Summer is finally upon us! Many around the KU campus are packing up and heading home, resting up after a long semester and grueling week of finals. While some choose to stay around Lawrence and take summer classes, many of you are heading home for summer jobs and internships.While you may take a break from school and classes over summer, you typically don’t take a break from one another. Guys and gals will be hanging out this summer. And the outcome? Let’s just say embarrassing Facebook posts and funny stories told to your future kids won’t be unlikely. While “living it up” during the last few college years seems like a blast, make sure you play it safe in a few important areas:
Practice Safe Sex or Abstinence
We’ve blogged about STDs before and how they’re not just a teenage problem. One in four on a college campus has an STD, so be careful if you’re in a relationship this summer that gets sexually active. Your birth control pills may prevent pregnancy but they won’t prevent you getting an STD. Usually condoms can prevent their exchange. If you’ve been with someone with an STD or suspect you might have one, get an STD test.
Don’t Drink Too Much
Actually, if you’re 21, avoid drinking all together. And if you’re over 21, watch your alcohol consumption. Not only because the people you hope to hire you in a few years will be checking your Facebook for those crazy pictures, but also your future job may require mandated alcohol testing. Don’t pick up bad habits now, stay focused on school, and if you’re of age to drink, drink in moderation.
Stay Away from Weed
A study was just released saying teenagers are starting to see marijuana usage as “normal,” and that more have “tried” marijuana over cigarettes. Statistically, 1 in 10 teens smokes weed. You’re a teenager when you enter college, and it’s likely that your teenage habits continue as you get into your 20s. And if you’re not the 1 out of 10, it’s likely that it relates to one of your friends. While you may think smoking weed is no big deal, it’s actually a really big deal. Accident and injury can come from this recreational habit. It can fog your memory and make you fail a drug test. And there is some truth to that whole “gateway drug” thing.
While there’s a whole slew of other risks to watch out for this summer, these are the ones we urge college students to consider this summer. We see a lot at our Lawrence, KS walk-in lab. And even if we don’t see you this summer while you’re on break, know that we’re still thinking about you and hope you’re playing it safe.