Fresher’s week marks a lot of ‘first time’ moments for many people, from the first time you live alone, the first time you do your own laundry or your first kiss. A lot of fresher’s go to University with the assumption that everyone will be highly experienced in both the relationship and bedroom department when often this isn’t the case.
I remember one of the first conversations I had with my flat mates a few days in to the term was about sex. At the time only 2 of my housemates were in committed relationships with one being engaged and the other having been with his partner since the Justin Bieber era. I myself had just gotten out of a long-term relationship and was downright set on focusing on my academic future and leaving ‘love’ to the side. Nonetheless, a few weeks in to University and the ‘who slept with who’ game was becoming complicated and hard to keep up with.
In a world full of sexual freedom, developing human rights and strawberry milkshake flavored condoms, it was nice to see everyone feeling comfortable in their own skin and exploring their new found boundaries but regardless, chlamydia was spreading around faster than the fresher’s flu and it was alarming.
I know at this point you may be thinking, oh here goes another person giving us the same old boring talk about STIs but in reality, 1 in 4 young people develop an STI during their first year and in my opinion that’s one too many. Having accompanied more than a handful of friends to the Royal Infirmary for their free STI screening and sat with another handful whilst they waited for the little stick they peed on to tell them whether they were pregnant or not, I seriously began to question why young people weren’t taking there sexual health seriously?
It’s clear that despite advancements we’re making in a more liberated society, some people just need to reaffirm their basic knowledge and hence the purpose of this article. It may come as no surprise to you that the main way to practice safe sex is sat in a bucket in the SU. Yes, condoms are to be your new best friends during fresher’s week and beyond. That is unless you want mini versions of you running around whilst you try to complete your dissertation or your junk to smell a bit funky.
It is still however possible to spread an STI with the use of condoms and that’s why if you do ever practice unsafe sex, it’s best to go get yourself checked out as soon as you can. Symptoms of STIs such as Chlamydia can often go weeks unnoticed and sometimes even months but can have a serious impact on your fertility and can lead to further problems such as UTIs and Inflamed Testicles (not the best thing to have when things are going well with your Tinder date).
Females who want to take further precautions can always schedule an appointment at the Family Planning Clinic where they’ll discuss different forms of hormonal contraceptives from the pill to IUDs. I’ll point out now that you shouldn’t always rely on females to have protection as it’s not their job and the possibilities of what may possibly happen are the results of both people consenting.
It’s not hard to practice safe sex, especially with free condoms and check ups available to everyone. So go wild and make the most out of our tinder obsessed society but remember to take pre-cautions.