Keeping university students Fresher & Healthy

Whether you are returning to university to resume your studies or embarking on university life for the first time, this is an exciting month for you. Meeting friends, fending for yourself away from the comforts of home, and stimulating those brain cells – there’s a lot happening! Alongside the busy goings on of the new academic year, there’s also the small matter of Covid-19. We’ve still got to be aware of it and to keep ourselves and others safe, but we must also ensure it doesn’t dominate or negate the joys of university life.

One organisation doing their bit to ensure students will be safe, happy and healthy this academic year is Scape, the student living specialist, which has launched its Fresher & Healthy service. At a time when the typical concerns and worries of university students could be amplified by the daunting nature of the pandemic, Scape’s initiative is designed to support students’ mental and physical well-being and they’ve formed some great collaborations to put their support into action.

Teaming up with the private GP service, Gogodoc, Scape will be providing one-on-one health consultations to their resident students from the 5th October. Students will be able to book a consultation and receive a free physical examination and mental health advice from a general practice doctor. Students will also have optional access to the flu vaccine – one less thing to worry about in these perplexing times.

Scape has also teamed up with Dr Alex George, known for his stint on ‘Love Island’ but also a certified A&E doctor. Dr Alex offers some brilliant advice to students, with an emphasis on keeping safe, protecting others, and enjoying university life:

  • Be safe, but don’t be alone: you can still enjoy a healthy social life at university – it’s one of the most important, life-enhancing elements of going to university in the first place – but do plan in advance. If you’re picnicking, take your own plate and cup. If you’re going to a pub or restaurant, remember to book a table.
  • Make the most of university-organised events – they’re sure to be safe and legal.
  • If you feel anxious at any point, remember the benefits of exercise and the importance of talking to others.
  • If your movements out of your accommodation are limited, aim to add structure to your day and break up your work with music, podcasts, mealtimes and FaceTime chats.
  • Show respect to others. Everyone deals with going to university and coping with Covid restrictions in their own way. Avoid peer pressuring anyone to do anything they don’t feel comfortable with and be confident in resisting any pressure placed on you.
  • Be open-minded: you will find friendships at university that you least expect – friendships that will enhance your life and support you through your studies.
  • And, of course, wear your mask, wash your hands and stick to the new rule of 6.

Neil Smith, Scape’s Managing Director, explains,We feel strongly about our responsibility to help and support student’s physical and mental well-being.” It’s great to see an organisation like Scape putting this sense of responsibility into action. Knowing that the start of term is crucial for students, Scape has also launched a health and well-being app and are providing free Fresher & Healthy kits that contain, amongst other things, this season’s must-have accessories of a mask and sanitiser.

As Dr Alex says, “‘It is vital that students take care of their physical and mental health when they start or go back to university during these unprecedented times… Helping young adults to feel safe, by providing them with the correct medical insights and practical health advice, is an area I’m very passionate about.”

Hear, hear, Dr Alex and the Scape team!

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