Student Health Blog


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Pot Probably Won’t Lower Your Finals Week Stress

It’s about that time of the year, and coming off this past weekend of 4/20… you might be having thoughts that smoking a little weed is what you need to get by and survive the upcoming weeks. However from our experience as a drug testing lab, we’ve actually seen the adverse effect of weed. And while drugs & alcohol may seem to momentary relax you and release your inhibitions, it can actually backfire. Especially when it comes to college and finals. Here are a few reasons why:

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Pot smoking can backfire... especially on finals week

1. Your Summer Internships Might Require Drug Testing

More and more employers are cracking down on drugs & alcohol in the workplace, and that includes the college student interns. Statistics show that over 70% of drug users are employed, and the age group most rapidly using drugs AND entering the workforce is YOUR generation. With that being said, employers are not naive to suspect your drug use. And so some of them are actually testing for it. Don’t blow your future by taking a swig on a joint. Find other ways to calm down.

2. Pot Can Actually Hurt Your Memory

Finals week is a time where you need to remember a lot of things. So smoking weed is actually going to have the opposite effect. You need your brain to be sharp and ready to spit out information for exams and essays; not clouded and foggy. To keep your mind sharp, go exercise and eat a very healthy diet of fruit & veggies and healthy fats.

3. You Could Get Busted

Cops are not idiots when it comes to college students and weed smoking. Just look at the drug bust in Kansas City this past weekend over 4/20 – they’re on to drug users and know what to look for. As you work hard all semester and invest in an education, don’t throw your money and time away by using drugs. Having drug use on your public record will appear in background checks and can hurt you in the long run. Play it save, stay away from the drugs.

We realize on a college campus, a “little” pot use doesn’t seem like a big deal these days. Especially with so much chatter about its legalization. However, you need to know that it’s still illegal to smoke in Kansas, it should not be found on the campus of KU, and if you use it an get caught you can get in serous trouble – in more ways than one.

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Increasing Energy for Wornout College Students

You are so close to being done with school! While the end of the year gets you excited, you may be wondering why you are dead tired all the time. College can be tough. With exams, studying, and late nights on the weekends it is no wonder you don’t have any energy. But could there be more to your tiredness than just a lack of sleep?

Do you constantly feel worn out or tired? Lack of sleep may not be the culprit.

Why am I Tired?

Did you know that being low in iron,  low in sugar or having a thyroid problem can actually make you feel extremely exhausted on a daily basis? But you would never be able to identify the route issue unless you had your blood tested.

Blood Tests

When you have your blood tested, you can actually have multiple tests run. Tests can very from checking cholesterol all the way to in-depth cancer screening.

Unfortunately many college students never take the time to have their blood tested and chalk up their lack of energy to the pressures of college life. Having blood work done will reveal the root problem in your body. Once you know the exact cause, then you are better prepared to combat the problem.

The Potential Problem

There could be any number of reasons why you are constantly feeling crummy. But there are a few common energy-zappers, and luckily they have solutions to go with them!

Anemia

Having an iron deficiency is one of the most common forms of anemia. Anemia can occur when your body is not absorbing enough iron. Iron is essential to your hemoglobin and with out it your body doesn’t get enough oxygen, causing the severe exhaustion. The solution, eat more red meats and add an iron supplement to your diet.

Low Blood Sugar

When your blood sugars are low you can become hypoglycemic. Hypoglycemia occurs when the sugars in your blood drop. The symptoms can include extreme fatigue and even dizziness. Once you become aware that you have hypoglycemia you can combat it by using a glucose monitor and also by changing your diet.

Thyroid Disorder

Your thyroid is located below your Adam’s apple. Because the thyroid produces hormones that effect your energy levels, a person suffering from a thyroid disorder will almost always feel extremely fatigued. There are several solutions for dealing with a thyroid disorder and after a proper diagnosis a doctor will set up a solution plan with you.

