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For the Health of It

Staying healthy at college is tough. You’re under stress, surrounded by other people who get sick, and you might be in a brand-new environment. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1.Vaccinations
Check your school’s requirements and make sure you get vaccinated. (This site has a handy checklist.)

2.Insurance
Keep a copy of your health insurance card on you at all times. Before going to school (and definitely before your first appointment at student health services) find out of they need to have a copy on file.

3.Prescriptions
Find out if you can get your medications through student health services, or if you need to head to a pharmacy. (Some medications can only be filled in the state where a doctor prescribes them.) Controlled substances (including some pain medications) must be filled with a paper prescription, which can take a few days to get from your doctor, especially if you’re out of state—so plan ahead.

4. First Aid
Make a first aid kit yourself (or with the help of a parent) or grab this kit from Amazon for your dorm room. This cute waterproof bag makes a great start.

5.De-Ick Your Phone
And your laptop. And your doorknobs. Germs are easily spread at school because so many people live together. Stay well with some wipes.

7.Power of Attorney
Even if you are on your parents’ insurance, they will not be able to speak with health care providers in an emergency if you’re 18 or older unless you authorize your parents or guardian to have access to your health care information. Speak with them about creating a power of attorney and submitting a HIPAA authorization form to your school.

8.Speed Dial
Once you’re on campus, identify the nearest CVS, Walgreens, or Rite-Aid, which can fill prescriptions and offer walk-in clinics for when student health is too busy.

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