Cool Mist
- Soup packages
- Clear liquids are helpful in any illness
- Ginger ale, water, sports drinks, clear juices such as apple and cranberry, clear chicken or vegetable broths, Jello®, and Kool-Aid®
- Dry mix packets are great to store for convenience
- Freezer pops are very soothing when ill with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or sore throat
- Lip Balm
The pharmacy at Health & Wellness offers non-prescription medications, such as pain medications, vitamins, antacids, and cough and cold preparations, at a lower cost than many drug stores or supermarkets.
You can also use our self-care guides to learn how to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries.
You are allowed to keep prescription and over-the-counter medications in your on-campus housing. If you have medication that has psychotropic effects or requires the use of needles for administration, we encourage you to keep these safeguarded from theft in a hidden lock box.
Are you living with a chronic illness? Meet with our health resource nurse to find out how Health & Wellness works with specialists and primary care providers to coordinate services and provide care such as monitoring health/illness, lab work, etc. You’ll also learn about additional UNH resources, peer support, what to do when you’re sick, and more.
Build Your Wellness Mindset
By the time you graduate your Wildcat story will be a book with many chapters on your SUCCESSES and CHALLENGES, both personally and academically.
Having a WELLNESS MINDSET will help you navigate your journey through college, where you'll learn that STRESS IS NATURAL. A wellness mindset is based on the belief that taking care of all areas of your wellness will enhance your experience at UNH so that you feel proud of your achievements and learn from your struggles.
Students who hold a wellness mindset are more motivated and confident to face college with SELF-AWARENESS, EFFORT, PERSISTENCE and SELF-CARE.
Learn more about the Wellness Wheel.
Goals take time and effort to turn into habits. Use this summer to try out some wellness habits that will help you succeed academically and personally at UNH. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Start dispelling the myth of the college all-nighter. You can sleep your way to good grades. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night helps your brain and body rebuild and reset so that you have energy to be fully present in class, concentrate and retain and consolidate information. This summer, start practicing getting 7-8 hours of sleep, 7 days a week.
- Embrace the awkward. You will have many awkward moments at UNH. Instead of beating yourself up for getting lost on campus or not knowing what to say to the person next to you, remember that it’s all okay and no one is perfect. Start noticing when you feel awkward by paying attention to the situation, your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations. Self-awareness opens the door to be a little bit more kind to yourself.
- Treat yourself like you would a friend. You deserve kindness and you don’t have to wait for someone else to give it to you. Think about how you treat someone you care about, do you treat yourself with the same kindness and care? Start checking-in with yourself by asking “How am I doing? What do I need?”
- Notice your breathing. Our brains are like monkeys, jumping around from thought to thought. Usually, this isn’t really helpful and can lead us to worry or overthink. To help your monkey brain find some calm, pause occasionally to take slow deep breaths and notice how your body feels as your breath moves in and out of your body.
- Get moving. Body movement is one of the best ways to refuel your body with energy. Start moving your body daily, it doesn’t matter what you do, just move. Added bonus, nature has been found to be a natural stress reliever so take your movement outdoors to get your good stress hormones flowing.
- Plan to be social. Making new friends takes effort, courage and persistence. Visit WildcatLink to start looking at all the student organizations and way to get involved at UNH. Make a list of clubs that you are curious about and then make a plan to visit their tables at U Day.
- Be okay with not being okay. You may find that you are feeling all kinds of emotions this summer as you start to think and plan your transition to UNH. Remind yourself that it’s okay to be nervous, excited, anxious, curious. All the feelings you experience are okay, even when they are uncomfortable to experience.
- Practice gratitude. Thinking what you are grateful for can increase your sense of well-being and happiness. At the end of each day, start your gratitude habit by thinking about what you are grateful for.
- Nourish your body. Food is fuel that you need to get through the day with energy and cognitive clarity. Notice how your body feels when you nourish it with a variety of whole foods. Oh, and by the way, the Freshman 15 is a myth that isn’t supported by good research.
- Think about the choice to drink or not to drink. Okay, let’s get real. Alcohol is a thing in college. There are students who party and there are students who choose not to drink. Think about how you want your college experience to be and how alcohol may or may not fit into your overall goals.
Know Where to Go
The best way to prevent getting sick is by taking care of yourself and your wellness. We can help you get off on the right foot and keep your Wellness Wheel balanced.
- We offer wellness education/counseling for stress management, relationships, substance use, chronic illness, nutrition, and more.
- Living Well Services also offers mindfulness & meditation, massage therapy, and more, all designed to help you build the skills you need to be well.
And if you do get sick or injured, just make an appointment!
Be sure to check out this list of campus resources that are available at UNH to help you care for your wellness.