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Health and Academic Performance

Many things contribute to a person's health, and a wide variety of factors can make someone less than optimally healthy. Similarly, academic performance is the result of many influences in students' lives, including their health status. That's why it is UHS' mission to support students in reaching their optimal health so they can achieve their academic and personal potential.

Each year UHS conducts a representative study of UT students called the National College Health Assessment. The study measures health behaviors, protective strategies, and what impacts college students' ability to perform at their best. According to the survey respondents, the three factors that affect UT students' academic performance most are stress, sleep, and cold/flu/sore throat.

Sleep

Students who don't sleep enough, or whose sleep habits are very irregular, may have difficulty completing assignments, paying attention in class, and doing well on exams. Experts recommend getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night and going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day to help improve the quality of your sleep. UHS has tips for sleeping better and a Nap Map of great places on campus to catch a few ZZZ's.

Stress

Stress produces a physical reaction in the body that can make it harder to focus, sleep, and do well academically. Recurrent physical and psychological stress can diminish self-esteem, decrease interpersonal and academic effectiveness, and create a cycle of self-blame and self-doubt. UT's Counseling and Mental Health Center has resources to learn more about stress and interactive online stress-reduction tools. Click here to learn more.

Cold/Flu/Sore Throat

Central Texas has some of the worst allergy symptoms in the US, and combined with regular cold and flu season symptoms, upper respiratory concerns are one of the main reasons students miss class. UHS recommends flu shots for students to reduce the risk of both getting the flu yourself and spreading it to others.

Because allergy symptoms, especially cedar fever, can be very similar to the flu, UHS has this chart to compare your symptoms. The UHS Allergy/Immunization Clinic also offers allergy shots for those who suffer from severe allergies. Learn more about services available for students with allergies.

Read more about UHS' National College Health Assessment results.

Read more about Campus Wellness Data from the UT Wellness Network.