What ever the source may be, the next time you are feeling weak and weary don’t just blame it on the stresses of life. Do your research and find a blood testing lab in your area. In Fact, find one that also provides a health screening so you can evaluate your overall health.

Finding the solution to your exhaustion will help you lead the active healthy life you were intended to live!


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Self-Defense 101

You get out of your night class late, or you leave a party just a few doors down from your apartment. This scenario happens all the time, especially in college towns. But did you know, most college campus crimes happen at night? The more aware you are of how to protect yourself if you are attacked or assaulted, the better.

Attackers like to single people out.Try walking in groups of people to avoid making yourself a target.

Be Prepared

Maybe you think it will never happen to you or maybe you just don’t know the cold hard facts, the truth is, that regardless if you are a man or woman, crime does happen on college campuses, and aggravated and sexual assault are the top two on the list.

If you get stuck in a situation where you feel uncomfortable, especially if it is at night, remember these helpful safety tips:

  • Try to walk in a group. Avoid separating yourself from the group or walking alone.
  • Stay on lit pathways if you are on campus.
  • Never leave your car windows down or your doors unlocked.
  • Do not hide a spare key on your car our outside your dorm.

Self Defense Tips

If you do find yourself in a self-defense situation, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and escape from your attacker.

Be loud

Most people, when attacked, are shocked and some even freeze or hold their breath. Being as loud as possible is your best defense. Yell as loud as you can and as much as you can if you are being attacked. Not only will your voice attract the attention of others, it can also distract your attacker and make them lose focus.

Avoid the Second Location

One of the biggest things you can do when you are being attacked is to do whatever you can to avoid going to the second location. In a crime scene, the second location is almost always deadly. This means kicking, punching, scratching or biting, use whatever it takes to flee from your attacker.

Self-Defense Class

Many college campuses offer self-defense classes for free or for a low fee. Self-defense classes can give you a big advantage on an attacker. From being more aware of your surroundings to learning self-defense moves and techniques, a class offers hands on experience on how to avoid and react to an attack.

Post-Attack

If have been attacked the first thing you should do is call 911. Even if you are not injured you will still want to file a police report. Evidence to put your attacker behind bars needs to be collected as soon as possible. If, during your attack, you scratched your attacker and got his skin under your fingernails you then have his DNA which can be tested and used against him in court.

You will also need to seek medical attention immediately. If you have been sexually assaulted you will want to make sure you were not exposed to any sexually transmitted diseases. Find a local STD testing center in your area that will do a full STD screening for you.

You might also want to seek out counseling to help you work through any emotional damage the attack has caused you. Taking care of your health mentally and physically, post-attack, will help you recover faster.

The more you can do to educate yourself on self-defense, the more prepared you will be if an unfortunate situation arises. Be aware of your surrounding and encourage others around you to the same.


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Study for Finals with a Clear Head

Springtime around the University of Kansas is always full of mixed emotions and feelings. Sure, there’s the whole almost-national basketball champions thing. But then there’s also the weight of finals week coming up right before semester’s end. And in the midst of the beautiful flowers, trees and grasses around the KU campus that have begun to appear, many students are finding themselves absolutely … miserable.

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The trees are beautiful, but they can also reap havoc on your spring allergies ... and your focus for final exams!

Spring Allergies

You might have grown up with spring allergies as a child, especially if you’re from the Midwest. However as you reach your college years and beyond, if you didn’t have them as a child, you might notice adult onset allergy symptoms. Typically spring allergy symptoms involve a clear runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, congestion, dark circles under the eyes and even a headache. While some of these could be mistaken as the common cold, if they persist and seem to get worse when the pollen count is high, you’re probably facing spring allergy symptoms.

How to Treat Spring Allergies

Spring allergies don’t really pose a serious threat unless you suffer from asthma, then you need to make sure you’re taking the proper precautions. However what spring allergies can hurt is your focus. Some people can shrug off the runny nose and itchy eyes, but others suffer from drowsiness and headaches. Allergy symptoms can get quite miserable as the pollen counts increase. It’s wise to look into medication and creative ways to ward off symptoms to retain focus for finals week.

