Congratulations, you’ve made it to the pearly gates! The First and Best welcomes you. Now that you’ve reached the start of the next phase of your life, you should know right off the bat that it’s a different ball game from here. From independent living -possibly for the first time in your life -to MTN and TDB marathon study stretches to get those credits, to bonfires and dinners, no matter how exposed or sheltered you are, life is about to get different. In light of this, the health desk has graciously thought to put together a couple of tips to guide your way through the Promised Land with minimal casualties. Grab your pen and take notes, you’re going to need them.


Between school work, extracurriculars and maintaining some semblance of a social life most freshmen find themselves swamped to the point of breakdown, especially in the first semester. Fear not my green friends, this isn’t an inevitability. With an intentional diet, you can bypass this rite of passage and stay healthy while you battle CHE 156.

Developing an intentional diet encompasses several things, one of which is proper portioning (not too much, not too little). Overeating will do you as much harm as under-eating (to be honest, anyone caught overeating in this present economy deserves to be probed), resulting in heaviness, irregular sleeping patterns and worst of all -the freshman 15. While I know it might be tempting to binge eat when you remember the backlog of slides from two weeks ago that you haven’t even glanced at yet, it’s paramount that you avoid stress eating at all costs.

It is also very important to maintain variety in your meals. While this might be difficult for those who prefer not to cook, the ubiquitous cafeterias offer a narrow range of meals that, with a little ingenuity, can be tweaked into a workable roster. A little beans here, a little swallow there. Bread has no enemies. Allow fried yam and sauce to come to the rescue every now and then. No be every time rice rice.

It’s also wise to avoid junk food and carbonated drinks -yes, this includes early morning puff puff or buns. How can I ask you to resist the shiny golden balls of sweetness or the satisfying nectar of a chilled bottle of Fanta after a gruelling four hours of physics, you ask? Easy. Eat breakfast! If you will take nothing away from this article, do not forsake the golden rule: never leave for class without food in your belly, no matter what. Then you shall find yourself invincible to the charms of hazardous food posing as sustenance. You can thank me later.


Yes, exercise, the word no one but gym-loving masochistics like to hear. Unfortunately, it’s a word you cannot avoid if you’re going to make the best of your freshman experience. Whether it be bicycling (useful in this era of #100 per keke ride, no?), yoga, early morning jogging, brisk walking to class or joining a sports team, it’s important to keep your blood pumping from day to day. You can make it a group activity for fun (#Awogirlskeepfit) or have an accountability partner for consistency. Either way, don’t underestimate the importance of exercise.


As a health writer, this is one point I can’t stress enough. Please wash your hands. Please. It takes less than five minutes, but it can save your life. There are germs on campus. In crowded places, as many registration and clearance venues will be, it’s advisable to wear a nose mask if you are or suspect anyone near you might be contagious. Prioritize your health. Don’t go to school if you’re truly unwell. Better you miss one day than pass out in front of the entire class, trust me. Instead, use that garnered strength to go straight to Jaja or any other medical facility. Whatever you do, please don’t joke with your health.


I won’t lie to you, school can be hard. It really can. But with a workable, reasonable routine you can manage that stress. Develop a work schedule. Employ a study timetable. Put feasible limits on work hours. Take regular breaks. Invest in your hobbies. Invest in friendships. Don’t take on too many extracurriculars at once. Get help from seniors and study groups designed to help you manage your time well. Be realistic. You’re not Superman, you can’t do and be everything all the time. While First Class is the destination, don’t sacrifice your mental health on the way.


THIS. My dearest fresher, this is never emphasized enough. I know that there are a dozen deadlines to meet, and a million things to get done but please and please, do not joke with your sleep. Sleep is the only opportunity the body has to mend itself from acute and accumulated stresses. It is essential for your cognitive function, mood stability, metabolism and memory. In essence, it affects everything. You will hear a lot of “rules” about how “serious” students should never sleep longer than five hours a day, but my dears I promise you this is all poppycock. Even if you’re gunning for a perfect GPA at the end of the semester, you can afford to get a good night’s sleep every now and then. With a proper routine and naps, you can stay while rested even as you aim for the stars.

In summary, dear freshmen, stay in tune with yourself. I’d like to tell you otherwise, but it doesn’t get easier from here. The patterns you cultivate for yourself now will stick with you till you reach the finish line. I sincerely hope that as you journey along your chosen path, you find your university experience to be all that you wished it would be -and even more.

Till you hear from me again, ta-ta.

Yours lovingly,

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