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College Students: Stay Safe this Summer

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.

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College students, be careful this summer.

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.


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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.