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February 21, 2016 | by  | in Being Well Opinion |
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Being Well: Checklist for Freshers


  • Illness: Living in close quarters in halls can expose you to contagious diseases and viruses that cause coughs, colds, and flu to spread. Rarer, but more severe infections such as meningococcal, are prevalent where many people live together—so crowded flats and halls are again a risk factor.
  • Relationships and sex: If you’re starting a relationship, or thinking about having sex, there are a few things to consider. Preventing infection and pregnancy may be at the top of the list; but it is equally important to ensure your relationship—sexual or not—is a happy, fulfilling experience for both partners.
  • Stress and mental well-being: Being away from home, study or financial pressures, and relationship conflicts can all impact your happiness. Make sure you incorporate lots of positive activities into your life—social as well as physical—and learn how to gauge your stress levels. If you’re not coping, or feeling sad more than is normal, ask for help. The doctors, nurses, and counsellors are available to help, support and advise if needed.

Top tips for the first few weeks of Trimester One

  • Enrol with Mauri Ora—the Student Health and Counselling service: If you enrol with our service, doctor, nurse, and counselling appointments are free for most students. Fees may apply for students who choose not to enrol. Most international students will have insurance that covers the majority of the cost of their visits.  Student Health operates from both Kelburn and Pipitea campuses. Routine appointments with either a doctor or a nurse can be booked by phoning reception. If you have an urgent health concern, ‘walk-in’ appointments are available on the day, but will be prioritised for those with greatest need.
  • Vaccinations: Flu injections are available every year from mid-March, and are free for all students. Vaccines to protect against meningococcal are not usually free. We recommend you think about getting one, sooner rather than later. The cost varies depending on which vaccine you choose, but your doctor can talk you through the options.
  • Gardasil: For women, this injection protects against cervical cancer. If you haven’t already had yours at school, you can start the course of three injections now. It is safe, highly effective, and free if you commence the vaccines before your twentieth birthday. For men, it is also recommended but is unfortunately not funded.
  • Sexual health: If you’re sexually active, use condoms. If you don’t, get regular checks for sexually transmitted diseases. Swabs for infection can be done without a doctor examining you. Make an appointment with a nurse or doctor at student health, and you can usually take the swabs yourself—simple! Two weeks after possible exposure is the optimum time to get tested.
  • Contraception: Our staff can advise you on the best contraceptive options. Most are free, or carry a small prescription charge. Emergency contraception can be accessed via a nurse appointment.
  • Well-being: The counselling service runs a diverse range of free well-being groups to help with issues such as anxiety, exam stress, poor sleep, and depression. For an individual counselling appointment call and talk to reception. Try to incorporate some form of physical activity into most days as this will have huge benefits for your well-being, as well as your physical health. The Recreation Centre has a huge range to choose from.


Being proactive with both your physical and emotional health will help you get through the year—happy, healthy, and successful!


What is Mauri Ora?

Mauri Ora are shared premises in the Student Union Building made up of Student Counselling, Student Health Medical Services and the physiotherapy clinic. Te Taunaki is its sister-service based at Pipitea campus. Mauri ora is the Māori term for wellbeing, and encompasses a holistic view of health—mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual.

Contact details:

Mauri Ora, Level 1, Student Union Building, Kelburn Campus

Phone 04-463 5310



Te Taunaki , Mezzanine Floor, Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus

Phone 04-463 7474



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