Medications for Allergies

Are you hesitant to go on allergy medications because you’re not “for sure” that’s what you have? The first step to take when you suspect you have spring allergies is to get an allergy test. This will conclude if you do or don’t struggle with seasonal spring allergies and help you decide if you need to see a doctor or take over-the-counter medication.

Use your Air Conditioning

Although the cool breezes of spring might be relaxing and calming, they can actually make you feel worse if you have spring allergies. Pollen travels through the air so closing the windows and using the A/C to cool you off will create less problems.

Study Inside

The same goes for choosing where you study. Sure, a blanket on the lawn sounds nice and relaxing but if you’re suffering from pollen produced in trees and/or the grass, steer clear of the outdoors and grab a seat in the library while you’re preparing for final exams this spring.

Be On Guard for Mold

Another spring allergy cause (in addition to pollen) is mold. Dusty dorms and old apartments are places where moisture and mold spores like to hang out. If you’re noticed an increase of symptoms when you spend time in your dorm room or living space, consider requesting that the air conditioner filter be changed or that the apartment manager or residence hall director request a mold test and make sure your room isn’t only comfortable … but safe for you, too.

Hopefully a few of these steps will help you survive finals week if you’re in Lawrence, KS this year and suffering from spring allergies! Good luck!


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To Fake ID or Not To Fake ID

Hmm…. Fake IDs. College students at KU – listen up.

We live here in Lawrence, too, and we get how tempting a trip to Massachusetts with everyone else can be, whether you’re 21 or not. And, we also realize that many of you have the “hookups” to go ahead and get you into the bars whether you’re actually 21 or over.

But, before you hand your friend cash to get you hooked up with a fake ID, you might want to think again.

Here’s Why.

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A fake ID can get you into a night club ... and a lot of trouble.

Why to Not Get a Fake ID in Kansas

There are many, many, many reasons not to get a fake ID in Kansas. Here are our Top 4.

1. Fake IDs are Illegal

Let’s start with the plain and simple here: false identification is illegal. Now in a college town where occurrences of fake IDs are as high as exams given on a Monday, the perceived severity of this illegal action seems to wane. Especially when so many in Lawrence are getting by with it. However, if you get caught, you can get in big trouble… like receiving a felony (prison) or misdemeanor (thousands of $$ in fines.) Read up on the Kansas laws on Fake IDs before you fill out that false application or try to sucker your friend into getting you the hookup.

2. You Can Get in Trouble Just for Carrying It

Kansas law says that even if you’re caught carrying a fake ID (and not trying to use it), you could get in trouble. This means that if the ID was made for you (your picture, your info, just a unique year for your b-day and possibly a new address) OR if you have someone else’s ID you’re trying to pass off as your own – you could still get in trouble.

3. It Could Hurt Your Future

Getting in trouble with a fake ID can hurt your future plans for success. Most of you are attending the University of Kansas to obtain a degree that will open the door to a future job. These days, employers perform background screenings on employees before making the offer. You don’t want a felony or even misdemeanor to show up on your background when trying to land that first amazing job offer. While it may be tempting in the moment, it will pay off to follow the law for years to come.

4. It Could Lead to Substance Abuse

You might not care about this now, but the second your friend gets hurt because they (or someone they know) abuses alcohol, you’ll realize the devastation substance abuse can cause. Many times, it begins with addiction – addictions that come early in life and are enhanced by illegal activity like minors drinking alcohol. A fake ID may open the door for a minor to enter the club, but it may also open the door for a host of alcohol-related problems that you will wish you could avoid.

This isn’t a complete list by any means, but from our vantage point as a Lawrence, KS business – it’s some of the main reasons you should steer clear of fake IDs. Don’t wish you life away wishing you were 21 when you’ve got a few years to go. Don’t throw your future away by pretending to be someone you’re not. Take a second, think through the consequences, and realize the best choice is to be the “real” you and forgo the fake ID.