Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 16, 2023

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Students should be adult about health

According to the Centers for Disease Control, college freshmen are six times more likely than the average person to contract meningitis, an infection that inflames the membranes covering the brain and the spinal cord.

How’s that for a reason not to go to class?

While there are only a few thousand cases of meningitis every year and only about 12 percent of them are fatal, the CDC – which, by the way, is the government agency responsible for controlling the spread of disease across the country – recommends all incoming freshmen get vaccinated.

Think of the predicament you would be in if you were uninsured. Got a few hundred dollars sitting around somewhere? Didn’t think so.

If you’re like me, you have no money sitting around. In fact, you have negative money. Lots of negative money. A single financial disaster could upset your entire college career and your entire life plan in one fell swoop.

Thankfully, after years without such a requirement, the University community – administrators, educators and students like myself – has made possible disaster a moot point.

No, really, you’re welcome.

And now that you’ve got your shiny, new, student health insurance plan (or are still piggybacking off your parent’s plan), you want to get the most out of it, right?

After all, let’s face it: your odds of getting sick are pretty good. Knock on wood, but it seems like everybody gets sick at least once in college.

I mean, everyday you will be sharing the same room with someone. You will be eating in a room which has been packed with dirty college students for decades. You will breathe the same, sweaty bacteria-filled air and use the same toilet and shower as everybody else.

You will stay up late working on projects and assignments, socializing with new friends or nurturing that long-distance, cell-phone relationship. The long hours and stress will weaken your immune system to the point of total failure.

So when the sniffles, cough, headache, sneezing and hundreds, if not thousands of other symptoms come around, what is your first action going to be? Are you going to purchase some multi-symptom formula and wait it out or are you going to get a professional, medical diagnosis from the health center and tackle this problem like a real adult?

My recommendation is to visit the health center. There is usually little or no wait.

It’s important to note at this point, despite what some people think (I’m not making this up) the health center staff is not going to force you to take pregnancy tests until they find out you are pregnant.

Actually, you will undergo a careful examination by a medical professional who will recommend to you a course of action after much thought and care

Now, I know what some of you may be saying: ‘There’s a thing called co-pay and I don’t have any money for that, either.’

My best advice is to call up your parents and ask for the money, which is usually not much (like $20). They will be impressed at your responsibility and will cower at the first mention of their poor baby’s sickness. Problem solved.

Why do I care so much to tell you all this? Well, because I didn’t visit a doctor for mildly annoying problems with my shoulder, for occasional heartburn and for some sore throats when I first began noticing the symptoms. This summer I had a little wake up call.

When you don’t get on top of things as soon as they begin happening you will end up like me: being prescribed two medications, being scheduled for months of physical therapy and having your tonsils removed – all in a matter of weeks.

Being a man is not waiting it out like a ‘tough guy.’ Being a man is having the brains to get checked out by a professional immediately.

Send comments to Matt Clark at [email protected].

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