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Student health myths

Student health mythsHave you fallen for these myths about student health?

Students get free prescriptions

There are lots of freebies and discounts for students, but free prescriptions aren't one of them. However, you can apply for free prescriptions based on your income, and most students will qualify. Even if you don't need regular prescriptions, it's worth filling out the form and sending it off ahead of time. If you wait until you get ill to sort it out, the process might take too long.

Students can't afford to be healthy

If you're in catered accommodation, there will usually be healthy options available at the same price. Once you're living alone, learning a few simple cooking skills will be enough to keep you eating healthily. Look online for cheap healthy meal ideas, and consider cooking with your housemates - it's much cheaper to cook for lots of people at once. Cooking for yourself will always be cheaper than buying takeaways or ready-meals, and it will probably be healthier too.

And, of course, there are some ways to improve your health that will save you money, such as cutting back on alcohol or giving up smoking.

University also offers plenty of low-cost opportunities for exercise, whether it's through a sports society or a low-cost university gym.

Student life is easy

The stereotypical student leads a low-stress life of nights out, lie-ins and daytime TV. In reality, many people find being a student difficult or stressful. It's common to worry about work or feel lonely - in fact, mental health problems are more common among students than among the general population.

The good news is that help is at hand. Most universities provide free, confidential counselling to any student who needs it. Counsellors may also be able to talk to your tutors or lecturers on your behalf if you want them to - for example, to arrange for special arrangements like an extension on your coursework deadlines. You can find out more on your university's website, or by contacting the student services department.

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